Monday, April 13, 2009

The calm before the storm

The election starts tomorrow, yes there has been a lot going on already, but that wild and crazy campaign period starts tomorrow. Today I thought I would put down what the issues are that matter to me:

  • Aboriginal Title and Rights - I have worked for First Nations long enough so that this issue is a core of my interests in the election. On this issue alone I would be supporting the BC Liberals, though to be fair there is no way the NDP could have done what the Liberals have done with the aboriginal file and not been slayed in the media.
  • Environment - good management of the environment is a core value to myself. I have been on the green side of politics since I was 14 or 15. The issue is a very complex one but is normally debated with shrill voices of doom and gloom for the environment or the economy. I will be writing on this subject in detail later.
  • Electoral Reform - I have wanted STV in BC for about 25 years now, ever since I first found out how the Irish elect their Dail. I will post a lot more on this later, but for the moment all I will add is that STV is the electoral system that best reflects public will, provides the best local representation and makes strategic voting impossible.
  • Less Redtape - regulation of business is important, but the process of regulation has to be done in such a way as to not get in the way of people running their businesses. All regulations needed to be reviewed on a regular basis to see if their outcomes are meeting the intent when they were created.
  • Fiscal Prudence - I really dislike government spending more than it takes in. The impacts of government borrowing on the economy is bad on numerous levels. I am not happy the BC government is saying there is going to be deficit, I believe it will be worse than in the budget. I look at the NDP platform and the fiscal impact scares the bejesus out of me.
  • More Accountability of Government - there is good and there is bad in this area. Neither the NDP or BC Liberals are brilliant at this, though in my opinion the edge is with the Liberals, the Liberal MLAs are allowed to publically disagree with government whereas NDP MLAs are not allowed to disagree publically with the party. We do have some very good processes when it comes to lands and the environment, as an example, the BC Environmental Assessment process is model of a strong evidence based evaluation of projects.

You may ask where are health and education on the list? For me they are not an issue at this time.

From my interactions with the health system, we seem to have a good quality system that delivers what we need in the public. The big issue that needs to be addressed in health care is how we are looking after ourselves. The time is here for the health focus to be on personal responsibility. I know I need to lose weight and no amount of spending on hospitals is going to make me lose weight.

As to education - I have three kids in the school system and it is generally working well for the three boys that are very different. The results also speak volumes, BC has among the most well educated youth in the world coming out of high school. My biggest complaint about the school system is that there seems to be no system to grade teachers and hold the bad ones accountable.
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