Recognition of the financial realities of the BC provincial government and the discipline to manage the province’s finances responsibly – within the constraints posed by the province’s income [revenue] – are key skills needed by any party leader to avoid imploding the provinces finances and economy in the short term and placing severe, negative limits on the province’s future economic health in both intermediate and long terms.
Clearly Mr. de Jong’s experience is an enormous asset in terms of effectively and responsibly managing the province’s finances. A task that will only become more difficult, especially in terms of politically popularity, as the costs of our profligate financial behaviours over the past decades come due.
However, those decades of experience clearly serve to narrow Mr. de Jong’s perspective as evidenced by his own words when he speaks of the need to re-energize [give fresh vitality, enthusiasm, or impetus to] the Liberal Party.
Re-energizing the Liberal Party will do nothing to address the many social issues facing BC – and Canada. Nor will re-energizing in any way bring about the policies needed to manage the economy created by the fundamental economic changes that occurred over the past two decades.
Accumulated, these changes have given rise to a New Economy – in fact, not simply as a convenient label or catch phrase.
The birth of a new economy with different fundaments from the economy born post WW II is why the Liberals under Clark were unable to stop, much less reverse, the deterioration in standard of living suffered by the majority of BC citizens, the increase in poverty, economic malaise and a future that continues to become bleaker.
The beliefs, ideology and policies of the Liberal Party [and other current political parties] are built on the foundation of an economy that no longer exists.
Until politicians and political parties adjust to the changed economy, government actions and policies will be ineffective and leave the economy, citizens and government mired in declining financial circumstances.
Also looming are the realities and tough choices voters didn’t want to hear about or deal with. Topping this list would be poverty, hunger, homelessness, healthcare, mental health and addiction.
Giving into voters demand to not talk about what voters did not want to hear, a demand backed by the threat implicit in voters record of punishing [voting against] those who tell them what they don’t want to hear and rewarding [voting for] those who telling them what they want to hear, resulted in governments applying band-aids and cosmetics to issues voters did not want to think about or face.
Issues do not go away just because you refuse to face or deal with them. Ignoring issues simply allows them to grow in size and complexity, creating a bigger mess to clean up.
Spend your money on band-aids and cosmetics and you end up where we are with homelessness – all your money is spent on actions that are cosmetically appealing but do nothing to actually reduce the number of homeless. There is no money to spend on the services that have demonstrated their ability to reduce homelessness.
If you dig through the barrier created by the mass of what is known for sure but is in fact wrong to what has demonstrated the ability to address the issues by, for example, reducing homelessness in those geo-political units that committed to doing what was necessary to reduce the number of homeless, how to accomplish dealing with the issues is not what is lacking.
What we lack is the will and the leadership.
Energetically doing the same old, same old over and over again expecting that it will miraculously work THIS TIME is not simply lacking in sanity but is pointless.
To reclaim control of our fate and our future we need to bring our behaviour into alignment with the changes in the economy and the world.
To do that the leader of the Liberal Party will need to regenerate [to remake or make over, as in a different form; to be formed again; to reconstitute, or make over, especially in a better form or condition; to produce anew.] the party and its policies.
In order to be effective managers of the government, the economy and the wealth of BC – political parties, indeed politics itself, must change.
Survival goes not to the smartest or strongest but to the one most able – and willing – to change.
In terms of the leadership of the Liberal Party – Go Big or Go Home.