Without vision the people perish?

The Campbell administration's recent throne speech has been variously described by the provincial commentariat as being as reversal of the premier's past "smaller government" commitments, representative of his "current visionary and activist frame of mind" or an indication government will be focusing "on the role of the individual." But, in our opinion, it's yet another example of how Gordon Campbell lacks any kind of strong ideological underpinning for his actions.

That's why "with the explosion of new programs announced this week" The Vancouver Sun's editorial board finds it "hard to see where Campbell's real priorities lie." Because, while the premier is a great policy connoisseur, his thoughts about the role government should play in society seem to be less cultivated - endorsing, for example, the principle of subsidiarity in one breathe, while making decisions which contradict that principle in the next.

And, until that changes, his administration will continue to suffer from an apparent case of political "attention deficit disorder" - developing programs for the province in the absence of a larger vision of the world.

13 Comments

Campbell does not tell us where his real priorities lie because they mainly deal with privatization of government services. He will do his utmost to privatize health care and electric power. These topics will not be debated in the legislature but will be handled by order in counsel. Most, if not all of his throne speeches are just BS and smoke and mirrors. The end result of his actions, when they occur, will result in enormous cost increases for the citizens of this province.

I could not agree more with your assessment Sean. It seems to me that Gordon Campbell wants to be in charge, but doesn't know how to lead.

He is a starter and not a finisher. This is an indication that he cannot see policy through to its impact on the people in any empathetic way, which is something a leader must know how to do.

A long line of souffle like policy initiatives is the inevitable result, along with a lot of voter dissatisfaction.

Agree there. He's never been one to provide good modern management, that is managing as a team rather than what he does now, manage by insisting there is a totalitarian benevolent dictatorship.

Political observers can see he loves the Big Announcement Events, and doesn't let his Ministers do what they are supposed to do, and that's govern their portfolios.

The BC Liberal Party itself doesn't have alot when it comes to forward thinking either, well unless it comes to the Big Convention which is not much more than a meeting place for those hyped up on political sugar.

Sean,

Excellent analysis!! As a former member of the Campbell pack (MLA for Prince George Omineca 1996-2005) I can attest to his complete "lack of any kind of ideological underpinning for his actions".

The announcements seem carefully contrived to give the impression of an underlying vision of social justice, of balancing environment, economy and social factors, of truly valuing children, seniors, the future, the little guy, etc. These are all ideals that have broad public appeal, so it't no wonder that's the facade we see.

But actually living up to "great goals" like creating the best system of support for people with disabilities in Canada brings the Premier on a collision with core values of his core constituency, because it does require "big government" and more taxes.

One way to reconcile this is to keep doing your best to convince the public that you're following through on the promises while ensuring that you're actually doing nothing of the kind. Or, if your heart is really into it, to try to make some headway while convincing core constituents that it's just window dressing.

Mr. Campbell clearly realizes that while most people like the sound of great visions, it's still the tax cut that will influence their choice on voting day.

I think Astro has it right on. The remarkable thing is that a vision is only what lefties talk about. You don't really need one if your entire objective is to give government less authority over resources. I don't think Campbell's objective is any more than giving business free reign.

Lack of ideological underpinning???
Heaven forbid.
Doesn't wanting to win the next election count?

Gordon Campbell's lip service is nauseating. He no sooner reads a headline and he is on the bandwagon.We can only hope he continues this complacecy and we can be rid of this leader of the top 1% forever, after all it is our money he is spending.

Do any of you morons remember what this Province was like back in the 90's? No jobs, deficits, debts, chronic problems in the crown corporations, crumbling infrastructure including transportation and education (K-12 and Post secondary) scandals, fascinating ideas with no contimplation of how to (1) fund them or (2) make them sustainable...shall I go on?. Your memories are as limited as your economic capacity. Fortunately the silent majority is done listening to your nonsensical blathering and complaining. Get a grip and get ready for another 8 years of sensible governing.

Hi Big Red Machine. Had you not noticed the previous government left power with two consecutive budget surpluses? The new team cooked up words like "Structural defecits' to produce the largest defecit in BC History. Started closing school, hospitals. court houses, hospital, did a complete reveral on the present premiers promise not to tamper with the present contracts. Or his promise not to sell BC rail( he claimed it was losing money, documents showed otherwise) The list goes on Sold most anyhting that he could get away with. I feel you simple like to ignore such stuff. Try telling the retired government employees who got some pension benefis removed, or folks who's BC Medical payments were doubled. I tend to think the moron is doing the blathering and he is YOU.

DPL, you should move to the United States where they too believe that humans are intended to live beyond their means. I'm sorry you lost your job and your benefits in 2001/02 but the blame should be placed squarely on the shoulders of the NDP who created the bankrupt economic environment that mandated a government with the "stones" to do something about it.

Check the enrollment figures in schools. That's why they're closed.

Health care cannot be delivered in every community and still remain sustainable.

BC was faced with massive capital expenditure to upgrade BC Rail or sell it to someone that new what they were doing. That decision was a no brainer.

If you missed it yesterday, the Health budget is nearing 50% of government revenue. If the MSP premiums had to double, so be it. I know it hurts for some, but the alternative hurts far more.

I'm no apologist for any government however if you can't look around and see a completely different economic environment in BC compared to the late 90's, then you are either blinded by personal contempt or simply obtuse. Either way, collectively we are all better off.

Does Campbell suffer from a bit of policy ADD? Perhaps. But it's very clear, his accomplishments far outweigh his mistakes.

Campbell's accomplishments? Outside of taking office just after world commodity prices tripled - lucky Campbell - what are his accomplishments?

what is an order in counsel?

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