Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone

If the provincial New Democrats throw rocks at the Campbell administration's gaming policies during the upcoming election, they could be doing so from a glass house. After all, since the Liberals were elected, a number of the party's election candidates have either profitted from those policies or worked to facilitate the expansion of slots in British Columbia.

Last year, for example, Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson voted in favour of installing 600 machines at Great Canadian Gaming Corp.'s Hastings Racecourse. He's now running for the New Democrats in Vancouver-Burrard.

New Westminster councillor Chuck Puchmayr, another election nominee, also supported gaming in his community. Last year, he joined fellow councillors in unanimously approving Gateway Casinos Ltd. Partnership's Queensborough casino, which will see 248 new slots added to the provincial total.

Then there's Malahat-Juan de Fuca candidate John Horgan, whose company IdeaWorks Consulting Inc. was hired by Vancouver casino proponents to "developed a sophisticated campaign in 2003 to convince Vancouver city council to lift a moratorium on slot machines" - a story broken by brother muckraker Charlie Smith.

And let's not forget about Victoria councillor Rob Fleming. Last year, the Times Colonist's Norman Gidney reported the future Victoria-Hillside election candidate would "support a casino" in the city. Of course, none of this changes the fact the Liberals broke their election promise to "stop the expansion of gambling that has increased gambling addiction and put new strains on families." But, if the New Democrats criticize that broken promise, some of them risk being attacked as hypocrites.

28 Comments

Point 1: The NDP government proposed gambling expansion. Point 2: The Liberals said 'no' and made it a New Era promise. Point 3: By any definition, the Liberals broke their 'no gambling expansion' promise. Point 4: The NDP is calling the Liberals on their broken promise.

Question: How does the above make the NDP hypocrits (see point 1)?

Agree with A Stretch. Sean, i think your item would make better sense if you showed how these dippers have in the past broken their promises. That way, when they attack the Libs on a broken promise, the dippers look like hypocrites.

Your logic doesn't flow...though you're probably right...the dippers will get attacked for being hypocrites, because, well, that's just how political discourse goes sometimes. You don't really need logical progressions...just ranting.

Notice that while the NDP are feigning righteous indignation about a broken commitment about the expansion of gambling, they aren't promising to stem the expansion of gambling themselves. If, heaven forbid, they get elected, they will prove as addicted to gambling as just about every government around.

Stretch:

Dont try to make sense of the Gliberal spin machine. They are trying to deflect criticism from a blatant lie they told during the run up to the 2001 election. It's almost as funny as them blaming their failure to create the 5000 beds - as promised - on the NDP of the 90's.

Another point I find really amusing, especially in the biased Can West chat rooms are the Lib lovers constantly saying "Government isn't there to hold your hand and take responsibility for yourself". Then in the throne speech, the government is telling me to eat my brocolli and carrots.

From now until May 17th, put on your blinders and vote accordingly!

"NDP are feigning righteous indignation about a broken commitment about the expansion of gambling, they aren't promising to stem the expansion of gambling themselves."

The point is it's the Liberals who made the promise and broke it. No matter how much you would like to turn this against the NDP it's still a broken Liberal promise. Who can forget the moral outrage the Liberals showed against expanded gambling while in opposition? I seem to remember a Liberal MLA suggesting there would be deaths associated with the expansion gambling. Seems like they've changed their tune.

Yes the Liberals have broken a promise, but so have the NDP so we can call this one a wash. They have both been hypocritical which in politics is not that surprising. No Poltical party can really ever take the high ground as politics is a web of decipt and lies. If you think the NDP, Liberals or any other party is different your awfully naive.

When the government raises taxes in order to redistribute income it is forced on you by law. This is the only way the government can pay for all their bloated inefficient programs that hold peoples hands. When a government makes a suggestion about living a healthy lifestyle that is only a suggestion not something that is forced on you. Forcing someone to do something is a lot different than suggesting you do something. Are they forcing you to eat your vegetables with a penalty of heavy fines and jail if you don’t eat them? You are comparing apples to oranges.

There are two points here.

The Liberals did expand gambling when they said they would not.

Bu the second issue is what does public that opposes gambling and gambling expansion do in the election since the NDP is a history of being pro-gambling and the Liberals have not lived up to the expectations to control the expansion.

If you do want to vote Liberal because they expanded gambling when they said they would, you can not vote either, leaving you with no options in the election.

Wow, Sean! You caught New Dems involved in or supporting relocating existing casinos or adding slots to casinos when a local government changes its no-slot policy or saying they'd take a casino so their local government gets revenue when their citizens game - instead of View Royal. Holy!
Not a single additional casino and not a slot beyond the limit contemplated when the NDP left government.
When you find a New Dem on record supporting Coleman's slots in bingo halls or endorsing BCLC's move into internet gaming, get back to us. Otherwise you're throwing snake eyes.

It's amazing how defensive the NDP supporters get when one article criticizes the NDP. If your going to give it out you better be able to take it.

I don't think we're really being defensive. There isn't anything to be defensive about, and that's the point people are making here. The NDP never promised to kerb casino expansion. The Liberals did, and then expanded casinos. The logic Coleman suggests, that the NDP can't call the Liberals hypocritical, is false, because we can. There are two seperate issues here, and one can be exploited and the other, which of course will be used to hit back at the NDP, can be shaken.
I agree with Bernard though, that this leaves single issue voters (in this case, gambling issue voters) dead in the water. One party they can't trust not to expand casinos, and another that hasn't promised to. I'm just not sure how many people will be voting on the issue alone- I'm not sure that it ranks up there with health care, education, and the economy, although it touches on all three.
However, when a government dips itself into ones life and says, "Eat your vegetables and get some exercise!" on the one hand, and then says, "Gamble! Gamble!" on the other, it isn't really sending out a cohesive message, is it?

"It's amazing how defensive the NDP supporters get when one article criticizes the NDP. If your going to give it out you better be able to take it."

I think the point people were trying to make is that Sean's article is not really a valid criticism. I didn't see much defensiveness, most of it was fairly reasoned, imo.

So all articles that criticize the Liberals are valid and all that criticize the NDP are invalid?

Giver:

You have to look at the articles and see if the point is valid. This is not valid because its premise is false, therefore, and any conclusion drawn from that premise will be invalid. Of course, if your good enough, you can argue that any premise is false (which is why we have such lively debates) but when its as blatant as this, and it's clear that the argument is false, we say so.

Giver, if you agree with Sean, or disagree with us, tell us why. Add something to the discussion don't just fling turds.

I think that the Fiberals went after the veggie and exercise thing is because they want Green voters to cross over. This is exactly the mentality that you get from a Green.

Questions for both side in this discussion - isn't the final say on the location, equipment etc for the casinos left up to the local government.
Has the Liberal government actually increased the total number of licenses issued or have they allowed the existing licencees to expand to their maximum capacity.
Didn't a couple of smaller Vancouver casinos merge to create the new, recently opened Edgewater and they now have slots because the City of Vancouver in desperate need for money for their activist agenda agree to allow slots.
In closing - while I will concede that the Liberals probably broke they commitment on gaming they should not have to shoulder all the blame for the increasing in gaming in the province.

Four issues here, I think.
First, the Liberal broken promise. They said they would halt the expansion of gambling because it caused addictions and hurt families. People voted for them on that basis. They've more than tripled the number of slots, almost doubled government's take from losers, pushed them into bingo halls in small towns across the province, allowed megacasinos (the old limit was 300 slots; new casinos have more than 1,000), allowed Internet gambling, allowed drinking while gambling, and allowed ATMs in casinos. They opposed all these things.
Second, their inability to acknowledge the truth. With the exception of Plant and Coleman, from Campbell down they cling to the ludicrous claim that gambling hasn't expanded. It insults voters, and demeans politics.
Third, the apparent willingness of MLAs to abandon principle for loyalty. Kevin Krueger, as the Liberals' former gambling critic, said more gambling meant death, despair and the destruction of families. Now hes is silent.
Fourth, the questions raised when a gambling company feels the need to hire an NDP-linked consulting firm to persuade an NDP-linked Vancouver council to allow gambling.
How Stevenson and the rest voted seems irrelevant so far, since the party has no position on gambling - yet.

The point that Sean is validly making is as follows:

While the NDP can legitimately criticize the BC Liberals for expanding gambling, they are at risk of looking hypocritical if their rhetoric in this regard is over the top.

Also, their criticism lacks a certain bite in the absence of anything remotely resembling a defined policy of their own on this topic.

Reporter: "Ok, so what the BC Liberals did on gambling was bad?"

Carol James: "Oh yes, its very terrible that they broke their promise"

Reporter: "So you wouldn't have approved these additional slots in places like Vancouver?"

Carol James: "Oh, I didn't say that. I really have no opinion on that. I just think it's bad they broke their promise"

Reporter: "OK, I get that. But what would you have done. What will your policy on new requests from places like the City of Victoria?"

Carol James: "Ummm, you'll have to excuse me, I have to go listen to some people."

I am sure that the CUPE local at the PNE/race track are quite happy that the Liberals have broken a promise regarding slots etc.

Actually, I don't think it would be much of a problem, and I'm quite sure the NDP has developed gambling policy, as it has changed into something to stick it to the Liberals with. I mean, it would be negligent not to have a gambling expansion policy, wouldn't it?

Chelsea:

Agreed, but Carol James and the NDP presently have almost no defined policies at all.

From what I've heard, it basically boils down to:

1) Tuition freeze
2) Balanced Budgets
3) No tax cuts or increases
4) Listen and be nice

Not exactly a lot to go on.

John:

Your points on platform is a valid one. Particularly when we're less than 100 days from an election. If I had my way, I would have held the nomination process 6 months ago. As it is, the final nominations won't be decided until March.

I'm not sure I entirely agree with the "wait and see the budget" strategy before formulating a platform. There are basic tenets and common sense issues, that aren't budget related, that could be put out front of the public right now. The first 2 you mentioned are 2 of them. And any party that would campaign saying, "ladies and gentleman, we believe in increasing taxes" as a matter of public record... thats akin to political suicide.

John, can you tell me of any instance where a party of any stripe campaigned on raising taxes?? And won?? I think that some of the things that should be looked at, thanks to the 2 billion dollar surplus are issues that aren't being talked about. How about restoring the original premium rates for MSP, or even eliminating the premiums all together, and restoring chiropractic, eye exams, physio and massage therapy.

How about restoring funding for special needs children? How about restoring the funding levels for the ministries like Children and Families, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, the Freedom of Information officer, and on and on and on.

Never mind some token tax cut, or returning some crumbs to programs that they've gutted over the past 4 years. Put the money that makes up the 2 billion surplus back into the programs that benefit the citizens of BC. I know why they don't... because their corporate buddies wouldn't like that at all.

As for expanded gaming, its like crack cocaine to governments of all stripes. Much like "sin taxes". The Liberals made a mistake in taking a moral stand on gambling expansion, before sampling the product. Fact is, the Liberal record on alot of other issues is so suspect that I don't think expanded gaming is on the radar of alot of people.

there is a percent of the population that use
booze
pot
cocaine
cigs and
the pony,s,, whithout any major problems.
the gov,t is just carrying out the peoples wishes,,

noww,, what,s the overunder on a lib majour???
nic.

MEMO TO JOHN ENGLISH: I quite enjoyed your fake interview with Carole James. It reminds me of your economic data and theories, and of your brilliant analysis of the mining industry.

Personally, I'm in favour of expanded gaming. I think that we should encourage casinos, particularly on reserves, to help local communities. We may have to hire more cops, but that is something that should be done anyway. But Carole is right to blast Campbell for lying to anti-gaming people to get elected.

Hey Budd! They let me back on rabble!

Hey Budd! They let me back on rabble!

Perhaps there's yet hope they'll do the same for me. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed till then.

With respect to gaming,

I think it was just plain foolish, for the BC Liberals to promise not to expand Casinos, slots and other gaming in the previous election.

It was because of anti-Casino zealots like Christy Clark and Kruger that this happened.

As a conservative minded person with a libertarian streak, it is the ultimate in "mommy state" activities to restrict or ban legal activties just because they are bad for you.

If some one wants to spend their money on slots or blackjack, go ahead, that is thier right as an adult. Just like it is their right to smoke or drink or do anything else that is "bad" for them.

So the Dippers are reasonable to go after the government on this broken promise, which was in fact very rightly broken.

However, it is very hypocritical to attack the BC Libs on this broken promise, if your response is that you too support expanded gaming, and would have done the same or similar things.

You are just saying that the BC Libs were correct to break thier promise, which I happen to think they were.

Cheers
Newman

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