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?
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).
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.
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.
My 2017 Self
P.S. Oh and buy Apple and Tesla shares now! I mean it!