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NEWS RELEASE · 2nd March 2010
BC NDP
No post-Olympic vision for future growth and job creation, says NDP Leader

The latest B.C. Liberal budget has failed to provide a long-term strategy for economic growth as British Columbia enters a period of tentative and fragile recovery, New Democrat Leader Carole James said today.

“Today’s budget shows the B.C. Liberals have no post-Olympic strategy to create jobs and opportunities for British Columbians. Instead, they delivered a budget that cuts vital public services and brings in the HST.”

James said the 2010 budget fails to invest in the fundamentals B.C. needs to build a strong, vibrant and sustainable future.

“I had hoped to see a budget with smart investments to secure our recovery and create jobs. But we saw no additional investments in innovation, research and development, or post-secondary education.

“The budget also failed to address the growing social inequality we’ve seen under the B.C. Liberals. There was nothing in this budget to address child poverty, the growing income gap, or lack of affordable housing.”

Finance critic Bruce Ralston said the latest B.C. Liberal attempt to sell the HST to an unconvinced public is worthy of a gold medal.

“Their justifications for the HST get more frantic by the day. Now they’re saying they’re bringing in the HST to fund health care – that’s pure distortion to try and cover up their budget deception,” said Ralston.

“The 2010 budget has its roots in the provincial election campaign, when the B.C. Liberals misled the public about the state of the province’s finances. Now they’re trying to use the HST and this latest round of cuts to try and cover it up. But British Columbians won’t be fooled.”

“New Democrats are holding the B.C. Liberals to account for their broken promises. And we’re proposing alternatives to build a strong, modern and sustainable economy that promotes a high standard of living, a healthy environment and quality social programs for all British Columbians,” said James.
Opposition and Alternatives
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 3rd March 2010
It the duty of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition to oppose what the government tries to do. That is the only way the issues get careful scrutiny. You may not like it but our system is modeled after the British System and has been since confederation. The Official Opposition's job is to oppose. You don't offer alternatives because then the focus is on the alternatives not on the government and the job it is doing or not doing.

Offering alternatives is only required at election time and even then we all know that people don't want to listen to alternatives, that is why attack ads work even though they offend a good many voters.

There is another thing most people forget. All through the 90's when the liberals were in opposition oppose is all they ever did. I must have listened to hundreds of their speeches. We never heard anyone ask them for or insist on alternatives. People then were content to let the opposition do its job; to oppose everything. I never heard anyone call them negative.

Press Releases are notoriously boring. They have carefully gone through the political spin cycle and are devoid of any substance. Substance would make them longer than the average attention span. Objective they are not. But let's assume for a moment that you insist on alternatives. The above release states an alternative: (quote) "I had hoped to see a budget with smart investments to secure our recovery and create jobs. But we saw no additional investments in innovation, research and development, or post-secondary education.

“The budget also failed to address the growing social inequality we’ve seen under the B.C. Liberals. There was nothing in this budget to address child poverty, the growing income gap, or lack of affordable housing.” (end of quote).

There is your alternative. Any more and our eyes would glaze over. It is after all a Press Release.

Don't get me wrong, I am not here to plead the NDP's case. In fact they really need to sharpen their political knives or grow some fangs or something. And, if I hear "holding the government to account" "or "holding their feet to the fire" one more time I may become ill. You want an example of a no holes barred commentary go to the Tyee website and read Will McMartin's comment on the budget, "In Tight Times, Campbell Gov't Chooses to Help Big Banks".

Until the political system changes and it won't change with spoiled ballots,not voting, voting green or changing the electoral system, this is the best we got. It might change if you did away with political parties. Unfortunately that carries with it a whole range of other problems such as who could afford to run and how would you ensure they remained independent.

The U.S. has a system where whether you are a Republican or Democrat you don't always vote with your Party. You rely on wealthy corporations for contributions and we know how that turns out.
Try this one.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 3rd March 2010
There is a very good analysis on the Tyee and written by columnist Will McMartin. You can find it here.

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2010/03/03/TightTimes/

There is no perfect option in politics. Unless you form your own party and make yourself leader you will always have to accept an option which is the best for you but never perfect.
Wishful thinking
Comment by Shawn Ksisiiaks on 3rd March 2010
Up until last election I voted NDP. I did vote, mind you, but drew faces in the circles as my own protest against what politics has become.

A real leader points out the positives and negatives of every situation and strategized how to improve upon the negatives by working together. There are both in this budget. I find it interesting how the first loser of an election is called the opposition party. Its like the system is designed for negativity and division. This is an unfortunate and dysfunctional outcome of BC politics and I can’t wait or a real, unbiased leader to emerge.