NDP unlikely to make big changes

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flamingfingers
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NDP unlikely to make big changes

Post by flamingfingers »

This column was by Keith Baldrey who has been Bureau Chief in Victoria for ages. He has covered politicians of every stripe and has a habit of breakfasting with Christy Clark. I tend to agree with him as I have read various items that seem to corroborate the idea that Dix is not going to be lavishing bucket loads of money on anyone if he and the NDP are elected this spring.

NDP unlikely to make big changes

By Keith Baldrey, Freelance March 13, 2013

A protest rally this past weekend served as another reminder that a whole bunch of New Democratic Party supporters are in for a rude awakening if their political party wins the May election.

About 200 people gathered outside Premier Christy Clark's constituency office, demanding more government money for a comprehensive child-care plan.

If the NDP does indeed form the next government, I suspect a similar demonstration will eventually take place outside NDP leader Adrian Dix's constituency office.

That's because Dix has signalled he knows the government cupboard is bare, and has already indicated his plans for a provincewide child-care program are dead in the water, at least for a while, because the money simply isn't there to fund one and the federal government needs to come on board, and it too is grappling with budget issues.

But the lack of an expensive child-care system isn't the only issue sure to disappoint the various interest groups that support the NDP over the B.C. Liberals and who can be depended upon to come cap in hand to whichever party forms government in May.

Teachers, for example, may get a slight pay hike from an NDP administration, but not one that comes anything close to what they've been demanding from the provincial government for years.

And they'd be wise to lower expectations when it comes to significantly more funding for the classroom - there will be some, but not a lot.

There will be some pro-union changes to labour legislation, but unionized public sector workers shouldn't expect any significant pay hikes any time soon.

Don't look for much of an increase in social assistance rates either.

This is nothing new for the NDP - when it formed government in the 1990s it actually cracked down on the welfare system.
And the NDP has decried the level of child poverty in this province for years, but again, I'll be surprised if much action is taken on that front for at least a few more years and the state of government finances improves.

Wait times in the health-care system are not going to radically change no matter which party wins in May.

I suspect the NDP's election platform will commit more money than the B.C. Liberals' current budget, but even that amount will simply maintain the status quo.

I've noted before that one large constituency that usually supports the NDP may be particularly upset with the party.

That would be the environmental movement which, among other things, wants a ban on fracking to extract natural gas.
The NDP's energy critic, John Horgan, says his caucus has committed to a study on fracking, but that's about it.

He's mindful of the vital role natural gas revenues play in paying for government services, from health care to education and I doubt an NDP government would do anything to stifle the money that could flow from that critical industry.

Governments of all philosophical stripes are becoming desperate for more revenues, which naturally sets the stage for a clash between environmentalists and whichever party forms government, as the extraction and sales of natural resources is the backbone of the economy.

About the only sector that might notice some significant differences between an NDP administration and the B.C. Liberal government is post-secondary education. Dix has made it clear he considers that skills training and student aid are his top priorities, and has committed a large pot of new funding for those areas.

But that's about it folks. For all the criticism the NDP throws at the B.C. Liberal government on a near-daily basis for a lack of funding here, a lack of spending there, things aren't going to change much after the May vote even if the party takes power.

The conundrum of what to do about B.C. Ferries is a good example.

This past week, the party's B.C. Ferries critic was unable to offer any specifics for what the NDP has planned for ferry services. There was no commitment for increasing the tax subsidy for B.C. Ferries, or doing anything to reduce fares or make changes to service levels.

So all those special interest groups can stick their hands out all they want if the party they appear to be backing actually takes power, but it doesn't mean much of anything will actually be handed out to them.

All of this means that, should Dix become premier, demonstrations outside his constituency office may be rather commonplace. And those doing the protesting will be the same folks who voted for him.


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It will be interesting to see how Baldrey's comments square with the platform Dix puts out after the writ is dropped by Christy....
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maple leaf
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Re: NDP unlikely to make big changes

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With Liberals reckless tax cuts,doubling the debt and maxing out the credit cards with contractual obligations for the next 30-40 years.The next government will be hamstrung as to what they will be able to do.I'm sure many will have their wish list and priorities and some are going to be disappointed,with what the NDP will be able to do if elected.But probably the same people will be disappointed the same if the Liberals got in.We will see soon enough what the NDP will present ,as promised a fully costed out platform, showing what they will do and what will be done over time.One practical step at a time.
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Re: NDP unlikely to make big changes

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maple leaf wrote:With Liberals reckless tax cuts,doubling the debt and maxing out the credit cards with contractual obligations for the next 30-40 years.The next government will be hamstrung as to what they will be able to do.

Indeed. The bottom line is that after more than a decade of reckless fiscal mismanagement there is simply no money. I don't know how much longer the Liberals were going to try and get away with their smoke and mirror tricks, but hopefully now we'll get a more real picture of our financial affairs. Maybe Dix could pull a Campbell and rip up a few of those contracts (or would that be illegal?).
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Re: NDP unlikely to make big changes

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Keep your posts on topic and civil.
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Re: NDP unlikely to make big changes

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    flamingfingers wrote:It will be interesting to see how Baldrey's comments square with the platform Dix puts out after the writ is dropped by Christy....
If Baldrey is correct then Dix will have an "epiphany" and after years of complaining about "chronic underfunding" he'll do a 180 and continue with that "chronic underfunding" that he's bitterly complained about. On the other hand, if he decides to spend billions more, as he's been telling us is absolutely necessary, then we will have a combination of tax increases - significant tax increases - and large deficit budgets as well. Either way he's put himself in a position to ensure inner turmoil within the NDP. If he pulls the rug out from the BCTF and the BCGEU all hell will break loose. And if he brings in significant tax increases or large deficit budgets all hell will break loose as well. Sort of reminds me of the 1990's. Lots of entertainment ahead but it's going to be a rough ride for the province.
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Re: NDP unlikely to make big changes

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Snip;
What kind of money manager might Adrian Dix turn out to be if he is elected premier on May 14?

Well, we'll have to wait another week to see his party's plans for generating and spending money. But - despite the reality that politicians may or may not do what they say, and people may or may not change with the times - it's interesting to speculate based both on what he says and on the history of the party he has been linked to for more than two decades.

The Liberals and other foes love to cast Dix and his NDP colleagues as spendthrifts. No question he and his allies have lots of things they'd like to spend on - a list that tilts toward social policy rather than the right's more frequent focus on tax breaks or spending that seeks to foster development.

But he made it clear in an interview - and he says he takes every opportunity to make it as clear to his supporters - that there'll be no money to address many of the things on such a list any time soon.

"Last week, I got letters and emails about doubling welfare rates, a new daycare system, getting rid of MSP premiums," he told me a couple of weeks ago when we sat down to talk about direct democracy, the subject of my recent series, and other issues.

"That's a lot of demand, and a lot of it I agree with.

"But one reason we're trying to be so disciplined before the election is to try to centre expectations where I can meet them.

"Everyone's for public health care and all that other stuff. So I'm trying to make it more precise. I'm trying to go through the actual choices we can make.

"My experience in government is that in election campaigns parties offer people choices that don't actually exist, then we disappoint them. You shouldn't leave the impression you're going to do things you're not going to be able to do in a four-year term."

He also noted that governments have less wiggle room than many voters think.

"There's a broad impression that a lot of our money goes to MLA salaries, the stadium roof and other excesses," he said. "Yet most of what governments spend in British Columbia is not very discretionary.

"For example, we have public health care. If I slip and fall, an ambulance will come and I'll be taken to hospital and I'll get care. Government can't do anything about that - that's the system we have, and it's a good one.

"This is true of schools and much more. A huge amount of government spending is nondiscretionary."

Finally, he took a tilt at the conventional wisdom that left-leaning governments are the biggest spenders.

"The biggest deficits in B.C. history haven't been run by NDP governments," he said. "And look at the United States. Or Alberta, which spends almost as much as B.C., though its population is (about one million) smaller.

"The truth is that the issue of deficits is going to be much more important to me than to Premier Clark because of the way the NDP is viewed."



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Re: NDP unlikely to make big changes

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Re: NDP unlikely to make big changes

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maple leaf wrote:The next government will be hamstrung as to what they will be able to do.


Good grief. The NDP hasn't even been elected yet and the excuses are starting already!
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Re: NDP unlikely to make big changes

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flamingfingers wrote:It will be interesting to see how Baldrey's comments square with the platform Dix puts out after the writ is dropped by Christy....

Urbane wrote:If Baldrey is correct then Dix will have an "epiphany" and after years of complaining about "chronic underfunding" he'll do a 180 and continue with that "chronic underfunding" that he's bitterly complained about. On the other hand, if he decides to spend billions more, as he's been telling us is absolutely necessary, then we will have a combination of tax increases - significant tax increases - and large deficit budgets as well. Either way he's put himself in a position to ensure inner turmoil within the NDP. If he pulls the rug out from the BCTF and the BCGEU all hell will break loose. And if he brings in significant tax increases or large deficit budgets all hell will break loose as well. Sort of reminds me of the 1990's. Lots of entertainment ahead but it's going to be a rough ride for the province.



:rate10:

I was fortunate enough to have taken a transfer out of the province shortly after the last time the NDP trainwreck began, may have to look into going that route again so I can watch the disaster unfold from outside the province again. It's much more entertaining when you're insulated from the carnage.
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Re: NDP unlikely to make big changes

Post by maple leaf »

Dash5 wrote:
Good grief. The NDP hasn't even been elected yet and the excuses are starting already!


No excuse ,just reality.They will already if elected start with an 800 million deficit left by the Liberals.The liberals already say they don't have any money to spend,so were do you expect the NDP to get the money from to do what should be done?Yes Ham strung.
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Re: NDP unlikely to make big changes

Post by Veovis »

Yet the fact remains, Dix has commented for years to give money money money, fully knowing there isn't any. Now when it comes to him, he'll simply say "Well it's the Liberals fault" and then not come through with all the money. It's so easy to criticize when you don't have to answer to it.

Maybe he will come through with economically devastating tax increases and pass along the money.

Either way a lot of his party won't be satisfied one way or the other.

No I don't think he'll make massive changes from what the Liberals have proposed, there's no real need. He should be able to win the election on a platform of, "I'll do what they said, but at least I'm not them" and win.

The catch comes in year 3 when people tire of him blaming everyone else and expect something from him and he either comes through, or draws a blank.
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Re: NDP unlikely to make big changes

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^^^So what do you expect an opposition to do while the government cuts ,cuts,cuts,like the examples below,all the while spending millions upon millions for a roof that we never needed,50 million to pay off their blunder to miners,6 million to pay off fall guys to cover their arses,giving themselves big fat pay raises,giving CLBC managers big fat bonuses( Oh yea they lied Pay raises)17 million on false advertising,11 million on buying ethnic votes.Thier won't be enough money in the Kitty for the NDP to turn this province around right away but they are preparing to start changing things one practical step at a time.


Closed 24 of 68 courthouses so the Attorney General could meet budget targets , therefore putting excessive strain and overload on the remaining ones, and forcing people to travel further to deal with family and criminal matters.
Massive, MASSIVE cutbacks to legal aid services in this province, across the board, for the entire time Campbell has been in power . More people than ever are unable to remedy family law and simple legal matters because of lack of funding and resulting closures to free clinics, help lines and offices. http://www.povnet.org/node/3629 details  in the reasons below.

cut funding to the Success by 6 program, an initiative which gave young children a head start  through more than 400 projects in 240 communities in British Columbia, including early childhood literacy programs, music and social programs for preschoolers, mentorship programs for single mothers,  and pregnancy support . http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columb ... elled.html

  Cuts to seniors services and care http://www.hsabc.org/viewReport.php?rid=8

Cuts to PAC’s across BC  ( Parents Advisory Councils) resulting in parents struggling to make ends meet having to pay more for school related activities http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columb ... g-cut.html

cuts to funding and programs for special needs children in schools as a result of budget cuts.http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columb ... needs.html

Campbell  shows his true feelings about education and the future of our province, and cuts $16 million dollars in student loan funds, with no warning, leaving students unable to attend classes, and wreaking havoc on families already financially strapped http://www.straight.com/article-246824/ ... y-students
cuts to surgeries in BC http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columb ... s-dix.html

HORRIFIC cuts to domestic violence programs and violence against women outreach and counselling programs http://www.endingviolence.org/files/upl ... ection.pdf

closed CHIMO Achievement Centre, a therapeutic day program for adults with disabilities http://billtieleman.blogspot.com/2010/0 ... azing.html

Autism: BC’s Early Inten­sive Behav­iour Inter­ven­tion pro­grams were cut http://www.straight.com/article-302303/ ... -vancouver
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Re: NDP unlikely to make big changes

Post by LoneWolf_53 »

Sounds a lot like the NDP apologists are switching up to the next gear. :D

Naturally, any of their short comings won't be attributed to the fact, that they still consist of much of the same deadwood, present last time they were at the trough.

Wonder how long it will take before their leader resigns in shame this time? :dyinglaughing:
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Re: NDP unlikely to make big changes

Post by George+ »

Next gear sounds good.
No gears left for the Liberals.
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Re: NDP unlikely to make big changes

Post by fluffy »

I can't really see much change coming. The fact is we have no money. The options are as they have always been, pay more or get less, but there is no good news in this so don't expect any politician to hit the issue head on at election time. The Liberals propose a questionably balanced budget while the opposition claims they are playing fast and loose with the accounting . Jon Manchester's editorial this morning lays it out plainly, by discrediting the Liberal budget the NDP wash themselves of any responsibility to deliver something similar. It's the political two-step as always. The trough is empty, time to cull the herd.
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