The more I hear about the Liberal plans, the more I think British Columbians are going to get a lot more then they bargained for over the next four years.
When I hear them talk about reducing the amount of park land, re-installing grizzly bear trophy hunting, increasing the already unsustainable rate of logging by a further 30 per cent, weakening the Forest Practices Code, repealing the fair wage act, removing municipal land from the agricultural land reserve, privatizing health care, refusing to negotiate First Nation authority over land, and contemplating lifting the moratorium on off-shore oil drilling, I simply see another government skewing their decisions in favour of its economically-vested interests. This is old style politics. They will not be solving issues. They will simply be passing them on for future generations to deal with. This is not the party of the people. This is the party of big business. Look at how many hundreds of thousands of dollars MacMillan Bloedel, Cominco, Interfor and other large corporations are investing in getting the Liberals elected.
If you are disillusioned with the current NDP government, I cant blame you. The only real voice for change is the Green Party. Green parties are active in 80 countries, hold seats in 29 national parliaments, and are part of coalition governments in Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Finland, Slovenia and Mexico. It can happen here.
A top priority for the Greens is to improve government. Green Party MLAs will work for prudent and realistic government budgets, collaborative decision-making instead of excessive power in the Cabinet and Premier's office, shifting money now wasted on top-heavy administration to more hands-on delivery of government services, and electoral reform so that every vote counts. Greens also believe that just and fair settlement of the aboriginal land question will benefit everyone in B.C.
The Greens also believe in stimulating a robust, green economy. Green Party MLAs will work in their constituencies and in the Legislature towards diversifying our economy, adding value to our resources, strengthening the role of small business and encouraging investment in emerging industries such as eco-forestry, alternative energy, eco-tourism, organic agriculture, and advanced technologies. Greens support tax shifting which rewards innovative businesses adopting sustainable practices, and extracts more tax dollars from those that pollute and degrade our environment to encourage them to change.
Green issues are quality of life issues. A new model for health care, for investing in our children's education, for affordable housing, for progressive transportation solutions, and for fair treatment of workers are all part of the Green platform. And restoring and protecting the environment is not just an add-on for the Green Party it is the central theme because a healthy environment means healthier people and a healthier economy.
By all accounts, the Liberals will form a majority government on May 16. What we will need is a strong voice to hold them accountable. The Liberals will need a strong opposition with honesty and integrity. It's time to vote for hope and feel good about your vote. Vote Green my friends.
West Vancouver/Garibaldi Green Party Constituency volunteer,