COMMENTARY: Has anyone seen the BC Liberals?

B.C. Liberal leader Christy Clark visits her campaign headquarters in West Kelowna, B.C., Tuesday, May 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

By Jon McComb Radio Host CKNW

Has anyone seen the BC Liberals lately?

Who are the BC Liberals? What do the BC Liberals actually stand for?

You might be wondering if you’ve been listening to Premier Christy Clark in the last several days because she has come up with some promises that will be in the Throne Speech Thursday afternoon that seem lifted virtually plank by plank from the NDP and the Greens.

I think that Christy Clark should apply for a legal name change, and she should call herself Andrew Horgan, based on what she has been talking about in the last week.

Premier ‘Andrew Horgan’ has been saying… well, yesterday is a classic example:

Out of nowhere, seemingly out of thin air, this premier pledges a billion dollars for new child care spaces.

A billion dollars.

Now the NDP plan was a billion and a half over 10 years.

Christy Clark now says oh no, 10 years is far too long, and that “when you need child care, you need it now.”

She hasn’t said anything like that in the entire time she has been in power.

In fact, in the election campaign that just, by the way, wrapped up six weeks ago, the premier said the childcare plan was unaffordable and irresponsible.

Not just unaffordable, which, okay, you could argue that, but it was irresponsible.

Not just unaffordable, which, okay, you could argue that, but it was irresponsible.

Now all of a sudden there’s a billion dollars that have appeared in Finance Minister Mike de Jong’s back pocket.

I don’t know where the money comes from, but apparently, there have been some, *ahem,* budget adjustments made and now the province can afford a billion dollars in daycare from the Liberals.

You know what else is in the Throne Speech? The Liberals are going to give an additional $24-million in funding — doubling the funding — to the BC Arts Council.

When in the last five or six years has Christy Clark even though of the BC Arts Council?

Well now suddenly they’re going to be the recipient of this largesse that Premier ‘Andrew Horgan’ is throwing around to try to stave off political Armageddon.

Apparently, they’re going to introduce a rent-to-own scheme to help with the housing crisis, after sitting on their hands for three years and doing absolutely nothing while the crisis unfolded around them.

They’re going to raise welfare rates, which they absolutely refused to do for years and years.

Campaign finance reform, well, we’ve been around that one more than once in the last many months.

The BC Liberal Party, Christy Clark, Premier ‘Andrew Horgan,’ were browbeaten into doing something about campaign finance reform — and only reluctantly did they come up with the idea to appoint a committee.

When a politician wants to appoint a committee it means the politician is trying to avoid making a decision.

So they were going to appoint a committee, a blue ribbon panel, of people who would look at this and come back with recommendations.

None of them binding of course.

Well, now it’s full speed ahead with campaign finance reform.

Forget the committee, forget all that other stuff, ‘we’re going to do it, and we’re going to do it now.’

In the meantime, of course, the Liberals are still raising money hand over fist.

And remember that ‘real-time’ reporting system that they brought in, and they crowed about and were so proud of?

Where people could go online and find out who was contributing to the BC Liberal Party in ‘real time?’ (It was about 10 days).

That’s gone away.

So forget that. You can’t go and look anymore because the Liberals have taken it down.

Why?

Well, that’s a good question. That is a very good question.

Maybe it’s just me, but maybe they don’t want to you to see the fundraising that they’re doing now as they get ready for what will potentially be an election — who knows, six months, a year, 18-months down the line.

The money is pouring in.

Campaign finance reform. Now they’re all in favour of it.

Maybe I’m too cynical. Maybe I believe too much in principle. I believe too much in telling the truth.

What Christy Clark and the BC Liberal Party are doing, and have done since the election, is nothing short of chicanery.

They are absolutely dancing on the head of a pin trying to hold on to power.

Where has Christy Clark, ‘Andrew Horgan’ if you wish, where has she been with these policies in the last five or six years or so? Where has she been on child care?

Nowhere.

Where has she been on raising welfare rates?

Nowhere.

Where has she been on campaign finance reform?

Dragged kicking and screaming into coming up with an idea to name a committee.

Where has she been on funding for the BC Arts Council?

Nowhere.

Now she changes all of a sudden after she loses — and I’m going to say loses — the election, because she had a big majority, she had balanced budgets, she had all of these things working in her favour and she blew it and she fell one seat short of a majority.

To me, that’s a loss.

This is why people get so upset with politicians.

This is why people cannot stand the political process.

Because they believe, and Premier ‘Andrew Horgan’ has made it clear in the last week, that they will say anything and do anything to maintain that grip on power.

They don’t want to let it go.

And so you have promises.

And you have 180-degree turns in policy and platform.

Because, “Oh, gosh, I guess we kind of blew it during the election. Because we were so cocky, and we were so arrogant, and we were so full of ourselves, that we figured we were going to win by 10 seats.”

“Now, gosh, I guess we better go out and try to buy the other half of the electorate, the 60 per cent who voted against us. Hey! Let’s put in some daycare. Hey! Let’s put in an increase in welfare rates. That will get ’em. Let’s poll on that. What do the polls tell us?”

I’m sorry. If these individuals were committed to the principles that these policy shifts represent, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

For Christy Clark, ‘Andrew Horgan,’ this is not about a principled stand.

This is not about telling the truth, this is not about — and comes nowhere close to — political honesty.

This is nothing more than a naked grab to try to hang on to power.

Nothing more, and nothing less.

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