Jane Sterk: Green MLAs will keep an NDP majority government in check
Every provincial election offers the voters of B.C. an opportunity to shape the legislature they want for the next four years. In this 2013 election, barring any unforeseen shifts in popular opinion, the NDP will be elected to a majority government. But the question is how large a majority and what kind of alternative voices will be elected to hold the government to account as the official Opposition.
Election 2013 is anticipated to fit the electoral pattern of the pendulum effect, where the balance of power in the legislature swings to the extreme opposite of its current make-up. In 1991, B.C. voters brought down the Socred government and elected a majority NDP government. In 2001, the electorate rather decisively removed them and elected a majority Liberal government. And in 2013, it is expected that the NDP will be reinstalled as a majority government.
This pattern, which is perpetually motivated by the revelation of major scandals, may be momentarily satisfying, but does not result in real change. The legacies of the B.C. NDP government of the ’90s and of the B.C. Liberals since 2001 are similar. The provincial debt is one example. The B.C. NDP inherited a provincial debt of $17 billion in 1991 and doubled it to $34 billion. Under the B.C. Liberals, that debt has increased to between $50 and $65 billion depending on whether we include contractual obligations. The management of B.C. Ferries is another example; the NDP brought us the fast ferries fiasco, and the Liberals privatized B.C. Ferries, which has lead to systemic unprofitability. Our natural resources have also fared similarly with the NDP’s war in the woods and the Liberal’s “working forest” legislation, which has meant the loss of jobs, increased industry consolidation, and a cyclical boom-and-bust economy that is so damaging to forestry-dependent communities.
This year, judicious choices could make it more likely for voters get at least some of what they deserve by electing Green MLAs who will keep a majority NDP government in check. Greens are bound by a set of Ten Principles and a Code of Representative Conduct that strictly set limits and expectations on our members. We believe that a cooperative, collegial, and nonpartisan approach to governance is essential in the legislature. Our fundamental motivation is to serve and represent the people of our individual electoral districts first, followed by people throughout B.C.
B.C. Greens do not believe in a whip system that imposes strict party discipline on elected representatives so they toe party lines. Although we would endeavor to reach consensus as a group, requiring that our members agree or telling them how to think, what to say, and how to vote is counter to our values and counter to the fierce independence and deep sense of responsibility we each hold.
Greens espouse solid policy and believe those ideas can lead to transformative change. We will challenge the government to consider not only the ideas we hold as a party, but also the ideas that come from constant public engagement and consultation—and from the dedicated public service within government. Only together will we make the transition to a more inclusive and resilient B.C.
This election could represent a new shift in B.C. politics: a sort of a communal outcome that happens as enough voters move to support a party that demands we do politics differently. A Green vote can tactically shape not just the next legislature, but also the culture of politics in B.C. and, indeed, the future of B.C.
Mar 28, 2013 at 4:40pm
Really? How you going to that?
By writing Opinions in the Straight?
Since your party will not be in any position to influence in any meaningful way the NDP.
Just once it would be nice to see the Greens actually provide real fine details including a fully costed out platform.
Why would I Vote Green when your platform lacks the detail including specific costs? Instead of 'Policy' 7 'Living Documents' LOL....
Mar 28, 2013 at 5:12pm
What's there social policy ? They don't have one.
More hot air
Mar 28, 2013 at 6:32pm
Why would I vote for a party that puts in writting that they admit they will not go into the election looking to form a government?
A vote for change would be for someone who wants to make change, not sit back and be content to wag their fingers at the NDP for the next 4 years. Pathetic
Mar 28, 2013 at 8:36pm
You say, "Greens are bound by a set of Ten Principles and a Code of Representative Conduct that strictly set limits and expectations on our members. We believe that a cooperative, collegial, and nonpartisan approach to governance is essential in the legislature. Our fundamental motivation is to serve and represent the people of our individual electoral districts first, followed by people throughout B.C.
B.C. Greens do not believe in a whip system that imposes strict party discipline on elected representatives so they toe party lines. "
This seems to be a contradiction.
Check out the BC NDP web site for a progressive and environmentaly sound policy.
Mar 28, 2013 at 8:48pm
Why would anybody consider voting for a pants on fire liar like Sterk
"Under the B.C. Liberals, that debt has increased to between $50 and $65 billion depending on whether we include contractual obligations."
Actually the contractual obligations per the latest Auditor Generals report is $100B with approx $60B represented by BCHydro stockbroker pirate power purchases at 6 times the going rate. No doubt Sterk is lying about the amount because her party is a big supporter despite "Wreck of the River" being refused "green" status by the California government and denounced as massively GHG spewing and environmentally destructive by BC's environmental movement.
I kindda doubt Sterk is going to let Andrew Weaver spout off about his support of nuclear power for BC.
Note a new Abacus poll showed that federally only 12% of Green's would vote for Harper as a second choice showing her party firmly in place as the fascist farm team.
Note that Sterk wouldn't dare show up commenting on this forum defending herself.
Mar 28, 2013 at 9:06pm
I've been waiting to see some pep from the Green Party for years (ever since both Gordo and Carole James were ousted from their respected parties). This letter is certainly not it.
Jane, if this is you "bringing it" for your party, you need to step down and give someone with passion and charisma an opportunity to lead the Greens.
Mar 28, 2013 at 10:09pm
Having quiet semi private votes removing a leadership review is very telling
Your gutless approach on the drug war in the province with the highest concentration of cannabis users in the entire world shows it all...you are a coward
Step down jane and move aside so real change can happen
I will again run against you to stop this cowardice
Again the greens are irrelevant...on purpose !
Mar 29, 2013 at 6:29am
Jane Sterk....this is weak bordering on pathetic. You need to get in the game...here's an idea: show some PERSONALITY. Don't give us the usual crapola about doing politics differently....oh, yeah..we've got a code here..look out, BC -- we've got principals!
Make. Me. Gag.
Mar 29, 2013 at 8:38am
The BC Greens refuse to cost their platform according to Sterk and deputy leader Weaver!
Thus they have a policy wish list for which they are unaccountable - and she thinks voters will believe they have the moral right to talk about keeping anyone else "in check"?
Mar 29, 2013 at 10:12am
Every one has something to say to try and get votes,but written agenda ,as to cost and how to do it is lacking or they hve no idea .
Probably a mix of NDP,and Con.to keep eachother under controle.