The NDP is like a cheating boyfriend for voters who care about the planet

A   woman who used to work at CBC complains to her friends that the public broadcaster is like a  cheating boyfriend.

She claims it tells  lies to her about employment prospects. It makes grand promises, which it fails to deliver. And in the end, she severed the relationship after feeling used and broken-hearted.

There are some parallels for environmentally minded voters who are both attracted to and repelled by the NDP.

On the one hand, NDP Leader Carole James promises to create a provincial Agricultural Land Commission. That sounds like a good way to prevent farmland from being removed from the Agricultural Land Reserve.

But then, the NDP opposes a carbon tax and supports a new Port Mann Bridge, which will probably cost more than $3 billion.

The NDP says it's for lower transit fares. But it doesn't oppose dubious megaprojects like the Canada Line and the Millennium Line, which guarantee higher transit fares. It doesn't seem to have a clue about what constitutes effective transportation policy.

One gets the impression that James and her two right-wing  suburban lieutenants, Mike Farnworth and Bruce Ralston, really don't understand the seriousness of climate change.

Just when you're about to give up on the NDP, it announces that it will phase out open-net fish farming and save B.C.'s wild salmon stocks. Yes, the NDP is like a cheating boyfriend for environmentally minded voters. Lots of words and sometimes, but not always, a lot of substance.

The question in this provincial election is if environmentally minded voters will give  the NDP  another chance because it could be the only hope for throwing Gordon Campbell and the B.C. Liberals  out of office.

Or will they finally say enough of this nonsense and find themselves a new, kind of geeky  partner, the Green party,  with a bunch of candidates who  can rattle off  the concentration of  carbon dioxide  in the atmosphere. They can also explain what's going to happen if it increases.

The new potential partner might not have the charisma of the old, cheating boyfriend. It remains to be seen if that will undermine its appeal on election day.




May 4, 2009 at 8:21am

Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic

None of the parties have a clue about climate change or what to do about it. These silly carbon tax/cap n trade ideas are absolutely useless in resolving any global warming issues.

The only real answer is nuclear power. It is the cheapest by far and greenest baseload power alternative we have and represents really the only possible solution to climate change. Greenies however lack the technical expertise to understand this being 100% politically based and 0 percent science. Greenies persist in talking about wind which is so unreliable it's good only for methanol production, solar which can supply air conditioning loads in south west American deserts, and geothermal which so far evades any engineering efforts to harness it at a reasonable cost. It would take wind farms taking up 300 square miles of land, or 60 square miles of photovoltaic cells to replace a one acre 1 Gigawatt nuclear plant.

This problem requires a world wide world war type effort building a least one Gen 3.5 nuclear, then gen 4, then fusion plants a week well into the foreseeable future. Until leadership appears to send us in that direction all this nonsense is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.


May 4, 2009 at 11:40am

The NDP have the <a href=" policy on carbon reduction</a> of not just the three provincial parties but of <em>all Canada</em> according to Ottawa thinktank Sustainable Prosperity that looked climate policies across Canada.

There is only one party that takes the environment seriously.


May 4, 2009 at 12:07pm

Charlie, who's cheating who?

It's funny in a way that the cheating spouse metaphor has been used here, for I can state with a high degree of confidence that it feels the same way from the POV of New Democrats.

Over the past many decades the NDP has taken real political risks with working class voters over things like pollution regs for the pulp and paper industry, and over the ALR with anyone working in home construction.

Now in this B.C. election some leading environmental personalities are stating that the NDP has betrayed them over the climate issue. I would just like to point out that many of these ENGO personalities, and some university climate scientists and economists too, were pitching the very same hard-edged, denunciatory messaging during last Fall's federal election.

Yet now that Michael Igatieff has fully repudiated any carbon tax the response from these same academics and ENGO leaders is one of total silence. Does that not at least raise the possiblity that many of these supposed "experts" are in fact just playing an abusive game of hard ball Liberal politics, cleverly dressed up to look like some kind of green idealism?

Rod Smelser


May 4, 2009 at 3:52pm

Rod Smelser is right, the New Democratic Party has the best record environmentally of any political party in British Columbia, their record is clear.

Charlie Smith, your feeble attempts to appear unbiased do little for your paper's or your credibility on this matter. You are obviously confused about the true environmental record of the Liberals. The list of environmental horrors the Gordon Campbell Liberals are responsible for is outrageous. Where do I start? The fish farm sea lice situation is enough, yet I could go on almost indefinitely. The MOE for BC has been slashed by 40% and if the Fiberals get in, word is they will slash another 20% of their workforce.

There are alot of enviro issues out there, and when we have a disingenuous Carbon Tax from a disengenuous Liberal gov't that compromises the Climate Change issue and "OBSCURES" all other enviro issues. We end up fighting an uphill battle. How about some balanced reporting that shows how devastating the Liberals privatization doctrine has been to this province. Show us the environmental and the human costs we have had imposed on us by one of Milton Friedman's biggest fans.


May 4, 2009 at 5:43pm

The Campbell 'carbon' tax is nothing more than a 'gas' tax in drag. It does not, it will not reduce emissions. Those supporting the carbon tax are do nothing armchair environmentalists, who have lost the will to do the right thing.

I do not support the NDP but I do support their stand on the carbon tax.

I am utterly surprised how many people have been suckered by gordo's so-called green taxes, which are more like an oil slick colored with green dye.

In BC it seems that people believe taxes cures all ~ Nada!
Grumpy is as Grumpy does!


May 6, 2009 at 4:15am

Rod, there is a difference between a politician saying that carbon taxes are unfair and hurt people and saying that voters have spoken and so a cap and trade will be put forward. The trouble with the NDP argument is that it is easy enough for the Conservatives to point out that carbon taxes and cap and trade with hard caps have a lot of similarities and both will cost consumers and they will even have truth on their side. After having blasted carbon taxes as bad, when someone points out how similar they are to cap and trade, where does the NDP go from there? Meanwhile the Liberals (and the Greens) have not been saying either cap and trade or carbon taxes are bad or should be stopped, so arguments about their similarities are not going to undercut them trying to sell one of these. Ultimately the NDP (both various provincial branches as well as federal) have done a lot to make it very difficult for Canada to implement any kind of carbon pricing and that is what upsets environmentalists.