I am a fiscal conservative and a social liberal who cares not a wit for either right or left-wing labels. I do believe, however, that I can borrow the best from right and left-wing ideologies for the benefit of all of us.
Anecdotally, when speaking to constituents, current cynicism is running high—with many willing only to dismiss or support parties based on their ideologies, as subjectively perceived.
On the dismissive side, the NDP have been described as left-wing, irresponsible, and eager to tax and spend. The B.C. Liberals are considered right-wing, corrupt, inept, focused on corporations, and greedy. The B.C. Conservatives are often confused with Stephen Harper's Conservatives and branded right-wing, almost fascist—all in all not good.
Ironically, in many ways, there is little difference between the NDP and B.C. Liberals. Both tax and spend too much, both directly and indirectly.
While one favours their friends in labour, and the other seems keen to sell our valuable assets to corporate interests, both are servants to a handful of interest groups who do not represent the majority of us.
Both are proven prolific spenders, spending more than this province could afford, and in the process have covered their tracks with creative accounting!
Both love to interfere in our lives thinking they know better than we do. It seemed hardly a week passed without the government attempting to pass some sort of intrusive legislation that took away more power and freedom from citizens by giving it to the lawmakers instead.
The NDP introduced photo radar in British Columbia. This was a $150-million program accompanying a good old-fashioned disinformation campaign, based on fear and greed, that did no good. This was one of their cheaper disasters!
The bicycle helmet law is another piece of nanny state legislation. The irony is not lost on me that today Vancouver, for all of its eagerness to get everyone on a bicycle, is significantly behind other cities when it comes to bike sharing. Why? Because the city has yet to find a workable solution in complying with helmet laws.
I thought at least when the B.C. Liberals were elected, we’d see more intelligent spending, no deficits, and a reversal of the tendency to over regulate. Not so. They turned out to be big spenders and worse. They systematically sold off, gave away, or diminished our assets. Look to B.C. Rail and B.C. Hydro for examples of this. They accelerated over-regulation, brought in by the NDP, with such things as administrative law and civil assets forfeiture.
Personally, little has frustrated me more, as a voter over the years, than having to make an unsavory choice between two parties who do not represent my interests nor, I suspect, the majority of people in this province.
At a B.C. Liberal convention last fall, John Martin, a former B.C. Conservative, said something that resonated; he said, “The people of British Columbia don’t care about right [wing] and left [wing], they just want what’s right.”
Echoing his words, I believe clichés like the above divide people needlessly. In fact, I’m pretty sure most of us have more in common than we have differences. I’d like to reset the conversation onto “issues”. The economy, environment, social services, infrastructure—the real future of British Columbia!
My label, if there has to be one, is fiscal conservative because I believe in being responsible with money. Yet I consider myself a social liberal because I believe everyone is entitled to knowledge, good health, and to enjoy their lives without fearing the heavy hand of government. The B.C. Conservatives offer us an excellent blueprint.
Please vote on May 14.