Is the B.C. electorate truly drifting to the left?
The results of two byelections last month might seem to indicate a rise in support for the NDP. But it’s just as likely to be a symptom of resistance to the right-of-centre options offered in the province today.
It’s no secret the public is disenchanted with the BC Liberal brand. Where once the party name alone was deemed a sufficient selling point, they have been falling over themselves to remind us that they are “a free-enterprise coalition.”
This weekend’s departure of party executive director Chad Pederson and director of communications Jehnifer Benoit to pursue opportunities in the private sector – no matter how vociferous their parting good wishes – can only be viewed by a jaundiced public as further symptoms of the BC Liberals’ slide.
The B.C. electorate is angry – angry as much as anything else with a lack of leadership choices. Policy advisers should recognize that when the public blood boils, it’s not a time to expect calm or rational decision-making. Lecturing, or hectoring, the electorate will likely only raise the temperature in the kitchen.
It’s not just a B.C. problem. The “Occupy” movement achieved traction internationally because of the unpunished excesses of a group of economic looters. Avarice – and corporate and governmental double-speak – has led to a climate of suspicion surrounding all free-enterprise capitalism, a climate that must be overcome by responsible leadership.
Many still recognize that soundly based business success is crucial to the economy, the only sure source of jobs, a proper living wage, and the money to adequately fund much-needed social programs.
It is likely that many British Columbians still support free enterprise. It’s just free-for-all enterprise they have a problem with.