"Where's the beef?" or "Where's the substance?"

One Man's Opinion
By Doug Collins
March 14, 2017 - 12:00pm

KAMLOOPS — In less than two months, British Columbians will go to the polls to elect a new government. Whether it will be the incumbent Liberals or one of the other two parties remains to be seen. But so far, based on what we’ve seen, I can’t see how anyone could see anything different than another Liberal government. There are some so-called experts who are calling for it to be a close election, and I understand some polls show that as well. But I can’t see it.

Current statistics show that B.C. has one of the leading economies in Canada. It has the lowest unemployment rate, and a new report out today by the B.C. Central 1 Credit Union calls for that to continue. At least one major union has voiced support for the Liberals, because it says that’s the party whose policies seem to be leading towards more jobs for their workers.

But most importantly in my view, the other parties aren’t really hitting the main issues, other than issuing general promises that have little substance. I went on the B.C. NDP page this morning, and many of the statements make promises but offer no specifics. And that’s not good enough when you’re combating the lowest unemployment rate in the country. The NDP page has headlines which suggest John Horgan will energize the B.C. tech sector with talent, capital and expanded markets. But if you dig down, you see very little on how that will be accomplished. Growing B.C.’s economy and creating more jobs are nice statements, but how exactly does the NDP propose to accomplish that?

I like the B.C. Green website much better. At least I can put my finger more easily on what the party would do if elected. Based on what I have seen so far, if I were to vote for a party that wasn’t Liberal, I could buy into many of the Green platforms more easily than the NDP’s. In fact, I think the Green Party, if they focus on their core platforms, have a chance to steal several seats in the province from both of the other parties. I don’t think that’s beyond the realm of possibility.

It really comes down to how well they sell their message. Both the Greens and NDP, in my mind, are spending too much time casting aspersions on the Liberals than promoting specifics of their own platforms. Spending too much time focusing on the issue of whether the Liberals allow too much third-party access to the premier and cabinet ministers through big fundraising events is trying to find an issue that really isn’t all that important. I know the RCMP is looking at the situation to see if there’s anything untoward, but I would much rather the opposition focus on some real issues that will determine where we are going economically than whether some group has a chance to have a one-on-one with a cabinet minister at a fundraiser. Let’s see some meat to the policies. If we don’t, it will be pretty hard to argue against all the positive economic news in the province right now. Best economy, lowest unemployment — these are hard things to beat. And for the Greens and NDP, two months isn’t a lot of time to overcome the Liberal juggernaut that features many strong returning MLAs and an economy that is still pretty hard to beat.