|About the Book|
On May 14, 2013, British Columbians will go to the polls to elect a new government. For the governing BC Liberals and for their free enterprise” supporters, the outlook is bleak. Confidence is waning. Hope is fading. Confusion is abounding. AndMoreOn May 14, 2013, British Columbians will go to the polls to elect a new government. For the governing BC Liberals and for their free enterprise” supporters, the outlook is bleak. Confidence is waning. Hope is fading. Confusion is abounding. And apathy reigns supreme.Understanding and responding to that predicament is the purpose of this eBook. At the heart of the matter is the point of power, the need for change, and British Columbians’ growing desire for new leadership that can restore public trust and confidence.Better and more responsive government demands new ways of governing and institutional reforms that can elevate political discourse, strengthen political accountability and promote informed decision-making. All parties need to reach out across the political spectrum to invite new relationships, new dialogue and new understanding that builds social license for their visions and actions.This work argues for a more positive political culture in British Columbia that is more constructive and respectful of voters democratic choices, and that is less partisan, ideological and polarized. British Columbias private sector leaders can play a key role in leading that effort by helping governments to advance their visions, as they also insist upon a higher standard of political conduct.More emphasis needs to be placed on the purposes that power is intended to serve, on the specific mandates that governments are given through elections, and on the importance of building and maintaining public support for the means used to advance those ends. Strong leadership is key to that endeavor, as discussed in an analysis of the HST debacle in British Columbia and in a critique of the Clark government’s evolving position on the proposed oil sands pipeline projects that are now so topical in Canada.Drawing upon his extensive experience in B.C. politics and government, the author reflects upon several issues that are pertinent to British Columbias current political landscape and to the next provincial election. He examines the diminishing relevance of ideology in shaping voter choices- the shifting nature of coalitions in British Columbias multi-party system- the myths about vote-splitting- and the issue of party brands and branding.Ultimately, this work is an argument for a new way of governing and for new forms of political engagement that better respect voters’ democratic choices, that appreciate the fluid nature of coalitions, that value critical thought, and that emphasize innovation, vision and open, honest discourse.