It was about two weeks ago, right in the middle of the provincial election that is being decided today, that my wife made an observation to me while driving.
“Where are all the lawn signs? The election has started right?”
And wow, was she right. There are very few signs on people’s lawns this election. I have no statistics to back this up, but from a general feeling, it certainly seems there are fewer signs than previous elections. Yes, in public spaces, there are dozens of signs sprouting up like ugly fungus, ruining picturesque corners, and dangerously blocking sight-lines at intersections, like every other election. But on private property? Not so much.
And yet there’s no lack of passion for this election. People feel very strongly.
The problem is, no one supports anyone, they just hate the status quo. People aren’t clamoring for the policies and leadership of Adrian Dix, they’re just fleeing the current Liberal government.
BC is in a pretty awful predicament. Not satisfied by killing the HST, the populace is still looking for an outlet to take revenge on the government. Christy Clark’s campaign style leadership, is a jarring contrast to the governance style of Gordon Campbell, and it’s pretty clear it does not resonate with the electorate.
I’ve made no secret of my distaste of the tenure of Premier Clark and her poor governance. Anyone who takes away money from already starved basic services to give it to private charities should not be rewarded with a second term.
And her purposeful misclassification of tax incentives for the film industry as subsidies because it doesn’t fit her view of her family first platform is just straight infuriating. (Quick message Clark, you receive zero tax income from an industry that does not exist. Competing with other jurisdictions with tax INCENTIVES, will bring in tax revenue. You’re not actually spending any money Giving money to private charities – that’s a subsidy.)
The problem is there are no good options. The Green Party and its leader Jane Sterk are untested, and not even running a full slate of candidates. They have yet to break the public view that they are more than a one issue party.
The Conservative Party and John Cummins are marred by the poor optics of their federal cousins, it’s own internal struggles and ineptitude, and people’s fear of splitting the conservative vote and pushing the NDP into power. Not to mention some of the right wing social views held by (ex)candidates.
And then there’s the NDP, the only viable option for those enraged enough at the Liberals for people to sell out their province’s future.
People desperately want a change, and Adrian Dix is trying to sell them on change for the better. But looking at his platform, his promises of tax increases and spending, I’m highly doubtful his change is better.
And I don’t think it’s good for BC either. If your house is flooded, yes you want to change that situation. But change for change’s sake is not always the best idea. I would rather keep working on pumping out the basement, than to set my hosue on fire simply so at least things are different.
Here’s hoping for a minority government that doesn’t accomplish anything but get us new political leaders. 4 years of treading that flood water is certainly better than 4 years of watching the house burn.