B.C. Election 2009
If you want more info on the parties, their platforms, the polls, etc. I recommend Sacha's excellent site.
Personally, I'm not too enthusiastic about this particular election. The Liberal (in name only) party has been in charge for 8 years and although they've moderated some of their more unpleasant views (on aboriginal relations and the environment for example) and they have certainly accomplished a fair bit in terms of infrastructure (albeit by committing the province to a large stream of payments over the next 25 years or so), I'd certainly be happy to see them removed from power.
Under their watch B.C. has seen some of the fastest rising inequality and poverty levels in Canada, and has failed to take care of all of its citizens. Furthermore, the Liberals seem increasingly corrupt and willing to sell off the province's resources to their friends and party insiders and to big business.
Given the huge housing and construction bubble, the perilously low savings rates and the rising inequality, B.C. can be expected to be hammered extra hard by the economic downturn - if the Liberals do win this one, they may get to reap some of what they've sown.
The only alternative likely to be elected is the NDP party. The NDP platform has some good ideas, such as raising the minimum wage and ending/taxing the flaring of natural gas. Still, I can't bring myself to vote for a party that is campaigning on increasing the province's carbon emissions and contributing *more* to one of the greatest threats that mankind currently faces. It is funny in a way that so many people viewed the revenue neutral carbon tax as a tax increase, but even though repealing it will produce just as many losers as putting it in did, you don't hear, for example, residents of downtown Vancouver up in arms about the tax/debt increase they'll have to face due to repeal of the carbon tax that currently benefits them.
The other killers in the NDP platform are the promises to lower hydro bills (again, a move that will increase emissions) and to kill the plan for smart meters. After all, peak oil is another huge threat to our future, so obviously we should cancel plans to modernize our electrical grid and give ourselves a greater capacity to make efficient use of our electricity resources.
It's a great plan really, cancel plans for new electricity production, lower prices to encourage more consumption and kill measures designed to encourage conservation. I don't see any problems with that agenda at all.
Whoever wins will deserve what they get trying to govern this province from 2009 - 2013 (Olympic perks and a whole lot of economic headaches, I predict).
So yeah, I think I'll vote Green. I thought I might vote for the Marijuana party, since legalizing marijuana is one of the most positive changes that could be made by our politicians, but I see that they are endorsing the Greens rather than running their own candidates.
The main thing that will bring me to the polls is the chance to again vote in favour of scrapping our antiquated electoral system and replacing it with one that can actually function in a province with more than 2 political parties - STV. But more on that in another post perhaps - or just visit the blog I wrote back in 2005 the first time we voted on electoral reform. Maybe if we can fix the electoral system we'll have more palatable choices when the next election comes around.