Wednesday, May 15, 2013

B.C. politics. Open letter to the NDP

Dear NDP,

The outcome from the election was not yet known when I started writing this.

I am a card carrying member of this party.  I voted for you today, but I almost didn't. I also did not get involved in any way in the campaign, partly because I had to focus on other matters, and partly because I just could not get up much enthousiasm. My overall feeling for the provincial party at this moment can best be described as "meh".

I am really an apple: red and green. Every election I face the same dilemma: do I vote Green, or do I vote NDP? I have voted Green in certain federal elections where the riding was bound to go Conservative anyway, but usually I chicken out for fear of splitting the progressive vote. 

I am haunted by something Andrea Wright said when she ran for the Greens years ago: "If everyone who says they would vote for me if I could win would vote for me, I would win.

The NDP is certainly greener than the corporate parties, but are they truly getting it? I don't get a sense of urgency about the health of the planet. The impression I get is that they are merely catering to green voters at the edges of their natural constituency. I may be wrong. I will admit that I have not been paying close attention this time. It is May. My attention is in the garden. But really, I take in enough to be aware of the big trends. If Adrian Dix had come out with a truly inspiring message instead of bland feel-good talk it would have crossed my radar.

If Adrian Dix had proposed a strong green jobs plan, instead of just talking about skills training, I would have noticed and I might even have gotten involved. I mean, building skills to do what? Build pipelines so we can fill the tankers that will ruin the coast?
Where was the vision, the imagination, the ideals that might galvanize young voters with hope for a truly sustainable future? This would have been the perfect time for a Green Shift, a massive government plan for a restructuring of the infrastructure for the future.

Our village is home to an impressive young man who ran as an independent. He is a breath of fresh air. He fully grasps that WATER, not oil, is Canada's most precious resource. He received the only political donation I made this time. At the last moment  I chickened out and voted NDP instead of supporting him. But this is the last time. From now on I will be part of the red wing of the greens instead of the other way around.

The NDP is by far the most sympathetic player of the old game. But what we need is an entirely new game. 

Post script the day after. 

Rafe Mair's articles in the Tyee nailed it. Adrian Dix managed to grab defeat from the jaws of victory. I have feared this outcome ever since winter: the opposition peaking too early. 
Lies, fear, and the personal charm of the government leader won the day. It also appears that once again the young, who were more likely to vote against the sitting government stayed away in droves. 

I am sick at heart today about the prospect of what another term of neo-con politics will do to this paradise. Flooding one of the few food-producing valleys in the Northern Interior in order to provide the fracking industry with power is just the 
beginning. Privatize everything! will continue.
The only hope lies in building strong, resilient local economies. 

Sanity is in the garden.

PS An excellent blog post in the same vein here:

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