Throwing down (up?) at the throne speech


It’s been tough trying to come up with words to describe the shenanigans in B.C. politics these days.

Theatre of the absurd? Bizarre? Crazy? Wild and wooly? Looney Tunes?

After the Liberals’ throne speech last week, I’m starting to like Looney Tunes.

I suppose cutting-and-pasting the Liberal logo at the top of the NDP and Green election platforms was a Hail Mary from Christy Clark in an attempt to possibly lure an NDP or Green MLA over to the Desperation Party … er, Liberal Party. As Province columnist Mike Smyth put it, we’re more likely to see Donald Trump name Hilary Clinton attorney general.

But what really got me was the claptrap coming from Clark and the Liberal MLAs who tried, yet again, to put the wool over the public’s eyes by pretending the Throne Speech was something other than what it was.

The spin was that the Liberals listened to the message of change British Columbia voters called for on May 9.

Let’s get a few things straight.

Firstly, a couple hundred votes the other way in one, just one, riding would have delivered a Liberal majority. Had that happened, the Liberals would undoubtedly be thumbing their noses, yet again, at the changes a good number of British Columbians have been calling for. Instead of “we’re listening to British Columbians,” we would be hearing “British Columbians gave us a mandate to govern.”

Secondly, I wonder if Clark and the Liberals unveiled this grand new social conscience to Green leader Andrew Weaver when they were wooing him in hopes of forming an alliance. Two possibilities: They didn’t, or they did and he didn’t buy it. If they didn’t discuss this with Weaver, then these policy changes really are last-minute revelations in hopes of … something, not sure what. If they did discuss the new platform with Weaver, he obviously didn’t buy it.

Thirdly, a good number of British Columbians have been calling on the Liberal government for a poverty reduction plan, increased welfare rates, child care assistance, an end to corporate and union political donations, etc. for a long, long time. The Liberals have, for a long time, thumbed their noses at such things. Now, on the brink of losing power, they are suddenly “listening” to British Columbians? Give me a break. I suppose you can listen but still ignore the electorate.

It reminds me of the old joke: “I have a firm set of principles that I live by and if you don’t like them … well, I can change them.”

There is a lesson in all this for those who despise minority governments. Granted, they aren’t as stable as a solid majority, but they do force governments, even ones as set in their ways as the Liberals, to listen to the electorate. Ruling by decree shouldn’t be the norm in a democracy but, sadly, it is what we often get.

Minorities change that.