Letter: SCORE the parties before you vote

Monday, April 29 2013

It’s election time and once again B.C. voters face the same old same old – a litany of promises made and a litany of promises broken. While the Liberals, NDP, Conservatives, the Green Party, and possibly a few Independents scramble to position themselves centre, right of centre or left of centre, I urge voters to remember elections past. It’s the Canadian and B.C. way to be centre, and the centre is just a bit wider than many may think, to accommodate left and right. It’s really all the same. Centre is conservatively liberal with a splash of socialism. 

Platforms are about parties not British Columbians. It’s been that way forever. The only way the political spectrum in B.C. can change is if voters advocate their platform, and not be lulled by the rhetoric of what has essentially always been unsustainable, that is, for voters to succumb to a state of official opposition to whoever is elected. British Columbians love opposition, as if demonstrations are a provincial catharsis for knowing full well, we have no say in the matter. But, by golly, we protested and marched and voted. Got the placards and T-shirts to prove it. Even made it on the local television station, where we all sang “we shall overcome.” 

I have observed many platforms over some 20 years, and not much has changed. We are over-taxed, over-burdened with debt, and under-appreciated as the hardcore centre of British Columbian life, the people who work hard to make sense out of ineffective and inefficient government. Why do millions of dollars clog the bureaucratic sieve, leaving only a dribble of dollars for everyday workers and volunteers who somehow must make do with so little to make a difference in the community and the family?

So, what is a people’s platform?

A people’s platform is a SCORE measured by the people and for the people of British Columbia, and not based on popularity of candidates, party image, labour union strength or the lure of big spending.

I urge voters to go out and attend those all-candidate meetings and ask the candidates for their response to the people’s platform. Ask them how they propose to SCORE. And if they SCORE well, go and vote for them, regardless of party loyalties.

Here’s the SCORE.

S – Social Security and Safety (which includes health care, seniors services, child & youth care and family services).

C – Criminal Justice Reform (where to be responsible is to be accountable).

O – Open Source Government (every vote – in the Legislature – by an MLA on any issue is open sourced for all British Columbians, so that British Columbians will know the person they elected is truly representing them and not just toeing the party line or feeling the party whip).

R – Reduced Taxes (eliminating the Provincial Sales Tax as a direct benefit to consumers because of effective resource management – forestry, fisheries, oil and gas. Alberta did it, and so can we).

E - Education Reform (a new way of teaching our children a creative synthesis of the experience of intuition, the experience of education and the experience of spirituality). And by spirituality I don’t mean religion, I mean that every human being is a spiritual being, and if that is not nurtured in our education system we will continue to graduate products and not critical thinkers. It’s time to say goodbye to performance based on memory, and say hello to valued judgments based on critical thought.

~ Gerrit Verstraete