STV: A better democracy and more progressive politics

May 1, 2009
Dennis Pilon from UVic published this excellent article on STV in the CCPA Monitor, so I am republishing it below: MAY 12 DECISION DAY FOR B.C. VOTERS: Change to STV system would be helpful to progressives By Dennis Pilon May 12, 2009 will be the “make-or-break” day for voting system reform in British Columbia, and… View Article

Seniors’ care concerns should be taken seriously in this election

May 1, 2009
Access to residential care beds for seniors was dubbed “an election hotspot” by CTV early last week, and for good reasons. The party that forms government after May’s election will have to deal with the pressures that the aging population would put on the already strained system of seniors’ care in BC. Fundamentally, providing an… View Article

Government report on welfare leavers at odds with narrative

May 1, 2009
Kudos to the Tyee’s Andrew MacLeod for extracting a long delayed report on welfare leavers from the provincial government. The report can be downloaded here. Andrew’s Tyee article about the report can be found here. The report uses tax data of BC welfare leavers between 2000 and 2005 to see how people have done. Comparing… View Article

The Premier speaks out on labour issues

Apr 30, 2009
On April 27th I posted about the BC Federation of Labour’s report on the impacts of changes to BC’s workers compensation system under the current government. Today Tom Sandborn writing for the Tyee posted a story quoting Premier Campbell’s response to health and safety issues. The story also dealt with the NDP and labour issues,… View Article

BC’s child care crisis IS an election issue

Apr 30, 2009
The provincial election is off and running, and once again families and communities know that childcare should be a high priority for every candidate in every riding. After eight years of failed policies, ad hoc decisions, and inadequate funding, B.C. childcare is in a crisis. Just ask any young family about their struggle to find… View Article

Reflections on the Citizens’ Assembly

Apr 30, 2009
One of the most interesting stories behind BC’s Single Transferable Vote referendum is how we got there. The Citizen’s Assembly on Electoral Reform ran for a year, a fascinating exercise in deliberative democracy, and perhaps the most interesting and forward-looking thing done by the Liberals in their first term. Wendy Bergerud was a CA member… View Article

School funding an election issue at the local level

Apr 30, 2009
It hasn’t particularly reached the level of a provincial election issue, but school funding is quietly percolating along as an issue at the local level. The provincial election overlaps with the time that school boards set their budgets and many of those school boards are making cuts due to lack of funding. A few examples?… View Article

BC’s economy and the Liberal platform

Apr 29, 2009
With my oped last week on the NDP platform making me less than popular over at NDP HQ, today the Sun published my take on the Liberals’ platform, thereby guaranteeing that the list of Christmas parties I get invited to dwindles to next to nothing. BC’s Economic Challenges and the Liberal Platform By Marc Lee… View Article

The Ghost of Elections Past (revised)

Apr 29, 2009
From our STV series in the new BC Commentary, UVic historian Ben Isitt looks to the past when he sees STV. UPDATE (April 30): It seems that there is some confusion about the term Single Transferable Vote and its applicability to the 1952 and 1953 elections. Dennis Pilon, also from U Vic wrote to say… View Article

BC’s soaring EI claims

Apr 28, 2009
Today’s Statistics Canada release features the latest (February 2009) stats on Employment Insurance claims. From February 2008 to February 2009, the number of EI beneficiaries is up 69%. And the number is up 11.6% just between January and February. More evidence that the BC economy is in much worse shape than the major political parties… View Article

How Workers’ Compensation cut costs for employers and benefits for injured workers

Apr 27, 2009
A report published by the BC Federation of Labour last week finds that since 2002 employers have saved hundreds of millions of dollars in Workers’ Compensation expenses at the cost of reduced benefits to injured workers. I never cease to be amazed that such a report, which outlines the hardship to injured workers from the… View Article

Oh, about that recession …

Apr 27, 2009
BC’s recession started in 2008. That is the upshot of today’s release of Statistics Canada’s Provincial Economic Accounts, which provides the first estimates of BC’s GDP for 2008. Unlike national data, which are provided quarterly and on a timely basis, we have to wait about four months to tally the various provincial beans. These numbers… View Article

To Tax or Not to Tax — That is Not the Question!

Apr 27, 2009
It was disappointing to read Mark Jaccard’s sensational, but grossly misleading forecast of massive job loss if the NDP eliminates the carbon tax. Sure, if the NDP axes the tax and implements a cap and trade on large emitters to extract all the GHG reductions needed to achieve B.C.’s targets, there would be a huge… View Article

STV is worth trying

Apr 25, 2009
Great to see a debate kicked off among our research associates and others about the pros and cons of BC-STV. As Marc mentions below, the current issue of the CCPA’s BC Commentary has a special collection on STV, which you can download here. Keith outlines the case against STV below. And while the CCPA has… View Article

Another side to STV

Apr 25, 2009
I will take Marc’s suggestion and provide a bit of information on the other side of STV. No STV recommends on their web site that people watch the video on STV prepared by the Citizens’ Assembly. They suggest that watching this video in support of STV will be enough to convince people it is not… View Article

That other election: STV

Apr 22, 2009
By now, you have probably seen the lawn signs. True, they look a bit like NDP colours but they are actually non-partisan pro-STV signs (not signs for a guy named Steve, with an Eastern European spelling of his name, running for the dippers). You may remember STV from the 2005 BC election, where STV captured… View Article

The NDP Platform and BC’s Economic Challenges

Apr 20, 2009
Below is an oped of mine that was done at the request of the Vancouver Sun and that ran in today’s paper. Unfortunately, for reasons that are not entirely clear, the last two paragraphs were cut off, leaving the oped hanging. I put them back in below, and have requested that the online version be… View Article

Green Gods Abandoned by Godless Socialists?

Apr 17, 2009
So Keith Baldrey thinks the NDP has sold its environmental soul by opposing so-called green run-of-river IPPs. And Mark Jaccard , Tzepora Berman and friends predict economic and environment ruin from the NDP’s plan to abolish the Liberals’ carbon tax. As for run-of-river IPPs, the fact is they are not very green, at least not… View Article

How green are BC’s climate policies?

Apr 16, 2009
One of the most striking contradictions in BC’s climate action plan is the oil and gas industry. Greg Amos in The Hook, quotes our “green” premier out on the campaign trail in the northeast: “Let me tell you what’s happened in the energy industry in British Columbia in the last eight years: thirteen billion dollars… View Article

The devil take the hindmost

Apr 15, 2009
In an earlier post I talked about the fact that when New Brunswick raised its minimum wage this spring, BC would be tied in last place for the lowest minimum wage in Canada. NB raised its minimum wage today and now BC, with the highest cost of living in Canada, is tied with two provinces… View Article