The people or the labour movement's choice?

Today, the provincial New Democrats put out a news release touting the fact "financial reports released by Elections BC show the New Democrats are the 'people's choice' when it comes to making political donations." The reason: because "of the $2.5 million dollars raised by the party in the first ten months of 2004, more than $2.0 million dollars came from individuals." But what the release fails to mention is that union donations, on a percentage basis, are up significantly compared with their last annual report. In 2003, just 4.3 percent of the party's contributions came from the labour movement. But, now that we're getting closer to an election, that number has jumped to 14.4 percent in the first ten months of 2004.

47 Comments

In the election year, it'll be interesting to see if the Liberals can possibly go any higher than their 67% figure of percentage of donations from corporations over the last seven years.

Too true. Union donations have zoomed from one in 25 dollars to 1 in 7 dollars. Whew. If their proportion of all monies given to the NDP could just quadruple again, unions would be paying as much to name the NDP tune as corporations pay to see Gordo dance.

You know, this is why the NDP should never run our province....they're always looking out for union fat cat best interests, and not those of the people.

If you derive that conclusion from 14.4% MP - do you really believe the alternative serves 'the people'?

I don't know why the unions don't diversify their holdings and invest in the Liberals as well as in the NDP.

Considering that 86%of the NDP's donations have come from individuals and another 14% have come from Unions,what exactly do you expect.The NDP has its roots in the labour movement and has done a much better job at actually representing the ideals and concerns of ordinary working families.What exactly is so insidious.Canwest Global is the second largest contributor to the BC Liberals and pretty much monopolizes editorial and television content in this province,yet it is completely acceptable for out of province corporations to make donations.Which is fine, a party has to get money where it can.So why shouldn't unions get behind a party that reflects there values and stands up for there interests,the fact that there are so many unions in BC I am actually surprised the number isn't higher.Personally I think the Liberals should pay attention because it is precisely the individuals who are not in unions that are finding common ground with the NDP and will inevitably put them over the top.So instead of attacking the rights of BC workers to seek representation in Unions and the political process perhaps the corporate power structure can find meaningful ways to reach out to ordinary individuals and attempt to understand the increasing vulnerability the average British Columbian is feeling right now.
I think that those numbers are absolutely fantastic and will continue to support the NDP not despite but because it genuinely cares and represents the working families of this Province,something the Liberals will not be able to simply buy four months before an election

Fine let's demand that all corporate and union donations be banned.The NDP will have no problem giving up there 14% of total union donations, are the liberals willing to give up there 74% of corporate donations.Perhaps then the liberals would be forced to listen and respect the average British Columbian istead of pandering to their corporate masters.I'm sorry to say Sean that these numbers are really not that bad for the NDP,especially considering they are a Labour Party.

Well, Sean, it really must be a slow news day for you to be putting out this kind of thing, which is pretty much a Vaughn Smyth-Mike Palmer kind of spin piece. First we had the Liberals' fallen appointee Vinning being observed taking notes [GASP!]. Now we have the startling fact that labour now makes up 14% of the NDP's finances, compared to less than 5% in 2003. It's still a pretty small amount, especially when compared to the fact that two thirds to three quarters of BC Liberal funds come from business sources.

I would be very happy to see BC's election act follow the federal example and ban all business and labour contributions. But while you're at it, take a hint from Duff Connacher and Democracy Watch, and make sure you also ban private funds for MLAs. According to Democracy Watch, secret donations can be made for the personal use of an MP, provided no action or favour is involved (which would be bribery) and provided the money is not used for election expenses. IOWs, as long as it's used for personal comsumption, a new sports car, a nice boat, sending one's kid to a priced private school, it's perfectly legal. And guess what, ... none of the national parties is in any hurry to close this loophole. Now that's news, Sean!

Another thing that would be news is the full story around the fact that the NDP and its riding associations are in a state of real tension over the division of funds, the so-called "rebates" that the local associations are supposed to get, but haven't actually been receiving. That too would be serious news.

The NDP must be patting themselves on their backs for how effectively they have deceived people over this union donation issue.

The plan that the NDP and the unions - more accurately the public sector unions - have hatched is this:

Why donate money directly to the party when we can collectively specnd $10 million+ on so-called "third party" advertising and organizing activity. This way we get to be the bad cop and supposedly lily-white Carol James gets to be the good cop and then gloatingly point to donation percentages and claim they are not tied to big labour.

Nice try. The NDP knows it can trust the public sector unions to spend money "independently", but say exactly what the NDP wants them to say.

So my take on this is very different. I say hats off to the BC Liberals for not trying hide the donations they are receiving or disengeniously trying to distance themselves frommoney which is obviously being spent for their benefit.

The people's party...that's a good one. The NDP may have 14% DIRECT donations from unions, but that doesn't account for the huge $$$ that big unions spend on anti-gov't advertising. It also doesn't include the union members that the BC Fed and unions PAY to work on NDP campaigns. Sure it has to be claimed as an election expense, but it doesn't get counted as a donation, which is exactly what it is.

The NDP has way more union $$$ donations than 14%, it is just creatively concealed. And there's nothing wrong with that - it's part of the game.

But call it for what it is and don't pretend the NDP is all about people. It's about big labour, and big unions are basically just corporations that sell memberships under the guise of looking out for people.

Anyone want to hazard a guess what the BC Liberals corporate donation total would add up to if you included in-kind donations in the form of free advertising... er, I mean... informative programing from CanWest Global and CKNW?

Well John English, it's certainly your "take" to make, isn't it! (I hate silly buzz words!). And you can have it!

Like Mike Palmer and Vaughn Smyth, you deliberately fail to mention the huge budget the BC Govt spent on advertising the upturn in the economy, and the companion program by the BC Business Council. How much did all that cost? Who paid for it? Did the money I spent on my Telus phone bill, or a lunch at Earls, end up paying for this propaganda? And now that Premier Campbell has so graciously decided to turn off the Gov't advertising effort, after spending an enormous amount, the CanWest punditi are saying what a noble, gentlemanly, sportsmanlike thing he's doing. No mention of the tremendous spending just undertaken, or of the closely matched and carefully dovetailed BC Business campaign that will keep the ball rolling in the minds of a public long conditioned to being brainwashed by 30 second blipverts, ... or so they hope.

The economic progress itself has been real, up to a point. And as you well know, John, it results entirely from national and international policies of low interest rates and the tremendous stimulation they have provided to housing construction. Do you suppose there's any chance that the Business Council will amend their ads to show Jimmy Pattison saying, "Thanks to David Dodge's low interest rates, ... son, ... you're hired! Now start working your ass off,... cause come month end, ... it's gonna get just like Survivor around this dealership!!!" Somehow, I don't think so.

Budd:

Horseshit! The NDP were in power during the largest and most sustained economic expansion on the 20th century - during the Clinton years in the White House. That economis expansion largely passed up by because of lousy economic policies from the NDP.

So what if interest rates are low or if commodity prices are high. THAT IS THE SAME EVERYWHERE. The reason that people CHOOSE to invest in BC and not other places around the world is because the business climate has improved significantly.

No one is forced to invest mining dollars, or forestry dollars, oil and gas dollars or any other kind of dollars in BC. They can invest anywhere and that is the fundamental point that the NDP STILL DONT GET. When Carol James says that low interest rates or high commodity prices are the sole reason fro economic recovery in BC she is making an idiot of herself.

As for government advertising, yes the BC Liberals have done it and so have every other government in BC history. By the way, they have spent less than half of what the NDP used to spend annually.

At least you have a choice where you spend your dollars. Where you eat, where you shop. Union members are forced to donate their dues to anti-government advertising campaign no matter what their political views.

And maybe, jusy maybe there is a reason why the business community so universally reviles the NDP party and donates millions to keep it out of power. Maybe is you updated your 18th century views of how an economy works that wouldn't be the case.

Wow John your foaming at the mouth.Down boy!
What I find so fantastic about yours and pointdexters comments are that they are getting increasingly desperate.What is kind of sad though is that your rants are not going to have much effect on the average Public Eye visitor because on average they are all ready pretty politically astute and will be making up there own minds come May 17th.So the more you attempt to bully people with your myopic and self serving views the more you help reinforce the negative stereotypes that are so ingrained towards the Liberal/Conservative /Social Credit govt., so treacherouly selling out our province.

What is most interesting about this whole “we are not in the big labor unions back pocket” NDP charade is how the lefties constantly whine in denial and at the same time accuse “The Gordon Campbell Liberals” of catering to business. Campbell and supporters openly admit that the economy and business interests are indeed part of the platform. When the president of Bell Canada announced that it was because of BC Liberal policies and Campbell that his company was expanding into BC and investing $ 1 Billion dollars in the process – Did Campbell stand up and try and try to deny that he had openly supported business? Campbell never denies supporting business. Business rarely denies supporting Campbell. For some odd reason the NDP plays this “we support everyday people” game, that is until a strike comes along, always about greed and money, then REAL everyday people get screwed. Every time. Personally I have no problem with a political party that represents organized labor, I won’t support that party, but I can understand the need for it. I have no time for a party that represents organized labor but tries to hide behind REAL everyday people only to further it’s own agenda. Of course, we all know there is no limit to how low the NDP will go. Therein lies the problem with Carole James and the NDP.

"As for government advertising, yes the BC Liberals have done it and so have every other government in BC history."

It's a total bogus argument to claim that it's okay to use tax dollars for political advertising just because previous parties have done it. I didn't like it when the NDP did it and I don't like it now. What makes Liberal advertising so much more galling is how sanctimonious they were about it while in opposition.

"By the way, they have spent less than half of what the NDP used to spend annually."

Evidence? I ask because my understanding is that the Liberals haven't released how much tax dollars have been spent on advertising. Are you privy to some insider info, or just guessing?

Phil:

Oh, I'm normally very calm. I just get a bit perturbed at people who think if they tell a lie over and over again that I'm supposed to believe it.

By the way, can you actually refute anything I specifically said? You certainly didn't in your response.

N:

You said:

"I didn't like it when the NDP did it and I don't like it now. What makes Liberal advertising so much more galling is how sanctimonious they were about it while in opposition."

I agree with you that the BC Liberals were overly santimonious about this and many other topics in opposition. Let that be a warning the New Democrats.

As for evidence about the level of government spedning on government advertising, I don't have the figures at my fingertips but they were widely reported at the time the provincial ads were pulled.

down south in some ,but not all states,[ yes blue and red ones], a new member signing a union card has the choice of whether his or her dues can be used for political donations,,
as a past,yet still honorable union member i resented the fact that my dues went towards politics i did not agree with. but i was powerless.
do large corps in b.c. force there rank an file to support the liberals?

with the economy so strong, is there any chance the hard working people of b.c. would give the B.C. FED another chance in power,,,idoubt it.

my condolences,,, nic

Well John , since the fibs have not actually disclosed all of their advertising budget, I can say that you are talking through your hat. And as far as lies being repeated over and over again look at the lies about the booming economy and job stats.The fact is the Fibs managed to understimulate an economy by their cuts and slash tactics.The GDP is behind the GDP of the NDP years.As for Campbell working for business(giving away B.C. to corporate business) will mean that the actual cost will come years later when in places such as Alberta the environmental devastation caused by unfettered capitalsim will be seen. For example the devastation of the northern forests, the pollution of the water table by the oil and gas industry, will be a legacy for the future generations.Here in B.C. the mining industry is savouring the delectable treats this government will hand them at our expense if they are elected again.Of course they support the Fibs, who will not release their secret caucus report on mining which probabaly contains most everything the mining industry wants.The fibs are too ashamed to show you the citizen what they are really about.Unions support working people, care about working people and that is why they support the NDP.Balance in a society is a good thing, so read up on why we have unions boys.It may shock you to know what corporate interests can do to working people.

I find this argument about big union backing the NDP getting a bit long in the tooth. I was in a couple of unions, both were federal. Went to lots of union meetings, and I went to federation of Labour conventions, and belonged to the local labour council. Our two union constitutions said that no union funds could be spent to support any political party. I never saw either of ours going outside the constitution of the unions.

If a union member wishes to support a party of her/ his choice they simply do so, just like everyone else can do.

Unions do encourage their members to educate themselves on the big issues and just who is shafting them. In this province it's pretty clear who has been shafting the average worker, low paid families, single parents, seniors and pensioners. The party of Gordo.

Political donations are a good tax deduction, and of course many union citizens, just as many other citizens support the NDP because the Liberals have screwed them into the ground.

If some unions democratically decide to support a party, well the members get to vote on such decisions. But as I said , my two declined to support any one with union finds.

I think SB has provided a textbook example of why the BC Fed is engaging in another “re-programming” campaign – clearly it works very well for them, and in turn the NDP. Suddenly SB claims to have an "interest" in mining industry reports. Perhaps SB might want to start back in 1999 – after those “caring about working people” NDP fools had placed thousands of REAL everyday working people out of work thanks to their extreme industry taxation agenda that completely destroyed the mining industry in British Columbia, your “caring” NDP government also engaged the services of a PRIVATE consultant to figure out how badly they had screwed up the mining industry and how to fix things. Guess what? The NDP never did make this report public. Somewhere, someone must have a copy that escaped the shredder. Perhaps it will rear its enlightening head sometime prior to May.

“Unions do encourage their members to educate themselves on the big issues and just who is shafting them” Interesting comment DL, but here is reality. The BCTF went 10 years under the NDP and got squat for a wage increase. BCTF members got more money under the last four years of Liberals than they did under 10 years of NDP. That is a fact. Likewise if you look at the average income of a teacher, this particular income bracket in particular benefited significantly from the tax cuts. And it’s not like teachers had to pay their fair share of the MSP increases like many people in the real world do – part of those “benefits” that school boards have to pay for at the expense of our kids education. Despite ALL of these so-called “shafts” for teachers, they still spend $5 Million of their Union dues to once again support the NDP and campaign against the Liberals. I subscribe to the old saying in life “don’t bite the hand that feeds you” principally because of the BCTF’s partisan participation in this campaign, I will make certain my kids go to an independent school where the classroom is free of politics. The real shitty part about the BCTF? They tell you about closed down schools and fewer teachers but they don’t tell you about fewer kids in the system. Guess where all of those kids are going ? The BCTF "leadership" has been very, very short sighted in their current direction. Enough said.

You know, the whole issue here is not that big labour supports NDP, or big business supports the Libs. It's that big labour supports NDP, and the NDP consistently tries to hide behind "the people". Sure, Jim Sincalir declares at the BC Fed convention that "you bet we're big labour", but he sort of leaves out that big labour is all about unions. Unions - not people - unions. The unions are there to gain membership, collect dues, pay the executive, and stamp their feet when their members don't get 4 1/2 weeks vacation after 1 year (HEU).

And the funny thing is, the HEU, or BCGEU or any other public sector union, seems to have this idea that because the money comes from gov't, it really doesn't matter.

Sure the Libs are supported by big business, but they don't try to hide behind "the people" in those businesses. It is what it is. Business drives this economy, and don't think for a minute that Jim Sinclair and the BC Fed will show us a strong economy without it.

And sb, pardon my french, but you can take your anti-mining and anti-forestry shite and shove it, because if it weren't for natural resources in this province you wouldn't have the hospitals or social programs we have to cover your ingrateful ass, whether NDP or Liberals.

Don't ever forget we have this great province because of forestry and mining. Your beloved NDP eradicated mining during their term, and at a time when the forest industry really needed it, the NDP gov't showed it what pain was really all about.

The Liberals are not perfect, but they have made the right decisions for the good of this province, and not the popular ones.

oh by the way Budd Campbell, problem solved - I suggest you cancel your phone, sell your car & computer, and go back to banging rocks together and eating the squirels in Stanley Park.

"And sb, pardon my french, but you can take your anti-mining and anti-forestry shite and shove it, because if it weren't for natural resources in this province you wouldn't have the hospitals or social programs we have to cover your ingrateful ass, whether NDP or Liberals."

Well, pointdexter, feel better now? Got it all out there?

Funny appreciation you have for Liberals and their corporate cronies abusing our natural resources. Do you really think BC is better off now? I guess we can use some of the funds for the miners' and forestry workers' social programs and hospitals as soon as the work is fulfilled (read: forest gone, environment destroyed, lungs kaput). Oh, wait, there is not THAT much money left for these programs! Any idea where it went?

Indeed: "hats off to the BC Liberals for not trying hide the donations they are receiving or disengeniously trying to distance themselves frommoney which is obviously being spent for their benefit."

Liberals and corporations first, and then there is the rest of us.

Funny, I remember the cause of unions being to better the wages and working conditions of working people. Seems poindexter and others feels that unions are just corporations that sell memberships under "the guise of looking out for people". Well, I guess we are entitled to our opinions, but history would seem to indicate otherwise. I don`t think I`d like to live in Gordon Campbell`s BC without one, and he hasn`t only been hard on union people, the non union bunch took a pretty good hit with the removal of the fair wage act. I would be just as happy to see the removal of donations from unions and corporations, as the only ones that vote are people. It is , however, quite clear to many that the Campbell Liberals are financed by and large by the big corporations, many which are not based in BC, or Canada for that matter.To sum it up, good wages mean buying power, which is quite necessary in a consumer society, and quite often union wages are better than non-union wages.

Nice to touch a sore point with fiberal backers.Where is the caucus report on mining that they will not disclose and do not want you to see until after the election? By the way major job losses have been under the fibs.Wages have gone down. The proportion of classroom sizes and school closures is out of proportion to dwindling enrollement.By the way there has always ben a formula to deal with this issue of declining enrollmentMajor program cuts to school funding, school closures , increased class sizes, cuts to services for children with learning disablities is not the way to deal with this.As well is it not interesting that tweedly dee(Larsen) and tweedly dumb(pointdexter) state that the BCTF did not have a major wage increase under the NDP but did under the fibs.Does that not refute your arguments about the relationship of big labour and the NDP going hand in hand. I know it is a little more complicated than that but to follow your logic, well...By the way, tweedly dumb, having a sustainable economy is possible and preferrable.You may want us to go the way of Haiti but most of us are not fooled by the money grubbers who enjoy the uneven playing field supported by the fibs which will quickly lead us to the Albertan solution, namely letting corporations do as they like at our expense.Yes the same corporations who could care less if they lay off thousands of workers to enhance their own bottom line.The corporations who despise environmental controls as constraints to cut corners and who loathe their civic responsibility.By the way I am not anti forestry or anti mining. However I am against corporations who are not responsible citizens which many of the forestry companies have been.Just ask the fishing industry.
Whether you like it or not labour supports working people, and many of the rights you may enjoy have been because of the union movement.Many of those are disappearing, as witnessed by the fiberals employment standards act.

Nice work SB, you covered almost every point in the BC Fed "re-programming" quide. I do have to dock you five points as your forgot to use the term "mean-spirited cuts" at least three times.

as for parkhurst,,, well you sound like a pissed off HEU member, you had to no the bubble would burst sooner than later,, any ways,,,
i don,t need a union to tell me how to do my job,, if i fail to do it, well, i,m out of a job, as i,ve said before no gov,t ties my shoes in the morning,,.kumbia just doesn,t cut it.

i,m willing to support the marginalized people here in b.c. that NEED IT,, not the ones that want or expect a handout,
some people are more successful than others,, that,s life,, and life,s what uuuu make it.

so don,t get mad and enjoy the fruits of a strong, prosperous economy, you earned it.
cheers nic.

Nothing is wrong with telling the truth my friend and mean spirited cuts fills the bill.Your inference that working people do not think for themselves is, well obnoxious and arrogant. The other thing Kevin is people are living the reality of the Liberal regime and no amount of denying this on your part will change their lived reality.
I would like to say however that my name calling in the previous entry is not okay no matter what your opinion is and I do apologise for that.

heh sb, welcome to the web site where socialist are softened up,the big picture,,,

carole james, jim sinclair, need not apply.

nic.

Nic- I`m definitely NOT an HEU member. Work for a privately owned company. Been in the workforce for over 30 years. By the way, ever thought of taking some English lessons?
Cheers

HEY parkhurst,
paully voo franceh;
god did not put me on this planet to be an intelectshobul.
the ndp does not have a rats chance of forming the next gov,t,,

how much ?????
nic.

Is SB trying to say that there were no homeless people in BC during the 10 years of the NDP government - wasn't it the NDP that started to reform welfare in BC resulting in a 25% decrease in the number of people on assistance - wasn't Joy McPhail the minister who implemented it and didn't the NDP try to implement a 3 month waiting period
I don't remember the NDP raising the BC Benefits for the disable by $70.00 a month.
Before some of you posters criticize the actions of this government look back in a mirror at what your government did when they were in power and trying to balance a budget. Perhaps a fast ferry or two got in the way or was it the Skeena bailout or the Carrier Lumber or the Trade and Convention center mistakes.

there is no comeback, now i remember, fuck ,i got sent to the cleaners,, bastards,,
oh well ,this time i,ll be smarter

i,m nic.

SB, I realize that for an NDP supporter the concept of individual thought is a foreign one but at least for a moment try to think outside of the collective. You complain about Campbell giving away the environment to corporations. Do you think these corporations are going to harvest timber and process mineral resources all by themselves? Does it not make sense in spite of that Jim Sinclair induced trance that these evil corporations will employ a few thousand people and invest several million dollars in the process? Contrary to what Sinclair’s pre-programming guide would have you believe not everyone outside of a government sector Union makes six bucks an hour and is working 8 part time jobs “just trying to get by”. Forestry and Resource jobs pay those great, typically “Union” wages that you seem to constantly say justify the exist of these “caring” organizations. If Jim Sinclair truly represents “working people” you would think he might be happy about so many more people that are back to work in BC, and more so in the resource sectors that pay the kind of wages that Sinclair says no longer exist (they didn’t in the 90’s but that is another story) But NO, Jim Sinclair, much like the rest of the NDP, are never happy. The sky must always be falling somewhere, how else could you keep the all those lemmings mindlessly following the leader and dumping their hard earned dollars into the pocket of the guy who does no real work. Talking about making a living off the backs of the less fortunate, what hypocrisy.

If Jim Sinclair doesn`t represent working people, then who would it be that represents them- Campbell? Milke? How could it be that a political party supported largely by corporate BC represents workers? Unlike Larsen and others, many of us are not willing to overlook the lies of the last 3+ years. Somehow the raids on the legislature, selling off BC Hydro to Accenture, BC Rail to American owned CN etc, etc, have been quickly forgotten.

Parkhurst - if you are not going to overlook the lies of the past 3+ years which by the way you have over stated what in hell's name did the people of BC state on May 17, 2001 about the 10 years of the NDP - that they were pleased with their performance that saw BC go from the top to near the bottom in economic growth and from a have to a have not province - that they were happy with the antics of Moe Shihota, Glen Clark , the fast ferries, skeena bailout, fudget budgets, carrier lumber, trade and convention center, doubling of wait lists, volunteers and parents unable to visit a classroom, a 25% reduction in the welfare rolls because of benefits changes, imposing contracts on teachers and support workers, making a sweetheart deal with the enviromental movement a couple of days before the election with the creation of parks, the signing of a backroom deal with the HEU that even the premier now the federal health minister claims he knew nothing about and also stated he had no idea how he would pay for it if he was relected - Yes Parkhurst the people were really happy with the NDP performance from 1991 - 2001 and gave them their support at the polls in 2001
Parkhurst - all politicans break promises regardless of political stripes - mostly because situations and people views change ie - 9/11
When people get many married they make the most solemn of promises and yet about 50% break those promises - why do we expect our elected officials to be any bit different from our own habits.
Parkhurst- Did Campbell keep his word on the citizen assembly for electorial reform, fixed budget and election dates, native vote, tax cuts, balancing the budget, get BC moving and working - creating more nursing and doctor spaces in our colleges and universities - new Doctor programs at UNBC and UVic - the possibility of 4 native treaties shortly
Enough for now as i am sure others will add their 25 cents worth.

My first post here, and good job Sean for a lively and informative site.

Regarding unions, I've been on both sides of the table and followed politics here closely since the Bill Bennett years. The BC Fed's decision to hire political operators directly to contest this election is something new, and I agree with earlier comments about the public sector unions favouring third-party spending. Labour's influence over the NDP far exceeds its raw numbers, and Carole James' recent feeble retreat on union delegates is the latest of many examples of this. They're doing some creative stuff, such as funding another BC website to promote certain views.

The only promises kept by Campbell was the Citizen`s assembly, and the Referendumb regarding First Nations, fixed elections. The rest you mention were manipulated to not resemble what was written about in the "New Era" document. Yes, people`s opinions do change, so what makes you think that the opinions of the Campbell government hasn`t also changed? Especially those that voted for Campbell on the basis of his campaign platform. There`s no need to mention my name in every paragraph, once will do if you are trying to address me dmb.

Parkhurst - sorry will only mention your name at the start of each post.
"The rest you mention were manipulated to not resemble what was written about in the New Era document" Would you care to elaborate on that statement as I have a copy of the New era document sitting along side my keyboard for easy reference.

In looking over the New Era document i also see a pledge to preserve Burns Bog - I believe this has been done - a lot better than Ian Waddell's plans to move the PNE there.

FYI - I left the BC Liberals over the imposition of Bill 19 - more on the way that it was done - basically ripping up of a legal document rather than the intent which I believe was to bring most HEU wages in line with the outside world.

I consider myself more of a social democrat along the lines of Mike Harcourt or Roy Romanow than any right winger.
Unfortunately the past and current version of the NDP is more public sector union driven than socially democratically driven like the European Social democratic parties - it is too bad that Carole James has so far failed in her attempts to distance herself from the public sector unions and create a true moderate social democratic party in BC

Kevin Larsen says: 'NDP fools had placed thousands of REAL everyday working people out of work thanks to their extreme industry taxation agenda that completely destroyed the mining industry in British Columbia, ...NDP government also engaged the services of a PRIVATE consultant to figure out how badly they had screwed up the mining industry and how to fix thing'

John English says: 'So what if interest rates are low or if commodity prices are high. THAT IS THE SAME EVERYWHERE. The reason that people CHOOSE to invest in BC and not other places around the world is because the business climate has improved significantly.'

Both of these posts are outright fabrications. The NDP Govt of the 1990s placed no increased taxation burden on the mining industry in particular, and in fact got the oil and gas exploration boom going. Since Campbell came to power, business investment in BC has not increased one iota, and John English undoubtedly knows that. Business investment has been flat for years because there is nothing big happening in BC's basic forestry and mining sectors (other than oil and gas). That's partly a result of the unsettled land claims and mostly a result of the fact that the forest land base is fully allocated, there are no greenfields left to develop.

What cave do you live in Budd? The NDP in the '90's hiked business taxes, expanded the corporate capital tax, increased regulations, and killed mining deals. Sure, it may not be a direct tax increase on one industry, but anyone with even a remote sense of business (or is that common sense) knows that is NOT how you encourage business investment.

This is what the NDP and it's supporters just don't seem to get...
John English's point is that it doesn't matter what interest rates etc are - business will not come to BC if the gov't kicks the crap out of it once it's here. The NDP gov't in the 1990's was unfriendly and unaccomodating to business; the Liberals have created an environment in BC that is cooperative and encouraging to business.

Budd, as to business investment not increasing one itoa under the Libs, that is absolute BS and I suggest you talk to someone who is actually IN business.

The last two years for forestry and mining have been their best years in a decade; they are anything but flat right now - your comments tell me that you don't know anyone or anything about either of those industries.

Please don't forget that the average employee was put behind the banks and other institutions of finance when a firm goes bankrupt,the queue usedto start with the paychecks of the plebs,but no the NDP were pressured that being out of step with the rest of north america was going to be reflected in a lower bond rating from Wall St.
Harcourt was quite nonplussed by that as a recall,as was the media blurbers.
Friend of the worker i doubt that, friend of organized Union pressure, yes ,exactly what the Libs oppose- power of the many to control the elites aand the brass.
Sounds like the centuries old conflict of management against working stiffs,but more based in fear or envy.

Pointdexter forgot to read the news about the Liberal contribution of 150 million to assist workers in that industry because in fact they are not going to be working.By the way pointdexter , what is the stat for capital investment in B.C.You may be surprised again at who is the ignorant one. Be careful what you rant about you liberal flak.

Admiral Poindexter misleadingly says, "Budd, as to business investment not increasing one itoa under the Libs, that is absolute BS and I suggest you talk to someone who is actually IN business."

What he doesn't want anyone to do is look up the economic accounts data on gross fixed capital formation. So he tells people to "talk" to a businessman who just happens, by sheer coincidence, to be a partisan political supporter of Gordon Campbell's BC Liberals, and just take their word for it. What ever happy-go-lucky breeze they give you, accept it uncritically like the unsophisticated cretins that the Socreds and now the Liberals take BC voters for. Just eat what's put before you, don't ask any educated questions.

Adm. Pointdexter goes on to further mislead readers with this bit of nonsense: "The last two years for forestry and mining have been their best years in a decade; they are anything but flat right now - your comments tell me that you don't know anyone or anything about either of those industries." In actual fact, of course, it's construction that's doing well, mainly residential construction, while our basic foresty and mineral industries continue to face "challenges", as it's politely put. Oil and gas is doing well, and that started under the NDP, as Pointdexter and English know very well, their statements to the contrary notwithstanding. But in a world of government and business advertising of fake economic data, reminiscent of the good old days of WAC Bennett and Bill Clancy and Ron Worley, backed up by the CanWest news monopoly plus the Liberal-owned CBC, the kind of propaganda that Pointdexter and North, ... er Pointdexter and English, rather, ... are circulating will probably be successful in deliberately misleading many thousands of voters. Sad, but true.

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