Opinion » Maxed Out

Is this really the best we can do?



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There's a part of me who thinks it would be really cool to elect Jane Sterk premier. It would be like telling the rest of the country and world, "We're British Columbians and we're crazy as hell." To suggest Ms. Sterk and her party aren't ready for prime time is to sing their praises. While I would love to live in her utopia, it is a fantasy island this province will never be able to afford.

As with the Conservative party, a vote for Ms. Sterk's Green party is, most likely, a gift to the Liberals at the expense of the NDP. Having said that, I know of at least one person who would never vote for the NDP who is contemplating a Green vote only because he loathes Ms. Christy Clark and can't, as a result, bring himself to vote for the local Liberal.

So unless you're really strategic, really naïve or really ideological, it is a two-horse race. The truly cynical, among whom I reluctantly count myself, might retort it is a horse's ass race, but eventually you have to dance with the horse's ass who brung ya.

So which one?

It's all very Wizard of Oz-ish. One has a heart but no brain. The other has, well, neither; but knows how to pull all the levers even if she lacks the smarts to stay behind the curtain.

Christy Clark is the devil we know. If we re-elect her, we know we're going to get more of what we've gotten the past two years. I don't know quite how to characterize what that is but whatever you want to call it, we'll get more of it. It won't be quite the same, given the number of high-profile rats who deserted the sinking ship HMS Liberal, but it'll be similar... with a bit more comic relief, I suspect.

A Liberal government with a fresh mandate will have the business community breathing a sigh of relief. They too can continue doing what they do, if not everything they want. The oft-touted Families can look forward to more of what they have, which is to say more of them slipping into poverty while Ms. Clark talks about doing whatever it is she's doing for "the kids." The provincial budget will continue to live in Fairyland where everything is balanced, even if it's not and bond rating agencies are our biggest supporters, even if they're not.

And on the environmental front...? Ms. Clark's stand on Northern Gateway — and I suspect on every other project that has potential unpleasant environmental consequences — is very reminiscent of the old joke that ends in, "We've already established what you are, Madam. Now, we're just haggling over the price."