Apr. 30, 2019

Can we afford what the candidates are offering?

We’re in the home stretch of the Nanaimo-Ladysmith federal byelection – by next Monday night we’ll know who is going to represent us in Ottawa, at least for a few months.

We’ve been lured with promises and political philosophies to entice us to vote for them. From the all-candidates meeting last week we recognized there are six citizens who are dedicated, each and everyone, to what they envision as best for our us. 

That’s where the big decision rests – which one of them best represents what each of us wants and needs? This is essentially a trial period  or probation for a representative who will serve about 12 sitting days in Parliament before we get to do this all over again in October.

There are a number of decision points to consider when you head to the polling station. First we have to decide if the promises are best for all of us when the bills come in if those promises are actually fulfilled. Can we afford it? 

The other point is how each of the four prominent parties can represent us. Is it with the two dominant parties in Parliament where our winning candidate has a chance to be heard, or with one of the lesser parties where the winner operates from the periphery without the same amount of influence. So if you want a voice that can influence policy, the Liberal and Conservative candidates are your best bet, even if the governing party changes in the October general election, regardless of which party that is. When the winner goes to Ottawa he or she will have the ear of someone with the power to make decisions.

We have to ask how we are well served by parties that want to shut down our resource industries, to hinder movement of those resources to world markets. Opposing pipelines and ocean shipping cannot be good for us. Those obstructions have cost our country billions of dollars already, thanks in large part to our prime minister’s shennanigans. 

The Green party’s proposition is that you can turn the world totally upside down without causing damage to our very way of life. Fantasies about alternate energy generation are extremely costly and contradictory. Many of those projects actually use more coal and fossil fuels in their manufacture than what they can provide cost effectively. The end result is more taxes with little or nothing to show for it. Gullibility leads people to believe things they don’t really understand, especially when they sound good, regardless of how impractical.

The NDP’s voiced opposition to shipping oil, pipelines, liquid natural gas is suspect because they themselves – at least their provincial brethren – do not eliminate them when in power. Ask newly-converted LNG fan John Horgan.

There’s no such thing as free – everything has to be paid for, it just depends whom we stick with the bill. More and more extra taxes do not solve any environmental challenges, they just take more money out of our pockets. When do we reach the point where we don’t have the where-with-all to simply live – have homes, pay for fuel to drive our cars, buy groceries, pay for health care and so on.

There’s no question all the candidates are decent people, they have the best at heart for all of us. The question is whether their solutions are the right ones.

When candidates keep enticing us with four-letter words we need to be cautious. Remember, “free”is a four-letter word.

We welcome comments. Please reply to editor@nanaimonet.com