Insight BC

Insight and Discussion Concerning What’s Important in BC

Month: March 2017

The Comedic Altered Reality of the BC Conservative Party – (and other Flights of Fancy).

In a bold move of Machiavellian proportion, the BC Conservative Party has injected some much needed humour and levity into a political campaign that was becoming far too dark, depressing – and sinister.

Either utterly brilliant or utterly suicidal.

The Director of Communications and Policy of the BCCP, John Twigg, (himself a former press secretary of the NDP Premier Dave Barrett,  described as a ‘former anarchist’ in a recent 2015 book entitled ‘The Art of the Impossible: Dave Barrett and the NDP in Power’ and more recently a confirmed contributor to both the NDP and John Horgan) has proudly unveiled (or should I say unleashed?) the first of the BCCP policy initiatives.  Twigg indicated that the BCCP will issue one plank per day so that there is perhaps enough material to build and float the BCCP boat with a couple of weeks to spare before the actual election.

The first surrealistic plank floating forlornly in the BCCP policy swamp is the idea that a new ferry crossing and infrastructure will be investigated, approved and constructed between the Iona Island sewage treatment plant on the mainland and Gabriola Island adjacent to Vancouver Island.  Of course, an additional bridge (already rejected in a 2016 cost-benefit analysis commissioned by the BC Government and titled ‘Gabriola Fixed Link Feasibility Study’) would be required to get folks the rest of the way from Gabriola to the Nanaimo ultimate destination on Vancouver Island.

To co-ordinate this herculean task, the BCCP has engaged the services of David Hawkins, a self-proclaimed visionary and conspiracy theory internet radio host who reminds me a little of L. Ron Hubbard, a tongue in cheek delusional science fiction writer who accidentally created the cult of Scientology through his Dianetic musings and his stated belief of a group of outer space beings who populated Earth some 75 million years ago.  But I digress.

David Hawkins (don’t confuse the BCCP consultant David Hawkins with the deceased professor and spiritual teacher Hawkins who worked on the Manhattan Project, helping to develop the atomic bomb unless …) – could it be that David Hawkins (who has been reincarnated and has emerged as the new visionary project co-ordinator for the BCCP, among others)?  Nah, perhaps a bit far-fetched. 😉

Let’s segue back to the current David Hawkins.  Hawkins was the leader of the Reform Party of British Columbia, and described himself thusly on his campaign page when he ran in 2011:

David Hawkins: “Forensic Economist (Sherlock Holmes of the Modern World), has been a passionate and compassionate leader with integrity all of his life – even as a child he showed empathy with all forms of life, even pebbles at the bottom of the stream which he felt didn’t have a view”.

Just think how much empathy Hawkins will be able to show with all of the substantial rocks and boulders spread liberally underneath the Straight of Georgia? The mind boggles.

Part of Hawkins’ campaign page in 2011 also provides the following cogent insight:

  • AUDIT what Bombardier flew for Hiebert Great Escapes and Taliban contract hits

More famously, however, is Hawkins’ contribution to Abel Danger, a (hopefully) tongue in cheek web magazine wherein Hawkins bio indicates his interest in solving most, if not all, of the world’s problems, including but not limited to, ‘waste or fraud by all orders of government including NATO, Norad, the European Union, United Nations, I-Bat tracks the source and application of assets through blind trusts and off-book financial partnerships used – as in the case of Enron – to hide debt, evade taxes, enrich insiders and launder money‘.

Clearly this is a man you want on your side.

And it would be remiss to forget that David Hawkins is (was?) also co-host for AbelDanger, the weekly show on Rumor Mill Radio.  A great listen, no doubt.

John Twigg has clearly seen the benefit of engaging such a luminary to the cause of the BCCP.  And, it appears, John Twigg has had no difficulty convincing the sage and wise directors of the BCCP that the involvement of David Hawkins as project consultant for the BCCP’s flagship introductory policy vision is the smartest thing that the BCCP can do.

If you don’t have the time (or the heart) to read the entire policy statement headed ‘Good Infrastructure: Fourth ferry crossing‘ published on the bcconservative.ca website, I have synopsized some of the highlights:

  • “The plans we have developed would when implemented provide a huge boost to the BC economy and greatly improve the lives of literally millions of people” said John Twigg.  Translation?:  Huge wheelbarrow full of taxpayer money will be wasted on a pie in the sky fantasy perpetrated by someone who lives close by and would benefit from a quick trip to the mainland, now and again.
  • ‘Twigg explained that the concept involves building a simple and cost-effective bridge from Vancouver Island to Gabriola Island at one of the two or three sites near Mudge Island that were studied last year and found to be viable by the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’. Fact Check:  the Gabriola Fixed Link Feasibility Study referenced at the bottom of the policy announcement actually shows that the bridge project is not feasible.  (But who reads this stuff, anyway?)
  • ‘A newly designed dedicated ferry or two (why not three, just for the heck of it?) would run, possibly 24/7 – from Silva Bay to a yet-to-be-built dock west of Vancouver International Airport possibly at a site adapted onto the end of one of two existing jetties from nearby Iona Island (which also is the location for Metro Vancouver’s Iona wastewater/sewage treatment plant’ … now, there is a savvy tourist attraction opportunity adjunct to the project.  Think about all of those tourists enjoying the sight (and smell) of Vancouver’s sewer system output as they wait for their holiday access to Gabriola and Vancouver Island.
  • “While one might assume it would be best and easiest to simply extend the existing SkyTrain line to the new Iona Island ferry terminal, in fact this new route would provide a good opportunity for entrepreneurial technologists to design a new and even better form of rapid transportation that could be readily demonstrated to potential buyers from around the world.” said Twigg … blah blah blah.   Translation?  It is time to send out RFP’s to attempt to reinvent the wheel, spending untold millions of dollars in duplicated R & D costs and associated technological improbabilities.
  • ‘.. include an elevated trackway that could carry large-capacity passenger compartments on compressed-air tracks using energy captured from the sewage treatment plant.  See www.eazeway.org’.  Translation?  Shoot people across Georgia Straight in pods powered by ‘technological farts‘ generated by the tourist attraction sewage treatment plant.  Sheer genius.
  • blah, blah, blah ..’said Twigg, citing EAZEway consultant David Hawkins’ suggestion that the proposed transit line could also involve injecting oxygen into the sewage plant’s effluent to minimize its harmful affects (sic) on fish.’  (Twigg’s misuse of ‘affects’, not mine.)  Translation?  Add some oxygen to the technological sewage farts and direct this quality enhanced gas as brain food for the deprived fish who would clearly benefit from, and have their sorry lives enhanced by, this humanitarian altruistic gesture.  Hear, hear, John and David, hear hear.
  • blah, blah, blah ..’invite many excellent video developers in Vancouver to propose plans for “virtual prototyping” which could involve building scale models of the various components and making videos of them for circulation to engineering and construction firms and other project design teams around the world who would use the video to develop practical plans‘ blah, blah, blah  Translation?  Let video developers and film nerds develop complex models based on engineering and design expertise of which they have – absolutely none, then let them take pictures and video of their creations to send to corporations and individuals who actually know what they are doing.  Sheer brilliance.
  • We could go on ad nauseam but I think you might be getting the picture.  All right, just one more for you.  ‘blah, blah, blah …’an elevated causeway (made of reinforced steel and other manufactured alloys similar to those used in oil-industry drilling platforms, as referenced in before blah, blah, blah,) would be better environmentally than the rock-fill causeways now used at Tswwassen and Roberts Bank‘.  Translation?  Mother Gaea and the Supreme Being cannot make more environmentally friendly rock than can the collective might and brain power of the BCCP and its friends and associates by using technology developed in the nasty and dirty petroleum industry.  Wow.  I’m speechless.

Well played, BC Conservative Party, well played.  Thank you for injecting some levity into the depressing reality of a provincial political campaign.

I look forward, with great anticipation, to your forthcoming sage and fantastical visions of what BC might become – if you and your minions would find some way to alter reality and elect some candidates to the serious responsibility of government.

There are, according to my scorecard, at least a couple of dozen more policy pronouncements forthcoming.  Please, don’t keep us in suspense any longer than you must.

By the way, John, Corbin and Bob, have you let the rest of the Board of Directors, the innocent, fresh-faced candidates and the BCCP membership (who are footing the bill for these flights of fancy) in on the monumental joke that you are perpetrating on the voters of BC (and possibly the most gullible of the Media Party?)

You could not be doing a better job of ensuring the successful re-election of the BC Liberals and the NDP if you tried.

But then again, let’s be serious for a moment.  You are trying, aren’t you?

C’mon, boys, let us in on the joke.

 

 

BC – We Have A Problem

This is not the time to mince words.  BC voters have a problem.  A real problem.  A problem that may determine the financial well-being of BC residents and future residents – not just for the mandated aftermath of this 2017 election, but for the foreseeable future thereafter.

These are the facts.

BC is essentially,  for all practical purposes, a two party province with the politically unacceptable result that there always is the strong probability of a majority government.  Majority governments find it too easy to ignore the interests of those who did not vote for them – in favour of their own supporters, particularly their strong financial supporters.

Neither of the obvious probabilities to form that government commencing in 2017 should look particularly palatable to BC voters.

The BC Liberal Party has clearly outstayed its welcome – and lost its ethical compass and a commitment to accountability in the process.  BC Libs are Marketing Mavens, Political Panderers, Fundraising Fiends – and apparently distancing themselves from the principles of fiduciary trust and accountability to the voters of BC.

The very real specter that the BC Liberal Party is accepting legally questionable substantial donations from paid lobbyists and special interest groups appears to be in violation of the BC’s already flimsy and inadequate political funding legislation.  For details, the original article posted in the Globe and Mail headed ‘British Columbia: the ‘wild west’ of fund raising‘  offers evidence so irrefutable concerning the irregularity of paid lobbyist contributions  (among others) that the matter has been referred by the Chief Electoral Officer to the RCMP.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/investigations/wild-west-bc-lobbyists-breaking-one-of-provinces-few-political-donationrules/article34207677/

Add this latest revelation of a Godfather style ‘Protection Racket’ that encourages lobbyists for institutional and corporate interests to ‘pay up’ for the privilege of possible preferential treatment – to the BC Liberal Party’s insistence that changes do not need to be made to the political contribution legislation (capped and controlled through legislation in virtually all other jurisdictions in Canada save one), is only another amongst many compelling reasons for voters to overwhelmingly and decisively reject the BC Liberal Party in the 2017 election.

This ethically unacceptably arrogance must be punished at the polls.  Add this ‘country club entitlement’ mindset to the myth of LNG wealth, secrecy and lack of transparency (including shredding of documents in the very offices of the Premier herself), and the questionable use of taxpayer dollars to promote the fallacious myth of ‘prosperity for all’ in BC in expensive television and radio advertising should signal the political end of the BC Liberals as the majority government of BC.

The Liberals have been disingenuous at best, and unethical at their unsupportable worst.

So, we get rid of the BC Liberals in 12017 and allow them to look in the mirror and attempt to reinvent themselves as an accountable and trustworthy political alternative – sometime in the distant future.

That is the nature of democracy.  You want to serve as government?  Earn the privilege.  Earn the trust of the BC voter.  Maintain that trust.

The most effective agent for change in any political environment is a change of government.

As a result, the pollsters and the voting public look to an alternative in 2017.

Front and center is the NDP.

Notwithstanding the ‘SpeNDP’ reputation of the NDP and the www.sayanythingjohn.ca  attack website funded by the Future Prosperity BC Inc. organization, BC voters should be scratching our collective heads trying to figure out what the NDP actually stand for.

The demagogues at the NDP head office are apparently not much different than the demagogues at the BC Liberal head office – trying to be all things to all people.

We know that the NDP typically plays to its power base – unions and provincial bureaucrats and employees.  Unfortunately, for the NDP, the interests of the ‘environmental’ NDP base differs diametrically from the union ‘job creation and  construction’ party base.

And, while the NDP trumpets its resolve to change the campaign and political party financing paradigm, the actual practices of the NDP don’t look a heck of a lot different than the Liberal version.

In November, 2016, the NDP hosted a $10,000 VIP fundraising dinner as reported in detail by the Globe and Mail.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-ndp-under-fire-for-pricey-fundraising-event/article33045874/

For my money, and for yours as well, the issue becomes whether we can trust a historically ‘fiscally reckless’ political party with the BC economy, the job prospects of our Millenials and the sustainable growth of the BC economy.  The track record tells me that most ‘business’ and ‘fiscally conservative’ interests are adverse to committing to the NDP and that the success of the NDP in the 2017 election may be mitigated by its track record – and it’s attempts to ‘walk the same tightrope’ as the BC Liberals.

You cannot be all things to all people.  Neither the NDP nor the Liberals seem to have got the message.

Who’s left?

The Green Party of British Columbia might appear to be an increasingly viable alternative – but the Greens are not yet ready for prime time (if ever they will be).  Major issue remains reconciling the absolute fact of the need for the continued growth of provincial Gross Domestic Product and demonstrable financial viability to ensure the delivery of services and initiatives for the present and the future – against the Greens commitment to an environmental model which, while laudable as an intellectual exercise, may not be fiscally viable and attainable in the real world.

The word ‘one trick pony’ comes to mind.

The BC Conservative Party has a continuous recent history of litigation, infighting, unethical practices at the party level – and for the past 4 years since the last provincial election (inclusive of the current iteration), demonstrated incompetence.  With 2 months remaining until the 2017 election, the BCCP remains leaderless, financially unsound and (as at the date of this publication) unable to announce a single legitimate candidate for 2017.

It is not a stretch of the imagination to conclude that any support of the BC Conservative Party would result in – a vote for incompetence.  Hardly a viable or realistic prospect.

British Columbia Social Credit Party?  A fading memory.  No hope for revival in 2017.

The BC Action Party?  A well-intentioned pipe dream of disgruntled ‘small c conservatives’ that cannot muster a declared candidate as of the date of this article.

The Libertarian Party?  Some candidates but no broad based support.

Other fringe parties?  More of the same.  But with special interest agendas.

How do we, the voters, break the historical pattern of either the governing party (Libs) or the pretenders to the throne (NDP) forming a majority government in 2017?

How do we ensure accountability, transparency and the elimination of political party patronage and (paid for) special interest policy?

There is still time for proactive citizens and voters to identify, engage and nominate candidates with no expressed political affiliation to serve in the legislature as independent MLA’s, following the exemplary political service of Vicki Huntington, MLA Delta South.  Vicki Huntington has been able to further the needs and wishes of her riding better than any other MLA since she is directly accountable to her constituency voters – and only her voters.

If the electorate in BC were to nominate and elect a reasonable number, say a dozen, independent MLA’s and those MLA’s represented the ‘balance of power’ between a minority government and the official opposition, policy and legislation introduced at the BC legislature would require actual, meaningful debate and consensus.  If legislative did not pass the scrutiny of broader based support it would be defeated.

The best legislative decisions are based on the principle of ‘the greatest good for the greatest number’ if we are to follow the tenets of democracy.

Consider how you can participate in making meaningful change to a political environment in BC that clearly needs a reality check and revision – in the best interests of all BC residents and future residents.

For further discussion on this topic, visit http://rightforbc.com

‘The government you elect is the government you deserve’.  Thomas Jefferson

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