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Corporate parties can't get it right in BC

By: 
Bradley Hughes

November 26, 2012

Around the world people are moving to the left. In BC this has lead to the governing Liberals sinking in the polls and facing a right wing split in the form of the BC Conservative party. In a poll released on November 2 by Angus-Reid the BC NDP has the support of 49 per cent of decided voters in BC. The Liberals and Conservatives between them only have the support of 42 per cent of people. The Green party trails at 7 per cent
 
The Conservative party only recently became more than a fringe party. The organizers used the opposition to the Liberal Harmonized Sales Tax to bring their party back into public attention. In 2011 the party elected formerTory MP John Cummins as leader. The party rose in the polls and briefly had an MLA when John van Dongen left the Liberals in the March to join the Conservatives. He has since changed his mind and sits as an independent. At the same time the Conservatives seem to be in a never ending internal fight about whether their elected leader, Cummins, really has the support of the party or not.
 
The governing Liberals are also in disarray. According to polling company Angus Reid, their support has been dropping since Ms. Clark was elected leader in March of 2011. With a small increase over the last few months due to a drop in support for the Conservatives. As a consequence, the Liberals were too afraid to open this legislature this Fall.
 
Facing a farily certain defeat in the May 2013 provincial election a number of Liberal Cabinet ministers announced they would not stand for reelection. Thees include the current and a former Finance Minister, the Transportation Minister, the Minister for Energy and Mines, the Education Minister, and the Child and Family Development Minister. So far 14 out of 46 sitting Liberal MLA's have announced they won't run. Having loyally served the 1% and the corporations of BC they can easily get high paying private sector jobs after the election instead of risking a humiliating defeat at the polls.
 
The Liberals' problems started before 2011 when Clark became leader and Adrian Dix was elected leader of the BC NDP. The Liberals have been trailing the NDP in the polls since a few months after the last election in 2009.
 
Clark has continued the Liberals program of tax cuts for the rich and their corporations, and service and wage cuts for the rest of us. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives calculated that as a result of a decade of regressive tax cuts, the bottom 20 per cent of households pay 14 – 15 per cent of income in taxes, the middle income households pay taxes at 13 per cent and it drops to 11 per cent for the richest 20 per cent.
 
While the corporate parties remain loyal to the 1% the world is moving to the left. We've seen this in the occupy movement, in the Arab spring, the Orange wave in the last federal election, and now in a series of strikes across the public sector in BC. The politics of the business parties has less and less appeal to the majority in BC, now is the time to build a movement that can force our parliaments and legislatures to undo the tax cuts, to properly fund public services, create climate jobs and to raise wages.

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