Friday, March 20, 2009

Trying to figure out some NDP positions

I was looking at the NDP website and trying to understand where they stand on a number of issues that are important to me, but I can find almost nothing substantive for policy on the website. I am impressed with the detail of the Green Party platform, thouhg I have major problems with the actual document, more on that later.

The NDP has been very quiet on aboriginal title and rights - I can find nothing to say if they support aboriginal title or not. The NDP has been acting as if this is not an issue at all in BC.

The environment matters a lot to me, but I do not see anything indicating the NDP has any sort of policy for any environmental issues. They claim the forests are 'ruined' but I see no substantive difference in policy from the NDP era with respect to forest management.

I can not any sort of plan from the NDP for climate change other than saying they would undo the carbon tax and take on big polluters. I do not even know who they mean as the big polluters since cars, planes and meat are the main greenhouse gas sources in BC. They have been close to silent on the issue.

I have been big on the green economy for much longer than it has been popular, but I can find nothing on the NDP site telling me where they are at with it. The biggest green economic boom we have is production for green power and the NDP has said they would put a hold on more run of the river hydro projects. Billions of dollars of investment looking to produce the greenest power going and the NDP seems to want to send them away.

Public transit, I am not even sure the NDP supports the expansion of transit that has been announced for BC. Government spending is higher than in the past, I assume the NDP thinks it is not really enough, but I have no idea of what they think should be done. I chose to live where I do because I know it is good for transit access.

I am better informed than most people about politics in BC and I am pretty good at finding stuff online, but I am not finding much for me to get a hold of.

The NDP and the BCTF are constantly saying the government is underfunding education, but what is the model the NDP suggests? The government has been increasing spending faster than the rate of inflation each and every year. We have OECD results showing that are 15 year old youth are among the best educated in the world. What is not being done and how much should be spent?

I know that the BC Liberals do not have a comprehensive platform on their website either, but I have their record to go by and there is some sense of where they will go with things on the website. Normally the 'government in waiting' in a parliamentary system develops a detailed plan of action as a platform and the government runs on their record.

I am not trying to be provocative here, I honestly am trying to figure out where the NDP stands on issues and what an NDP government would like. With Mike Harcourt I had a good idea of what to expect from his government because of his time as mayor of Vancouver. With Carole James I am in the dark as to what to expect from an NDP government.

The NDP seems to be hoping that people hate Campbell and the Liberals enough to let the NDP win, that is all I can see as a strategy at the moment. The NDP is not giving the public any good reason to vote for the NDP.

I never vote against a party, I always vote for the person and party I like the most out of the options I have. Baring something dramatic happening such as the Liberals nominating someone really useless, I will end up voting for the Liberals.

If I had a sense that my MLA Rob Fleming had a passion for a postive vision of governance, I would consider voting for him. Over four years it feels like he has been tinkering on small issues or saying lines that the Canadian Federation of Students have been saying for 25 years. I am not sure why he is an MLA. I know why Corky Evans was an MLA.

Let the partisan left of centre rants begin on the comments.


Anonymous said...

Bernard said...

Thanks for the link - I hope it is what I am looking for

Anonymous said...

Jesse McClinton is the only declared candidate seeking the nomination. You can find out information for him on his facebook page. I believe the CSM is sometime next week.

I know the guy personally and I think it's a real shame that Swan Lake will continue to elect Rob. I can't think of one substantive thing he has done for the riding - he appears to be running just for the sake of running.

Jesse is very similar to Rob in that he is young and could possible bring some much needed energy to the campaign and the riding. I see him getting more votes than Sheila Orr. He is realistic about his chances which is great breathe of fresh air - some candidates running believe they can be the giant killers.

Bill Vander Zalm said...

Good call Quimby, here's an NDP policy from that document:

Putting a price on emissions has
been proven to change behaviour
and encourage alternatives that
reduce emissions.
Carole James and the New Democrat
Opposition support emission pricing
and believe the best approach is
an integrated one that includes a
carbon tax.


That sounds familiar, I can't remember where i've seen a carbon tax before though. Anyone ever heard of one of those?

Anonymous said...

If Bob is going to refer to the NDP framework, he should at least use the real quote. Here is what it actually says:
“Putting a price on emissions has been proven to change behaviour and encourage alternatives that reduce emissions.

“Carole James and the New Democrat Opposition support emission pricing and believe the best approach is an integrated one that includes a
carbon tax at source, focuses on big polluters, and ensures record oil and gas profits are used to support reductions in emissions. To be truly fair and effective, we must crack down on big polluters now, not at some unspecified time in the future.
“There are many ways of pricing greenhouse gas emissions, from various types of carbon taxes to “cap-and-trade” plans to combinations of the two. Some of these models have worked better than others in meeting the overall objective of reducing emissions.”

Bill Vander Zalm said...

What's the difference for consumers between a (Liberal) carbon tax and a (NDP) carbon tax at source? Will the NDP version affect gas prices? If so how much? Also what's the difference between the NDP's Cap & trade and the BC Liberals Cap & Trade already being implemented with the Western Climate Initiative?

Finally, why does a noble prize winner say that a consumption tax is better for reducing emissions than a cap & trade system?

Of course no one has answers to any of these questions. Instead they'll fire off some rhetoric and blame right-wingers, or ignore it.