BC Election aftermath: the things that scare me

14 May

Beyond the ‘who won, who lost’ aspect – three things that scare the crap out of me in the wake of the election – these go beyond party lines.

48 per cent voter turnout

That’s shocking. Voters have been so turned off by government that most of them stayed home. They don’t feel the impact of politics, they don’t like the rhetoric, whatever it is, our system is broken. People don’t care. Maybe that’s not really an issue, that our modern age is so straightforward that it doesn’t matter, but there are so many things around the edges. Those things around the edges are what end having huge impacts on our lives.

You can do all the math you want on how many British Columbians *actually* voted for Christy Clark, but the problem is deeper than that.

*Update (1:50 p.m.) – since the first numbers were reported last night, Elections BC has upped their turnout estimate to about 52 percent, a touch above 2009’s turnout. That’s still worst in the country.

Climate change.

Other than the Greens, no party truly talked about it. Both the NDP and the BC Liberals paid lip service to the environment, effectively seeking to frame it under short-sighted ‘business as usual’ rhetoric. Not once did oil itself enter into the discussion. There was no question that it will continue to flow and that our energy needs will continue to be powered by the black stuff. It was all made more ugly given our passing the global 400 ppm barrier last week.

‘Resources! Resources! Resources!’ has been the cry, to varying degrees, meanwhile the world is already burning up and Richmond will be under water before we know it. Sticking our heads in the sand won’t cut it anymore. Life needs to change; it’s going to change one way or another.

Transit.

Clark’s victory speech mentioned hospitals, schools and roads.

A significant portion of the Lower Mainland travels in other ways and many of those people are BC Liberal voters. I live in a community that is already overwhelmed by traffic. There are clear transit needs – not just ‘solutions’ – right in front of me and that’s not going to happen. (Also, see item 2.)

I hope I’m wrong about this stuff and that our premier does what she says she’ll do – lead. That means taking the bull by the horn and getting the right thing done. In her campaign, she spent a lot of time talking about what British Columbians care about; I hope she’s really been listening.

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