Dear Liberal Party Leadership Candidates
Are you sure you want to be Leader?
As set nout in the prior commentaries [ BC LIBERALS LEADERSHIP AFFRAY, RE: MIKE DE JONG LEADERSHIP INTERVIEW ABBOTSFORD NEWS FRIDAY JANUARY 19, 2018, THE CANDIDATES WILL DISAVOW ANY KNOWLEDGE] the next leader of the BC Liberal Party [in truth any BC political party leader] is faced with navigating a daunting Sea of Change if they desire to be effective.
Although adjusting to and managing the new economy must be the first priority, the leader must also deal with other pressing issues, particularly social/people issues:
- The pressure of escalating healthcare costs for services citizens demand versus the limitations imposed by provincial finances and citizens demand not to have taxes raised.
- In dealing with addiction there is a need to adjust from policies [federal as well as provincial] that have proven not only ineffective in addressing addiction, but have shown they are a barrier to dealing with addiction. In addition it is necessary to switch funding from those services that have, year after year, demonstrated their ineffectiveness in reducing homeless to those services that, in the federal Canadian government’s research study and by the reduction of homelessness elsewhere around the world, have provided quality controlled demonstration of their effectiveness in reducing homelessness by achieving stability in sobriety and housing.
- Homelessness/housing affordability: although changing addictions services to those that have demonstrated their effectiveness in permanently reducing the number of adicted will have a significant positive impact on homelessness, it is also a necessary to address the increasing numbers of people becoming homeless as a result of increasing non-affordability of housing and not as a result of their behaviours. While the needed changes in economic policies will help, housing policy needs to reflect both reality and effectiveness.
- While a change in economic policies and practices to bring policies and practices in line with the reality of the New Economy, born of the fundamental economic changes, will afford the government the ability to be effective in managing the economy, those policies must also address issues such as the cost of living [ a living wage] and increases in poverty and the increasing number of hungry children in BC.
The changes needed to address the major challenges facing BC will require poking a hole in wilful denial and telling citizens and voters what they don’t want to hear and educating them as to the need for change and the consequences of the failure to change.
There will be many more like Bill Bennett, whining about the use of surplus, non-budgeted funds to reduce the deficit rather than spending the funds in a politically popular way and ignoring the fact that reducing the provinces debt is both the financially responsible behaviour and the behaviour that will have the most positive effect on the provinces future long term financial health.
Given that the next Liberal leader will have to be bold and provide Leadership to enable and accomplish change, or find themselves constantly applying band-aids to the negative effects and consequences of being unwilling and/or unable to change in order to face and deal with reality……..
…….are you sure you really want to be leader of the Liberal party of BC?
Bonus character question:
Should you fail to win the Leadership, are you prepared to 1) support the new leader in making the changes needed? And 2) should the new leader eschew change and his policies prove ineffective in achieving positive results and the economy continues to decay, will you champion the needed change?