The absolute best possible outcome has resulted for BC voters after the 2017 provincial election. Notwithstanding Christy Clark’s futile hopes of retaining power – and John Horgan’s insatiable lust for gaining power (with the probable short-lived help of the overtly bombastic Andrew Weaver), the legislature will convene, briefly function and ultimately dysfunction.
The ‘not a coalition‘ will allow the NDP and Greens to comfortably settle into government chairs – but will soon unravel as divergent doctrine and dogma rear their politically ugly heads. The parties (NDP and Green) will cite ‘irreconcilable differences’ and the ‘not a coalition‘ will dissolve, sending the voters back to the polling stations.
Best bets for driving the ‘thin edge of the wedge’ to delaminate the ‘not a coalition‘?
Kinder Morgan Pipeline and Site C Dam.
Notwithstanding all of the political vitriol, the ultimate regulatory authority for the Kinder Morgan pipeline is the federal government – and even the insipid and publicity hungry JT has proclaimed that the Kinder Morgan project will proceed. In the interests of all Canadians – mostly because, and in spite of Andrew Weaver’s fairy tale wonderland, energy production and access to the Asian markets is one of Canada’s prime economic drivers, for now and the foreseeable future.
Horgan and the NDP will be confronted with this economic reality – from many sides, including labour who wants new job creation, from the feds who have already approved the project and from the large voter component who provincially voted Liberal in order to maintain some semblance of economic prosperity for BC.
Publicly, Horgan will be forced to soften his stance on the Kinder Morgan Pipeline – and Weaver will not. A philosophical fracture between the ‘not a coalition‘ coalition will grow.
Site C Dam. By most empirical measures, including numerous recent studies, the Site C Dam was a bad idea, perpetrated by the BC Liberals without proper due process, without the scrutiny and support of the appropriate regulatory bodies, without a proper feasibility study proving a favourable ‘Cost-Benefit’ analysis and simply because – BC and export markets do not want, nor need, any increased mega-project power capacity. Site C Dam is simply irrelevant in a changing energy paradigm wherein localized smaller scale generation options are becoming increasingly viable, where alternative energy sources are gradually gaining a foothold and where many experts point to ‘clean’ nuclear energy as the ultimate long-term solution.
Horgan and Weaver will play political games with Site C Dam but again, Horgan will ultimately have to face the reality of holding the political reins in Victoria and Horgan will be forced to mitigate his professed strong antipathy toward the Site C dam whereas the sanctimonious Weaver will hold to his ‘illusional (delusional?) principles’.
Another fissure will develop in the ‘not a coalition‘.
There will be many other issues that will ultimately cause an irreconcilable rift between the NDP and the Green and the ‘not a coalition‘ will implode and send BC back to the ballot box.
What does the inevitable collapse of the ‘not a coalition‘ mean for BC voters – and for supporters of parties other than the NDP and the Greens?
It means that most savvy political players are already making plans to contest another, inevitable BC election. Sooner, rather than later.
Investors, both domestic and foreign, look for economic stability and growth in the BC Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a sign that BC is heading in the right direction and the uneasy ‘not a coalition‘ is alarming in its ability to derail BC’s economic progress.
Investors, as I define them, are not just the questionable International Business Activity (IBA) Program foreign corporations or the persistent foreign buyers who are speculating on real estate in the Lower Mainland, particularly in Vancouver and increasingly, in Victoria.
Investors, in my broad definition, include anyone ‘invested’ in BC and its success, now and in the future.
Investors, by my definition, include homeowners who do not want to see their equity erode, students who want good paying, full-time jobs after graduation (and ultimately a legitimate opportunity to become homeowners), primary industry workers who want to continue to see employment and growth in forestry, fishing, mining, petroleum-based energy extraction and emerging high-tech industries.
At the end of the day, I believe that most BC voters ultimately should see themselves as ‘investors’, investing in BC through support, or rejection, of political ideologies and initiatives.
There is a growing realization among astute individuals that the ‘state’ or the government is not a ‘job creator’ except for the bloating civil service – and that any claims by any government that it will create economic growth and prosperity is simply a political mantra not based in fact – patently false.
Government has the ability to ‘stand in the way‘ of economic growth, sustainability and viability for the present and the future – or government has the ability to ‘get out of the way’ and allow entrepreneurial forces and investors (all of us) to take our own initiatives and get to work, improving our own prospects and opportunities, without the counter-productive, over-legislated and economically suffocating over-control of government.
The track record and the focus of the NDP is to create bigger government involvement, to serve the ‘entitled’ who want government to do all the work for them, and to tax BC into a place of economic stagnation at best – and economic collapse at its very worst.
The Greens don’t have a track record but I am sure that the next few months will show the Greens true colours (a literary absurdity – for those who studied classical literature, oh, never mind) and Andrew Weaver will show, in fact be forced to show, whether he understands that he is a steward for the combined and collective wealth, sustainability and viability of BC – or whether he is an environmental dogmatic zealot who will assist the NDP in creating an economic vortex that will suck BC into recession or potentially a financial depression.
For those too young to remember (Millenials take note), financial recessions/depressions kill jobs, eliminate opportunities and stifle even social programs and hand-outs to the ‘entitled’. Simply because there is not enough money to go around. Thanks, in part, to governments that did not know enough to ‘get out of the way’ and allow investors (the vast majority of BC residents) to get on with the business of improving our lives, future and economic prospects – for the betterment of all. The socialist solution to to borrow to the maximum – and allow future generations to pay the bill. If there will be any ability remaining for future generations to pay a government debt load that is becoming increasingly unsustainable.
When the current ‘not a coalition‘ collapses, the evidence of economic decline will already be apparent – and savvy voters will be looking for fiscally conservative alternatives in order to revive a dying economy, before it is too late.
We will look at some of the fiscally conservative options available – but that is for the next segment in this two part essay.