Ian Tootill: What’s in a label?

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      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.

      Ian Tootill is the B.C. Conservative candidate in Vancouver-False Creek.

      Comments

      9 Comments

      James G

      Apr 8, 2013 at 5:15pm

      A surprisingly good piece. Good work. Best of luck to you and all candidates on May 14.

      J A MacDonald

      Apr 8, 2013 at 6:09pm

      Bravo, this is the kind of thinking we need to turn this province around!

      ACMESalesRep

      Apr 8, 2013 at 10:26pm

      I don't believe there's been a self-described “fiscal conservative” who's actually proven to be fiscally responsible in thirty years. Furthermore, in claiming to be a “social liberal” yet framing that entirely in terms of fear of the government, you reveal yourself only to be the same sort of so-called libertarian as the rest of the so-called conservative movement.

      For someone who claims not to care for labels, you seem to have put some thought into choosing those which might best make the BC Conservative brand palatable to true fiscally responsible social liberals.

      Jamie Johnson

      Apr 9, 2013 at 2:52pm

      and the Harper would like to hand out law making to corp controled TPP. http://stopthetrap.net/ vote to put a stop to this conservitave blunder

      Stuart McMillan

      Apr 9, 2013 at 5:32pm

      Bring back the HST !!!!!!!!!!

      Ian Tootill

      Apr 12, 2013 at 2:00pm

      Thanks for reading and thanks for taking the time to comment. JJ: I represent the BC Conservative Party not the federal Conservative Party of Canada.
      ACMESR: I am and that's exactly what I did; and purposefully too. With respect to "Conservatives" I assume like JJ above you are referring to feds or even Republicans in the US which have not behaved as I believe they should have. Regardless, I have a track record personally and in my business.
      ETC: The quote below is right from BC Conservative policy.
      ”The BC Conservative Party believes in.... respecting personal, individual choices made within the law and the Constitution of Canada, (including the Charter of Rights and Freedoms), and as interpreted by the courts.”
      I'd also add, that if you do some research on me you will find few as supportive as me when it comes to choices in life. Another reason I have chosen to run under the BC Conservative brand is that the party avoids a whip system and BCCP MLAs will be free to vote as they see fit on issues. That way I can be sure I will represent both the needs and desires of my constituents and my own conscience. Thanks!

      James Blatchford

      Apr 24, 2013 at 9:37pm

      ...and suddenly *POOF* he was gone!

      James G

      Apr 24, 2013 at 11:43pm

      The removal of this candidate is one more reason why I believe it takes guts to run for office.

      Oh, sure the remark about Hitler was so clumsily phrased that it seemed like exoneration but I doubt that was the intent. The sexist comment shows what happens when people post things online when in an otherwise frame of mind (i.e., horny)and reminds me of the NDP asking Ray Lam to step aside in 2009.

      As to wanting all drugs to be legalized, I have posted a similar statement myself -- not that I follow Ron Paul or would not want a gradual and monitored approach.

      Too bad I say. He seemed like a reasonable fellow and possibly even a good man -- and yes, all parties do have 'em.