Published On: Friday, 08 September 2017
NDP Wasting No Time in Implementing Radical Agenda
- Mark MacDonald is the Publisher of the Business Examiner News Group, and President of Invest Northwest Publishing.
BC - With the slimmest of possible margins in the legislature, one would think the NDP and their Green sidekicks would tiptoe carefully in their first steps in government.
Guess again. With a resounding thump, the NDP is back, sending tremors throughout the province, moving quickly to implement their anti-business, ideologically based concepts which aim to crush the entrepreneurial spirit. It’s the latest version of Shock and Awe.
It’s like the NDP can’t help itself. The first time they became government, in 1972, Premier Dave Barrett was like a bull in a china shop, acting like the one-term government it would be by introducing legislation and programs that to this day, remain headaches.
The Agricultural Land Reserve was a document more congruent with the NDP’s hidden manifesto, that suggests individuals should not have the right to own property. While the ALR has been effective in some areas by preserving precious farm land, it has often gone far over the line, making un-plantable and un-harvestable land undevelopable – even though the land itself is proven to be good for only development.
ICBC was a Barrett government creation, and the NDP is flagging a BC Liberal-commissioned report citing vast funding inadequacies in the insurance corporation that could see rates jacked as high as 30 per cent. While the pronouncements are politically charged – as most governments slag their predecessors with such reports – the NDP is hardly the party that has proven itself capable of balancing any set of books.
The best solution to ICBC is to open the market to private insurers, where competition would prove to be the great leveler of rates. But don’t count on the NDP giving any such opportunity to the private sector. That doesn’t fit their ideology.
The next time around, in 1991, former Vancouver Mayor Mike Harcourt, a Socialist in a suit, looked more tame and seemed content to take his time implementing NDP doctrine and dogma.
He didn’t enrage the business community and, in fact, his more balanced approach gave the NDP a real shot at a successive term in office, although it wasn’t fast enough for the “Ides of March” backbenchers who pushed Harcourt out after the Bingogate charity-skimming scam orchestrated by Nanaimo NDP MLA Dave Stupich.
In 1996, Glen Clark asked for some “wriggle room” prior to his defeat of BC Liberal leader Gordon Campbell, then introduced fudg-it budgets and doomed-from-the-start aluminum catamaran ferries before he was finally ousted by a deck-building scandal. By then, however, he enraged the B.C. business community to the point the BC Liberals swept to power with a 77-2 seat majority. The NDP’s extreme agenda drove the NDP to near annihilation in 2000.
So what has the NDP learned from its own history? Obviously nothing.
Petronas’ cancellation of their multi-billion dollar investment in Liquid Natural Gas meant they walked away from the $9 billion they’ve already spent in B.C. Why? They realized with the inflammatory anti-resource rhetoric of the GreeNDP and the campaign promises of extra taxation that this project was not going to be possible under this jurisdiction.
The GreeNDP then promises to fight with all their might the federally approved Kinder Morgan Pipeline, threatening jobs. They may yet cancel the Site C dam project, throwing 2,200 direct employees out of work.
Steps towards a $15 minimum wage were announced recently, yet another massive move in the first few weeks of the government. It’s a blatant vote-pandering move, which always results in: Businesses trying to raise prices to pay for increased payroll. If the market can’t sustain that, they cut service and/or staff to keep costs at bay. Or, as McDonald’s is doing, companies introduce automation that will eliminate entry level, non-skilled jobs.
And the employees who get the minimum wage raise? They will only enjoy that for a limited time, because the price of everything else rises to match those increased costs. If the NDP really was sincere about helping minimum wage earners, there’s a simple solution, but it takes more time: Training. That will enable people to make more money as they can fill skilled positions that pay more.
NDP ideology seems to reject the basic law of economics: Supply and demand. Maybe NDPers believe that by killing well-paying resource-based jobs they’ll decrease the ability for average citizens to have wealth to provide demand, thus making it unnecessary to create more supply, aka development. The Green Party would celebrate that.
The NDP’s plan for affordable housing hasn’t been launched or even adequately explained, but perhaps it’s simply causing the housing market to cool due to a lack of demand, driving the price of homes down and making them more affordable. Let’s hope not.
It’s a mystery that the NDP has seen the same scenario repeat itself, now the third time in B.C. alone, but still refuses to learn or accept the realities of democratic society. They’re stuck in an ideological time-warp, and the worst thing about it? They believe they’re right, and refuse to learn from history.
Punishing entrepreneurs and business owners only causes them to pull back and stop moving forward with job-creating projects and companies. And without a thriving private sector, there isn’t money for social programs – or jobs for those who need them most.