Insight BC

Insight and Discussion Concerning What’s Important in BC

Month: January 2017

Fringe Parties Aptly Named – Pretenders, not Contenders

They are not called fringe parties without good reason.  With less than 4 months until the next BC provincial election, the host of ‘fringe parties’ are proving themselves to be exactly that.  Kind of sad, when you think about it.

BC really needs some viable alternatives to the entrenched and unimaginative positions and self-serving policies of both the BC Liberal Party (some of who are really Conservatives in Pink Cuddly Bunny suits trying to appear far more centrist than they really are) and the BC NDP who are dyed in the wool – Sheep, stuck in their socialistic, unaffordable and historically incompetent form of government mantra that costs the BC taxpayer untold billions in mistakes and ridiculous social engineering projects any time they are elected.

BC, as a result, is a two party system that practically ensures that one or the other of these two less than optimal options will enjoy a majority government, with little or no regard for opposing points of view or dissenting perspectives on social, economic and political issues.  Both parties are dogmatic, tired and unimaginative and it would be nice for the BC voter to have a real third alternative.

This past few years, some of my closest friends, associates, colleagues and I went looking for that ‘viable, electable alternative’ and discovered – that there really aren’t any, at least in time for the 2017 provincial election.

That revelation was a real eye-opener and a sad indictment of the state of affairs of BC politics, if the truth be known.  There are a number of registered political parties in BC and of that group numbering 58 registered with Elections BC in the past 10 years (somewhat appropriately one more than the famous brand of ketchup, Heinz 57), we have come to the collective conclusion that there are absolutely no supportable pretenders to the throne.  In fact, some of us have come to the very disturbing conclusion that there are not even any viable alternatives that are supportable based on the party values, goals, political perspective or policies.

Some of the political parties certainly caught our initial attention, if for no other reason than their registered name and their various ‘known as’ aliases.  Who would not want to explore further the goals, objectives and internal workings of such esteemed political organizations such as The Sex Party, or The Unparty?  And let us not forget that there are probably some fairly apparent political agendas based in the material being offered by The Marijuana Party, The Herb Party, The Feminist Party and The Work Less Party, among others.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind finding out a bit more about (and qualifying to belong to) The People of British Columbia Millionaires Party or possibly The Party of Citizens Who Have Decided To Think For Themselves and Become Their Own Politicians.

Yes, residents of BC, these are real registered political parties who may, or may not, ask you for your vote in this 2017 election year.

There are, of course, other legitimate political parties, created by presumably earnest and sincere individuals without special interests who might have otherwise offered a real alternative to you, the BC Voter, – if the individuals and interest groups within those parties were not apparently utterly incompetent, unfocused, indifferent or perhaps just not ‘smart enough’ to get the job done.  The job being the process of nominating actual, legitimate political candidates with real aspirations to serve in office and to provide benefit and vision for the Province of BC and its residents.

Some of us undertook a series of journeys over the course of the past couple of years in hopes of finding a political party alternative to the BC Liberals and the BC NDP.  Sadly, and alarmingly, our journeys always resulted in frustration and failure.  Even worse, the interviews and engagements with these other hopeful political alternatives showed how far ‘out of touch’ and how ill-prepared any and all of these parties really were, considering that a provincial election is looming on the horizon.

While all parties certainly were not interviewed, engaged or assessed in depth, the reality is that a representative number actually were – with incredibly disappointing and possibly alarming results.  Anyone can apply to form a political party and in BC, that status entitles you to accept virtually unregulated political donations – contrary to the strict laws put in place in almost all other jurisdictions in Canada.  Perhaps that, and the opportunity to be a ‘big fish in a small pond‘ or quite possibly ‘just a reason to get out of the house‘ must surely be the motivation behind the intentions of many of the party leaders and party executives we interviewed and assessed.

In short, our disappointing and pragmatic conclusion is that none of the ‘fringe’ parties actually have anything to offer the BC voter at the moment – if indeed, those parties ever will.  Here is a sampling of our findings – shortened down in the interests of time, space and simply because these parties ultimately really have nothing to legitimately offer or bring to the table in a meaningful, substantive manner leading up to the 2017 election.

British Columbia Social Credit Party

This political party was de-registered after the 2013 election because it did not field sufficient candidates to maintain its political status.  The SoCreds have a colourful past, of course, in BC and held office for a number of years as the governing party in BC.  The British Columbia Social Credit Party was re-registered in 2016 (because of the rather substantive money that was bequeathed to the SoCreds sitting in limbo at Elections BC?) –  but has done absolutely nothing meaningful since the re-registration.  We even attempted to investigate ‘joining’ the BC Socreds but were rebuffed by the ‘Gate Keeper‘ who apparently doesn’t like members any more than she liked ‘Leaders’.  Nasty, obstinate, opinionated people who didn’t always see things her way.

So, going into the 2017 election?   Virtually no active membership, no website, no social media presence (the Gate Keeper doesn’t like some modern innovations such as email and the like) and no candidates announced.  A ‘one woman show’ stuck in the past with no inclination, ability or intent to build the party for the 2017 election.   The ‘Gate Keeper‘ might want to read the definition of Luddite and also do some introspection.  Someone left a financial legacy to the British Columbia Social Credit Party.  They did not leave the legacy to the ‘Gate Keeper‘.  Quite sad.

BC Action Party

A splinter party at least once removed – fallout from the second most recent implosion and self-destruction of the BC Conservative Party.  After John Cumming was made Leader (under controversial circumstances) and led the BC Conservatives virtually nowhere in the 2013 election, a number of dissidents either were kicked out of the BC Conservative Party, left of their own accord or otherwise just took their ball and went off to play by themselves.

Some of these individuals coalesced under the banner of the BC Action Party which actually does have a decent website, some supportable policies and a documented vision for running for office.  Unfortunately, the BC Action Party has lost over 90% of its membership  (as best as we can tell) and there simply aren’t sufficient resources or enough members in enough riding associations to mount anything other than a token attempt at electing an MLA.

Worse yet, some of the dissenting members have rejoined the BC Conservative Party and an ill-conceived plan to merge the two parties has again failed miserably, probably due to the personalities involved that value egocentric self-interest ahead of mutual goals and objectives.  After all, isn’t that what politics usually winds up being about?

BC Conservative Party

The ‘poster child’ Party for how to do essentially everything wrong – over and over again.  (Remind you of the definition of insanity?  Repeating a behaviour over and over whilst expecting a different result?) You think that the core group would learn – but it appears that most of the reasonably bright, ambitious and motivated members have moved on, and with good reason.  Leaving, of course, the individuals who are continuing to drive the BCCP into a much-deserved oblivion.

It is hard to know where to start but here are a couple of good talking points.  Imagine a political party that has held 3 AGM’s in the past 3 years and has elected, accepted the resignation from, re-elected then denied the re-election of the same individual – for ‘procedural’ reasons. Uh huh.  I know the math is hard to follow but the bottom line is this.

The BC Conservative Party is so incompetent (in its current iteration) that it is unable to elect its own Leader.

Now, how bad is that?  Not only that, the ill-informed and poorly advised membership base at the time was subjected to a draconian, railroaded constitution that allows an almost totalitarian Leadership structure (the Leader only requires 40% support from the membership and any Board Director who doesn’t support the Leader must immediately resign.  Shades of North Korea, anyone?).

Is it any wonder that more than half of the 2013 membership base has resigned or refused to renew membership?  Add to the mix, the resignation of virtually 3 entire Boards of Directors over alleged improprieties since 2013, a number of lawsuits (some continuing) and a website that has actually taken away more information since the summer of 2016 than it has added – and you have the ingredients for a sordid mess that only those stewing in their own juices can fully appreciate and espouse.

For good measure, let’s not forget that the BCCP denied membership renewals to a number of its nominated candidates in the last provincial election and that the BCCP is essentially broke – with insufficient resources to mount a campaign or assist potential candidates.

Those that have hijacked the BCCP (including one group that actually had the audacity to proclaim itself as a Board of Directors in 2015 without being elected and without ratification of the membership) are still in their own dream world, thinking that their shrinking membership and diminishing political IQ will somehow allow them to field legitimate candidates in the 2017 election.  Nope.  Not going to happen.

The Brain Trust of the BCCP thinks it has all of the answers.  Problem is, the Brain Trust doesn’t understand any of the meaningful, relevant questions.  And collectively, the Brain Trust has an insufficient ‘Brain’ and ‘Moral Compass’ to legitimately ask the BC Voter for a single vote.

Ask yourself why you would vote for a political party that is incapable of managing itself – and has already proven itself to be exclusionary and elitist?  This is a political party that aspires to manage the Multi-Billion collective that is the province of BC.  The BCCP certainly cannot demonstrate that it is able to manage its own affairs – let alone the affairs of an entire province.  Not deserving of a single vote.

Here is a direct quote from the Kelowna Daily Courier on December 20, 2016.  Konrad Pimiskern was one of the leadership candidates – in what turned out to be a non-leadership race.  (The headline, by the way, is “BC Conservatives probe president“.

“I have no involvement with the BC Conservative party beyond that I am a member of the party like many people are,” he said. “I believe if the party was able to clean house . . . there are many good, hard-working, intelligent individuals who would be incredibly interested in vying for the leadership and candidacy, but the party needs to clean house.”

An afterthought.  If there did not turn out to be a valid leadership result for procedural reasons, and if the second place finisher in that ‘non-race’ did not become leader after Dan Brooks was disqualified, will the BCCP be facing more lawsuits from leadership candidates who want their $5,000 entry fee reimbursed?

So, where does that leave us, Dear Reader?

The British Columbia Libertarian Party

My (much) better half and I had a meeting with a prospective candidate for the Libertarians.  Yes, we found ourselves running out of options.  For the record, we met the candidate at an outdoor hot dog stand – in the middle of winter in the Okanagan.  The candidate spoke vaguely about being Libertarian (kind of like being Liberal, he thought) and spoke about the great organization and policies that he was reading about as a new prospective candidate.

Then, he asked us if we would mind signing his nominating papers.  Apparently, even though the local newspaper was calling him the Libertarian candidate, he actually couldn’t become an official candidate until 50 individuals signed his nomination papers.

No, we didn’t have to belong to the Libertarian Party.  But you did have to be eligible to vote in the riding.  No, you did not have to give up membership in another party to sign a nomination for the Libertarian Party.  And, no, you did not have to buy a hot dog from the street vendor.

What else could we do?

We signed the nominating papers.  After all, can this nice young man be any worse than what we had already encountered in our interviews and quest for a political party to support with our vote?

Still, the election is somewhat distant on the horizon.  We have not yet checked out The Annexation Party of British Columbia – or The British Columbia Excalibur Party.

I suppose we shouldn’t close the book on The Communist Party of BC, either.  Or The Helping Hand Party.  Or The Land Air Water Party.  (Bet they have a bit of an environmental bias, methinks).  The New Wave Party sounds – new.  The Work Less Party sounds – lazy. The Link Party sounds – unlinked or perhaps TransLinked.  The Platinum Party of Employers Who Think and Act to Increase Awareness sounds – verbose.  Almost sesquipedalian.

And The Vancouver Island Party sounds – isolated and deserted.

There’s always The Green Party Political Association of British Columbia but a political party that doesn’t truly understand that the future of BC lies in its resource development and the transportation/distribution geographic paradigm (as well as its stated goal of preserving the natural splendour of BC) has some intellectual growing up to do.  Governments require a tax base and growth in GDP – growth not based in real estate speculation.

Which has led some of us to acknowledge a reality that seems to be staring us in the face.

If we want good government, if we want good candidates who will be accountable and represent the very people who elect them, perhaps it is time to return to the very roots of democracy.

It is time to elect independent candidates who are not going to be ‘mouthpieces’ and compliantly subservient to the political parties who have nominated them and who control them through the implementation of ‘Party Whips’ and Caucus Solidarity.

It is time to elect MLA’s who represent you, the Voter,  We, the BC Voters and Residents.  It is our province.  It is time to take it back from self-interest groups and political parties from all angles of the political spectrum.

It is ‘Right for BC‘.

Check it out.  You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that you are a supporter of the kind of government that Right for BC is envisioning.

Thank you.

Parties No Longer Can Rely on Ignorance and Naïveté

The greatest lesson other democracies can learn from the recent 2016 US Presidential election is that the electorate is no longer stupid – or ignorant – or compliant – or easily swayed by the conventional media hype and spin on reality and facts.

Unfortunately, the politicians, their backers and their ‘handlers’ who have gradually, but inexorably, populated the ‘swamp’ that President Elect Trump has pledged to drain have not learned this indisputable and undeniable lesson. Alarmingly, neither has the once respected (and once legitimate) ‘fourth estate’ – the once independent, accountable and legitimate media industry, including newspapers, radio and television networks, including independent channels.

The ‘propaganda creep’ has been slow, but insidiously focused and directed by individuals and corporations who abandoned principles, values and ethical standards in favour of blind, mindless support of individuals and institutions that have lost the public trust because they have abandoned the fundamental concept of fiduciary trust and accountability.

The poster boy and the ‘poster party’ for the evidence staring us irrefutably in our face is the somewhat sad, but not pitiable, Barack Obama and the tattered remains of the once proud Democratic Party.

Facts are clear and the results are inescapable. Barack Obama and the Democratic Party lost the 2016 Presidential election – every bit as much as the untrustworthy and incompetent Hillary Clinton. The Russians did not ‘fix’ the election in favour of Donald Trump. Redneck thugs and the Ku Klux Klan did not threaten voters and voting booths throughout America to prevent a Clinton coronation. The conventional media did not skew the election in favour of Trump and the Republicans. The reality was patently obvious and totally the reverse. The traditional media, like compliant sheep at best, prostituted themselves by ignoring -even denying, the fatal defects of Hillary Clinton and the Democractic Party.

Bought and paid for, the media machine campaigned as hard as, and as biased as, the propaganda arm of any totalitarian regime that ever existed.  Even now, almost two months after the election, the conventional press and its progeny are stilled mindlessly fixated on denying facts in favour of their own self-created version of reality.

Just as the Democratic Party proved itself to be irrelevant and out of touch in the 2016 Presidential campaign, the pathetic vestiges of the once proud Fourth Estate has proven itself to be equally irrelevant.  Unfortunately, the same kind of propaganda once reviled and despised throughout the Cold War (Pravda is the best example) now is common practice and accepted in Western democracies.

Hypocracy reigns supreme.  At least, it did until November 8, 2016.  On that date, virtual walls as real and impenetrable as the Berlin Wall, tumbled down, crashing down in rubble – and exposed the rubbish – for all who are objective enough to face facts.

Hypocracy No. 1

The Russians ‘hacked’ the DNC, Hillary Clinton and top Democrats in order to ‘influence’ the US Presidential election in 2016.

Fact Check:

Ex NSA contractor Edward Snowden, Wikileaks and Germany’s top prosecutor, among others, confirmed that the United States National Security Agency, and probably other US government agencies, ‘hacked’ the mobile phone of Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, as well as other political figures and political parties in Europe.

Michael Hayden, former NSA chief, publicly apologized – not for ‘hacking’ Chancellor Merkel (and former German Chancellor Schroeder) as well as myriads of other German, French, British and other European political figures, but for not being able to keep the hacking secret.

To quote Michael Hayden, “We could not keep it a secret and therefore put a friend in a very difficult position.  Shame on us, that’s our mistake”.

If you are an intelligent human being, think long and hard on the hypocracy of Obama’s complaints against the Russians.

The former director of the US National Security Agency  publicly admits hacking and spying on friends and allies.  Is anyone naive enough to believe that the NSA and the US is not also hacking and spying on Russia, on China, on North Korea?

Does Obama’s hypocracy and the virtually identical activities of the US National Security Agency and the CIA ever receive a mention in the conventional media discussions concerning the ‘Russian hacks’ and the way in which that has violated US security and national interests?

Of course not.  Why?  Ask the political pundits and the myriad of newspapers, television networks and radio political commentators who are seemingly blind to the identical (and equally subversive) actions of the US government under the guidance of Barack Obama.

‘Do what I say – and ignore what I do’.  A sad indictment that has de-ligitimized the US, Canadian and other western media outlets.

Hypocracy No. 2

Obama himself, through the US State Department, has meddled in other foreign elections, up to and including providing US taxpayer dollars to attempt to change elections results in other countries.  While the list is probably long, here is one example from the Washington Post that proves the point.

– The Washington Times – Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The State Department paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayers grants to an Israeli group that used the money to build a campaign to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in last year’s Israeli parliamentary elections, a congressional investigation concluded Tuesday.

Some $350,000 was sent to OneVoice, ostensibly to support the group’s efforts to back Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement negotiations. But OneVoice used the money to build a voter database, train activists and hire a political consulting firm with ties to President Obama’s campaign — all of which set the stage for an anti-Netanyahu campaign, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said in a bipartisan staff report.

In one stunning finding, the subcommittee said OneVoice even told the State Department’s top diplomat in Jerusalem of its plans in an email, but the official, Consul General Michael Ratney, claims never to have seen them.

He said he regularly deleted emails with large attachments — a striking violation of open-records laws for a department already reeling from former Secretary Hillary Clinton’s handling of official government records.

Mr. Netanyahu survived the election, and the U.S. spending was not deemed illegal because the State Department never put any conditions on the money. Investigators also said OneVoice didn’t turn explicitly political until days after the grant period ended.

Hypocracy No. 3

The much vaunted 2016 nuclear deal with Iran that was supposed to defuse an ongoing volatile political crisis in the making.  Instead, it has de-stabilized a region that has now very real and grave concerns regarding not only the intentions of, but now – the capability of, Iran forging ahead on its quasi-political, quasi-religious agenda in the Middle East.

For the uninformed, the deal has freed up more than One Hundred Billion Dollars ($100,000,000,000) for Iran to utilize in its expansion and weapons acquisition/deployment plans.  These are funds that are a gift provided to the totalitarian warmongers in Iran to invest in ISIS, Al Qaeda,  Hamas and other militant groups that are active and militant in the Middle East.

Will this largess be used to do nothing but improve the quality of life of the average Iranian?  Only in Obama’s Pollyanna ‘dream world’.  Will Iran actually curtail (or even cut back) its nuclear weapon ambitions?  Only time will tell but Obama’s naive and irresponsible solution to a continuing global problem only underscores his demonstrated ability to remain oblivious to political regional realities that are far above his political IQ.

The icing on the cake?  The US has had a long standing policy of not providing ransom for hostages.  Ever.  That is, until Obama.

  • Lawmakers were briefed Tuesday on a $1.3 billion payment to Iran
  • Republicans have called the payments ransom for hostages

(CNN)The Obama administration made two additional cash payments totaling $1.3 billion, after delivering $400 million to Iran by plane in January, to resolve a failed arms deal, administration officials told lawmakers Tuesday.

The briefing, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, was confirmed to CNN by congressional aides who attended. The additional payments were delivered to Iran in Swiss francs, Euros and other currencies.
It’s sure to stoke more criticism from Republicans, who had already sharply denounced the $400 million transfer as “ransom.”
That cash payment was made in January on the same day Iran released four American prisoners and formally implemented the nuclear deal. The money was flown in a plane to Iran on wooden pallets stacked with various currencies to resolve a dispute between the two countries stemming from a failed arms deal made before the Islamic Revolution in 1979 that toppled the Shah.

Hypocracy No. 4

President Obama has repeatedly claimed that he has cut the deficit. During his 2016 State of the Union address, he claimed that his policies had cut “our deficits by almost three-quarters.” However, as the Center for Individual Freedom points out, Obama’s “worst legacy, one that remains grotesquely underreported by the ‘watchdog’ mainstream media” is “by far the worst deficit record in U.S. history.”

“Over an eight-year period, that amounts to an accumulated $2 trillion under [George W.] Bush, or an average of approximately $260 billion,” states CFIF. When campaigning for the presidency in 2008, Obama called it “unpatriotic” that Bush had taken the national debt from approximately $5 trillion to $9 trillion. Today our national debt is just under $20 trillion after eight years of Obama in the White House. Far from leaving the United States in good shape, Obama is leaving it in debt-ridden shambles.

Source: Canada Free Press

Hypocracy No. 5

WASHINGTON — President Obama ridiculed Donald J. Trump on Tuesday for saying that the presidential election was rigged against him, telling Mr. Trump, the Republican nominee, to “stop whining and go try to make his case” to win more votes than Hillary Clinton.  Source:  New York Times

Now that the Democrats have lost, who is doing the whining and insisting that the election was rigged?  Additionally, Obama actually campaigned for a candidate that he knew was deeply flawed, with financial interests and campaign donations coming from foreign countries and foreign governments.  A candidate in Hillary Clinton who had a proven track record of incompetence, deception and extremely poor decision making ability.

Hypocracy No. 6

2007 – As president, Obama says, he will provide U.S. intelligence agencies the tools they need to defeat terrorists without undermining the Constitution. “That means no more illegal wiretapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime … No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient.”

2013 — NSA Spying Under Obama is Exposed

The Edward Snowden revelations begin. The Guardian reports that for the first time under the Obama administration, the telephone communications records for millions of Americans “are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk — regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.” The next day, Barton Gellman and Laura Poitras report in The Washington Post that the NSA is tapping into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet firms, “extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs.”

2016 Presidential Election

Obama broke a long-established Presidential norm by deeply involving himself in the election and, in a vain attempt to prop up his crumbling ‘legacy’, he told the American voter that the election was really about him – about maintaining and continuing his policies and his vision.

Yes, Obama’s policies and vision.  Not the policies and the vision of the US Congress and the elected representative from all of the US States.  Obama was unable to work with Congress to pass legislation to suit his skewed vision of reality.  Instead, he used the power of Executive Order to ram through numerous policies – that will now be undone, unraveled and destroyed by new Executive Orders from the President Elect Donald Trump.

‘Live by the sword – die by the sword’.  Perhaps Obama will eventually get past his anger, his angst, his denial and his self-pity and finally admit to himself that he was the author of his own misfortune.  And to a great extent, the misfortune of the Democratic Party in the 2016 Presidential Election.

Under President Obama, Democrats lost more than 900 state legislature seats, 12 governors, 69 House representatives and 13 Senate representatives. That’s some legacy.

Yes, Barack Obama, it is time that you fade back into your self-centered, egocentric dream world and truly assess what your 8 years of President of the US has wrought.

We would mention the unsustainable, crippling cost of Obamacare, your broken promise to shut down Guantanamo Bay, your inability to even make a meek protest when the Russians took Crimea and Russian troops entered into Ukraine to de-stabilize that country, your so-called ‘Red Line’ in Syria regarding chemical and genocidal warfare (which of course you never backed up with any useful action) resulting in hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths – and your virtual authorship of the ISIS organization by providing weapons, training and resources to hostile entities and organizations, including some Guantanamo detainees who were released (for who knows what reason?) to continue the fight against the U.S. and its allies in the Middle East and now, spreading abroad into Europe and elsewhere.

Fact is, there really isn’t enough time to chronicle your failures, Mr. Obama.  History will judge you, as it judges all, and your naive, self-serving attempts to create a ‘legacy’ in the last dying moments of your administration only proves that you – and not Donald Trump, were really the individual who was perhaps unfit to hold the office of President of the United States.

May history treat you with the credit (or discredit) that you rightly deserve.

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