Dear Swing Voter from the 2013 Election Who Voted For The BC Liberals

christy-clark23

Dear Swing Voter from the 2013 Election who voted for the BC Liberals,

Hi there.  It’s me.  It’s actually yourself in the future.  I am you in April 2017.  Yes I look a bit older and I’ve put on a few extra pounds (and thanks for pointing that out BTW) but that’s not what we are going to be talking about here…I do remember it so well.  Just like it was yesterday.  I remember on May 14, 2013 you, my 2013 self, walking up to the voting booth in the 2013 Provincial General Election and carefully penciling in an “x” besides my local BC Liberal candidate (making very sure to not go past the line), being very happy about my choice, and then going home to watch the results on TV.   So why did I do it back in 2013 when all the polls said that I wouldn’t?   Well I thought that I would give the BC Liberals one more chance.  Christy seemed nice and I had heard her on the radio, and they seemed to be not that bad after all as everyone had told me that the alternative (the godless socialist hordes at the door) were so very, very much worse.   I believed that LNG was going to lead us all to a prosperous future and I had faith in the BC Liberals managing the economy and the budget as after all, their budgets were balanced and they were pledging to keep taxes low and I liked that.  Moreover I liked what was happening with the schools and Christy Clark’s pledge for an honest and open government.  And so like many of my 2013 neighbours I ended up being yet another 10 second BC Liberal/Socred voter.

Well it’s early 2017 now, and I need to let you know now that unfortunately, my 2013 self, you made a big, big mistake voting for the BC Liberals back in 2013.  Why do I say that you ask?  Oh, where to begin..?

Well, remember the trillion dollar LNG Bonanza that that nice lady from TV said was going to happen?

sparkeponiesforever

Well I’m here to tell you that by 2017 that not a single LNG project has a shovel in ground, drilling is the lowest it has been in 23 years, and the unemployment rate in the Northeast is one of the highest in the Province.  Even more stunning than that, the BC Liberals, who you my 2013 self thought were supposedly such good business people, in horrible market conditions keep double downing on LNG and throwing good money after bad!

Oh and remember the BC Liberals pledge for an “honest and open government”?  Well it turns out that they have been anything but.  There was a huge scandal within the Health Ministry resulting in one fellow actually taking his own life!  Then there was the Triple Delete scandal where Ministry Staff deliberately deleted e-mails so that they would not be available for scrutiny by Freedom of Information (FOI) requests.  Can you believe it?

And remember that you thought that taxes would stay low under the BC Liberals?

Well in actual fact marginal tax rates have remained generally low.  However incremental increases in various user fees, MSP premiums, insurance rates, hydro rates, etc. have just shifted the burden from overt taxation to hidden taxation in the form of increased user fees with the end result being the exactly same.  Far less money in your early 2017 pocket for your early 2017 family.

And remember how you thought that the BC Liberals were so good about balancing the budget and how important that was in our 2013 household too, that we should live within our means?

Well it turns out that they have only been creating fake balanced budgets by doing fire sales of assets like the land sales on Burke Mountain and by forcing BC Hydro and ICBC to siphon off “profits” from their books to balance the Provincial budgets, all the while overseeing a massive ballooning in debt (see below) which I, your early 2017 self, is now on the hook for! (Thank you very much for that. Thanks for nothing!).  And to top it off almost every project is way, way over budget (oh and not “on time and on budget” as Fassbender will eventually say) and the long-term debt will be getting worse!

And remember how the “Strong Economy” was so important to you?  Well it turns out that the early 2017 “Strong Economy” is actually in shambles and unsustainable despite what the early 2017 BC Liberals are saying.  Massive job losses in other areas are currently being masked by construction jobs in the Metro Vancouver and Victoria fuelled by an out of control speculative real estate market bubble which is pricing out of the market a whole generation of people and on top of that, that bubble is just about to burst (or so my 2021 self has told me).

masking-job-losses

masking

And remember all that apparent concern about the environment that the BC Liberals keep espousing?  Well it turns out that the “5 conditions” that the BC Liberals will eventually propose was all outright disingenuous pure political theatre and they never had any intention of standing in the way of any and all pipelines and then they had the audacity to make a huge fake commitment to reducing greenhouse gasses while still pushing LNG!  So much for climate leadership!  And we still have Grizzly Bears being trophy hunted in 2017 as the people running it are big donors to the BC Liberal Party.  And our most vulnerable are literally dying in the streets. Can you believe it?  And people in Shawnigan Lake are having to fight their own Provincial government over the safety of their drinking water!  Seriously.  I’m not making this up!  You just couldn’t.

fake-annoucement-done

And remember all that talk of respect for First Nations?  Well Christy Clark actually stood up at a funeral (no less) and said that she was going to push Site C past the point of return despite objections from First Nations! And Site C?  It turns out we don’t even need the power, that it may never pay for itself, and that we can do it way cheaper by diversifying our economy and focusing on run-of-river, wind, solar, and geothermal projects.

I look around now in early 2017, my 2013 self, and I see that 1 in 5 children in B.C. now lives in poverty and the government who I believed was doing the right thing with teachers back in 2013 it turns out were dead wrong (violated the Charter no less) and continued to be wrong for 14 years causing untold damage to the kids (BTW enjoy your time with the kids now as time flies and they don’t stay little for very long).

Anyway, I could go on and on but the point is, my 2013 self, that this is not what you voted for.  I, my early 2017 self won’t make the same mistake twice.  On May 9, 2017 I will not be another “10 second BC Liberal/Socred voter” like you were as I refuse to make the same mistake that you did again.  Fool me once as they say….Oh by the way, the Vancouver Canucks still haven’t won the Stanley Cup but you probably already guessed that.

Signed,

My 2017 Self

P.S. Oh and buy Apple and Tesla shares now! I mean it!

 

BC Liberal MLA Linda Reimer (Port Moody-Coquitlam) In Her Own Words

On April 20, 2017, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce held their all candidates debate at Inlet Theatre in Port Moody.  In attendance were Don Barthel (BC Greens), Rick Glumac (BCNDP), and Linda Reimer (BC Liberals).  For those interested in reviewing the entire debate, here is the link to the complete video.  I’ve taken the liberty of clipping the video in order to highlight the performance of the current incumbent BC Liberals MLA Linda Reimer.  I will let Linda in her own words relate her perspective on Health Care Privatization (see below),

and her views on Riverview, the Downtown Eastside, and the Fentanyl Crisis (see below).

These comments caused quite a stir locally, Provincially, and Nationally inspiring a number of media articles (see herehere, and here) and a statement from the BCNDP asking for a clarification of her comments.

and caused quite a reaction on social media (see below).

Moreover questions were also raised about the figures regarding health care that Ms. Reimer was bandying about.

Unfortunately, neither of the clips above or her overall performance during the all candidates debate go anywhere to dispelling the perception perpetuated by her actual campaign video and this portion of it specifically (see below) (whether rightly or wrongly acquired), that she is entitled, out of touch, and only representative of a very narrow segment of the population (as previously discussed in the post BC Liberal MLA Linda Reimer On Tolerating Those Less Fortunate).

Her own words say everything.  No further comment required.

Deja Vu All Over Again: The 2017 BC Liberal/2015 UK Conservative Campaign

When Jim Messina, the former campaign manager for Barrack Obama in 2012 and a former campaign strategist with David Cameron’s successful 2015 Conservative campaign in the UK, arrived as a guest for the BC Liberal Convention in November of 2016, you can’t help but get the feeling that he might have been somewhat awkwardly embarrassed by what was laid out before him.  What he would have seen was a Provincial campaign (in more than one sense of the word) that would have been awkwardly familiar to him in terms of the campaign materials, the whole “Team” concept, as well as familiar campaign slogans and materials.  Let me show you what I mean.

Campaign Materials

For those that may be unaware, take a look at these campaign materials.  Note the numerous similarities in terms of the fonts, the colours, the message, etc.

And what about those “Say Anything John” graphics from the BC Liberal Caucus, remember them?

Here’s the 2015 UK campaign version.  And does these remind you of anything?

On a sidenote, the “Say Anything” angle from the 2015 UK campaign could have possibly been one could argue the basis for the expensive and wildly unsuccessful “Say Anything John” campaign promoted by the shadowy group Prosperity BC with ties to former staffers of Stephen Harper. Remember that?

Below are a few more additional examples of similarities in terms of the digital campaign materials between the Team 2015 and TeamBC2017 campaigns.  Again note the similarities in the use of colours, fonts, etc.  Not only do they look like they could originate from the same campaign, they look like they could originate from the same digital influencer on the same day sitting at the same computer.

Or how about these two? One of the graphics is from the BC Liberal Caucus and the other from the Conservative Party in the UK.

The #TeamBC2017 Concept

A clearly ripped off borrowed concept is the whole contrived #TeamBC2017 concept.  The TeamBC2017 concept is quite clearly a near carbon copy of the “Team 2015” volunteer recruitment initiative in the UK that was originally set up by the UK Conservatives in 2013 in order to organize volunteers to specifically target swing ridings and in an attempt to lure young people to join a largely greying group of Conservative supporters.  In the UK, they used a reward system where the top volunteers earned a visit with the Prime Minister and included mass photographs with T-shirted clad supporters and socials timed around specific political events.  These supporters were sent around in buses in key seats to campaign for the party similar manner that TeamBC2017 parachutes volunteers into various ridings in which they clearly have very little actual local support.

Here are some images from the Team 2015 campaign in the UK contrasted with the TeamBC2017 campaign.  Again note all the similarities.

Here too, similar to the Team 2015 campaign, is the resorting to contests to meet the great leader.  Note the contest at the bottom.

Party Youth

As mentioned previously, the Team 2015 concept in the UK included having social events coincided around political milestones.  Fast forward to the TeamBC2017 campaign where young BC Liberals actually organized socials around budget day (I kid you not).   You would have to think that only the most fervent and ardent of the right wing youth supporters would have turned up for those barnburners.

Familiar Sloganeering and Platforms

Another similarity between the two UK Conservative campaign and the BC Liberal Campaign where similarities can be seen is in regards to the slogans used by the two campaigns and the two party campaign platform documents.  In the 2015 campaign, the UK Conservatives utilized this slogan:

with the Conservative Party Manifesto being entitled as follows:

Contrast that with the current 2017 BC Liberal Campaign introduced just last week where we have this as a campaign slogan

with this being the access point to the BC Liberal 2017 platform having a similar title and theme.  Again, note all the obvious similarities.  Seems familiar doesn’t it?

So taken as a whole what is this all indicative of you might ask?  It is of course symptomatic and reflective of a party and leader that has become stale and completely devoid of new ideas and that has resorted to stealing lock, stock, and barrel an entire electoral campaign of another Conservative party in the hopes of repeating their electoral success.  Can the entire strategy be traced back to Ex-Pat Ben James, part of them BC Government caucus?  I would likely say more than likely yes.  Whether it the stolen campaign is successful or not remains to be seen but clearly no marks should be given for originality should the BC Liberals win.