Monday, May 3, 2010

Back to BC politics for a post.....

I love direct democracy and wish we had more referendums on issues.  I am very aware of the problems with referendums, getting a Yes to an issue is very hard to achieve and a campaign can reduce the debate on an issue to simplistic statements.   Even with the problems, I do believe there is an important role for referendums in our society.

I was happy when the people of BC voted to have way to allow citizens initiated referendums, but I was the way NDP brought in the act Initiative Act was done in such a way to make it virtually impossible to actually succeed. I am happy with the Recall Act as it stands, it is achievable to be able to get rid of MLAs that deserve to be removed, but not easy enough to be used for purely partisan political reasons.

I find myself cheering on the success of the Anti-HST campaign but at the same time wanting to scream that they want to remove one of the single best economic moves a provincial government has done in BC in decades. I can not sign the petition because it would be a lie.   I know that the HST will improve our economy and will relieve tax burdens from the poor and many small businesses.   It will also be a huge benefit to rural BC.

So I live in a world where my love of direct democracy is colliding with my desire for good economic policy for the province.   I want to see the petitioners succeed to prove that it can be done, but I am very certain that there will be a huge vote against the HST and BC will have to figure out a way to step out of it.  That would be a huge mistake.  If BC were to leave the HST once it is in use, the province most likely would go into a recession.  In a referendum I would campaign for the HST.  I am not actively opposing the petition because I can not in good conscience oppose anyone wanting a vote on anything.

Such is my life, these things happen to me.  As an example of another thing such as this, I am by faith a pacifist, but if we are to have an armed forces isn't Afghanistan the place to have the based?  I am an environmentalist that believes that other than regulation, there is no role for government in solving environmental issues.   Life is complex and there are no black and white absolutes, only the spaces between where we find the discussion and debate about the world around us.
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