Of late British Columbians have been plagued by the endless bleating of our unelected and unelectable, outgoing premier, Christie Clark, droning on about how hers is the "free enterprise" government. It's an old saw, one based on the idea that the public has to choose between raving socialists on the left and a grandiose version of the Chamber of Commerce on the right. It worked in the past for W.A.C. Bennett and a host of right-wingers who followed but it may have outworn its welcome.
Yet there are a good many of us in this province who spurn both extremes and have come to dread the left-right whipsaw politics. Yes, most of us will probably vote NDP this time around, but it will be negative voting. We'll be voting against the BL Libs, not for the NDP. That said, we'll be pleased enough to wake up the morning after and know that the Libs-in-name-only have been finally swept from power.
What British Columbia needs is a genuinely liberal Liberal Party. That, after all, is how the party was reborn out of the ashes of decades of tug of war between the right and left that ill-served the province and its people. Unfortunately the resurgent BC Liberal Party punched a hole in the bottom of the Social Credit ship causing its members to swim for it until they boarded the Liberal ship and made it their own. Any hope for liberalism was utterly and ruthlessly purged from the BC Libs before it ever could take hold.
Of course to give the Dippers their due, today they seem to have little interest in their old ways. The great causes have been neatly folded up and packed away. They have embraced liberalism and pragmatism instead. Maybe it's their socialism that is actually dead, put down at their own hands.
Perhaps getting wiped out at the polls will be a good thing for the BC Liberal Party. It will certainly be good for the BC Conservative Party if it clears the way for the Tories to reclaim the right. It will obviously be great for the NDP. What remains unclear is whether any of it will actually be much good for the people of British Columbia.