Agreeable to disagree

Last week, Non-Partisan Association councillor Peter Ladner - a could-be provincial Liberal candidate - dissed the Campbell administration's initiative to restructure TransLink. But it seems that criticism isn't a concern for his may-be caucus mates. In an interview with Public Eye, Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon stated, "The one thing you'll notice about our caucus is we have free votes, we have members who regularly disagree with the government on positions. So free and open speech has never been a problem with the B.C. Liberal caucus, I can assure you of that. So I don't have a problem with that."

"But I think his comments about it being bureaucratic, I would totally disagree," continued Minister Falcon. "One of the things that we're trying to change - and actually will change, I guarantee you with some pretty sharp business people sitting on the board - is they will really ring out a lot of inefficiencies and make sure it actually exists and delivers on the transit vision of the mayors that I think will really benefit the public."


In regards to caucus, do we actualy know that? The public never sees what goes on in Caucus so how would we know what Falcon is saying is 100% true?

There's coercion and some MLA's won't really vote the way they want because they don't want to ruin their chances of getting into Cabinet.

Few actually vote on the basis of majority of opinion of the constituents.

Take Falcon's words at less than face value, unless there some means of confirmation.

As for Falcon not having a problem with free opinion in a caucus, the simple aspect is that he and the Premier should not.

Unless there is micromanging Campbell style on MLA's responses to questions in caucus.

From what bus drivers told me there was a fair bit of administrative patronage in the supervisory pay grades at the old BC Transit, and that continued on with Translink, at least in its early days. A bus depot supervisor would be hired who had no previous experience in the business, but who was retired at an early age from police or military service and who was a nice person looking to supplement their pension income.

I don't mean to suggest or imply that there is anything intrinsically wrong in hiring ex-army or ex-police officials in their late Forties or Fiftes, but the point is that the particular people selected did not always or even very often have the knowledge or skills necessary to contribute anything productive to the operation of the bus system, and one could also question whether the position itself was really needed.

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