Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Barry Rueger - Why I am voting for Jim Hansen in North Vancouver - Seymour

(next installment of why someone is voting for candidate, this time from Barry Rueger.  Send me yours and I will post it if it is positive, Barry is pushing more negative than I like, but I think he expresses his views on the election well and are worth reading)

I moved back to BC in 2007 after a couple of decades in Ontario and the US - I left BC after Bill Vanderzalm became Premier. This year marks the first time that I'm really informed enough to discuss how I'll vote, and why: for Jim Hansen, the NDP Candidate in our riding of North Vancouver-Seymour.

Jim is pretty well respected in this riding, and the incumbent Liberal candidate has been pretty much ineffectual. That's common on the North Shore it seems - most of the MLAs and MPs seem to be the sort who are along for the ride, and spend their time doing photo-ops, parroting press releases, and little else.  I'm hoping that Jim will actually work for the Constituency instead of just being a cheerleader for the party leader.

And of course, I'm a long time NDP supporter, sometime campaign worker, and sometime contributor.  I wouldn't have voted for the BC Liberals in any case.

But, and it's a big but, my vote for Jim winds up being less than enthusiastic.

I'll only vote for a candidate who's party has a likelihood of forming the government.  That's how a Parliamentary democracy works: whoever wins the most seats has the power. 

Yes, I think that voting Green, or Communist, or Independent is a waste of a vote unless you see it as a statement of protest.  Over the years I've become pretty hard-nosed about this: provincially it is the NDP that can unseat the Liberal government, and voting for anyone else just splits the vote and increases the probability of another Campbell/Clark regime.  Federally I'll vote Liberal for the same reason - they can form a government and force out the Conservatives - the NDP can't do that.

My real problem is that I'm really very unhappy with what the NDP has become in BC.  I don't like all of the time spent courting Chambers of Commerce and the Boards of Trade. I don't like an NDP that wants to refuse Union donations.  I don't like it that two-thirds of what I'm hearing from the NDP doesn't sound all that much different from what I would hear from the Liberal camp.

I am terribly frustrated that I've yet to hear a strong statement from the NDP that they will restore all of the worker rights and protections that have been lost over the last couple of decades; that they'll step in and actively support doctors and nurses and hospitals instead of looking for ways to spend less despite the damage it does; that they'll restore the education system to something run by educators instead of political hacks; that they'll actually spend serious money on poverty, and housing, and BC Ferries; that they'll stop or reverse the privatization of essential government services.

The kind of things that the NDP would have done thirty years ago.

So I'll support Jim Hansen, and even think he'll do a pretty good job in government, but, as I think is the case for many people, it won't be wholehearted support.

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