Dear Ms. James,
Three-letters have become a tub to thump in BC right now: HST. As many other BCers do, I oppose it, too, not necessarily because I think it's bad policy, rather because this government had no mandate to bring it in -- in fact, if anything they had an anti-mandate. And I am appalled to see Mr. Vander Zalm acting as though the referendum against it is his baby or something. He, if anything, is even more corrupt than this government, or indeed any other of the last eight former premiers of BC. If we are to have a once-and-future premier, is this is choice to give anyone hope? Pfui.
But there is another three-letter acronym that is even more important and will make your next mandate overwhelming if you adopt it: If you will promise to bring in the STV election reform in your first term in the legislature no seat in the province will be safe for the Liberals.
The number 1 thing I want for my province is neither your party's policies, nor specifically those of the current government. The number 1 thing I want for my province is transparency and elections that are not run on the basis of collectivized fear-mongering. ("I can't vote for what I really want because it'll let those Other Guys get power and that would be the Most Awful Thing" -- I've heard these words during every provincial election of my adult life. Pfui, again!)
In the next provincial election that collectivized fear-mongering will undoubtedly grant your party an overwhelming mandate -- who knows but that enough Liberals can be recalled on the current rage to give you a mandate in midstream. But such a mandate will only be temporary no matter what you do because the winds of fear will swing. The best legacy your next government can give the people of BC will be elections that may never yield another majority but that will teach our politicians to play nice and force them to do it in the open more than has ever been done: STV.
I don't want police raids of the legislature any more than I want Bingogate. ICBC and HST may both be equally good as long-term public policy -- if sometimes onerous in practice. But I'd like these choices to be made after public consultation and not as the result of back-room deal making and ignoring the chorus of dissenting voices because a 60% seat mandate trumps a 40% popular vote.
I have never voted NDP and I am not planning to as of yet. But if you promise this one thing, I promise to do something I have never done before: vote NDP. And I am sure that many, many others would strongly consider it. My MLA has about as safe a Liberal seat as any in the province but I am sure that not even the Kelowna ridings will be safe for Liberals if you will make this one pledge, that the 2017 campaign will be an STV election.
Arthur N. Klassen