November 25, 2010

On the State of BC Electoral Politics

YCL BC Executive Committee
November 25, 2010

British Columbians were recently pleasantly surprised when, in an obvious attempt to put the brakes on a popularity free fall, the BC Liberals forced the resignation of their leader, Premier Gordon Campbell. While trying to shake the scandal of undemocratically instating the HST payout to big business this government has publicly flogged and booted the Energy Minister, Bill Bennet, for being critical of the failing regime. But cracks are showing in other areas of Liberal policy, including the question of BCs shameful $8 minimum wage. While we welcome the resignation of the Premier, the firing of the minister, and the possibility of a minimum wage increase, this must not be used as a way to divert public attention from the lies and failings of the BC Liberal government. Full, complete, and immediate, resignation of the entire government is the only remedy to the political problems facing BC.

Meanwhile, the opposition BC NDP has begun to prepare for election. But the division around the leadership of Carole James has broken out into a public fight. While it is not our place to advise our NDP sisters and brothers on who ought to lead their party, we do express concern with James' moves to distance the NDP from labour and to reach out to business. We reject the politics of "fairness" between business and labour and maintain that one cannot represent both the working people and their bosses. Two NDP MLAs have left that party recently, Bob Simpson and Katrine Conroy, in public protest over the unwillingness to hold a leadership convention. We hope for a strong, united, NDP with progressive policies going in to the next election. The danger from the right is too great to risk.

This danger comes not only in the form of the disintegrating Liberal Party which is struggling to find legitimacy in the wake of its own collapse, but also in the increased popularity of both the BC Conservative Party and the BC First Party, both of which have been given increasing media attention in recent weeks. These parties represent the same backwards, big-business interests as the Liberals and will undoubtedly continue their anti-worker, anti-youth, anti-student offensive.

The Young Communist League re-iterates its call for resignation or recall of the BC Liberals. We reject wholeheartedly the Conservative and BC First Parties. Our schools, ours hospitals, our libraries, our collective agreements; our province and everything that working people have fought for in BC are at is at stake. It's time for progressives across the province to unite and ensure that every pro-corporate candidate is defeated in the next election so that our province can begin down a new path. It's up to us as workers, you, and students, to stand up before, during, and after that election and actively make sure that our interests are looked after - no matter what government takes power. The economic hardship of Canada's lowest minimum wage, highest child poverty, and increasing barriers to education must be stopped or BC is in trouble for a generation to come.

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