Reviewing the Globe’s election endorsement

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Let’s take a look at the Globe and Mail’s endorsement of Christy Clark and the BC Liberals.

First, it says government in BC has reached new heights of plutocracy and corruption on Christy Clark’s watch, and lax fundraising rules give the governing party a huge financial advantage over its rivals. But on the other hand… this gives the opposition grounds to criticize the government. So in the end, everyone’s basically even! Point for Clark.

And Clark promised to strike a panel to recommend ways to change political fundraising rules in BC, so she’s already as good as delivered on promises of reform she didn’t actually make. Another point for Clark. 

Now consider the state of the economy, which is really quite good compared to the rest of the country. Actually this has nothing to do with anything the party in power did, because BC does not have a command economy. But the Liberals didn’t deliberately try to ruin the economy. Another point for Clark!

What about environmental policy? Well, the Liberals introduced a rather good carbon tax. Nine years ago. Under a different premier. When Clark was not in politics in any capacity. Still, it seems only fair to give Clark the point for this, for some reason.

Now on to fiscal policy. Well the budget is balanced and debt is relatively low compared to provinces on the other side of the country facing totally different problems. There is, of course, no need to scrutinize the means by which the Liberals achieved a balanced budget, because government budgets are purely about numbers and it doesn’t really matter in material terms what spending gets cut to make those sweet, sweet numbers come out right. Point for Clark.

On the issue of housing prices, for years the Liberals ignored calls from housing advocates and the NDP to craft a policy response. When it finally did so, its interventions were incompetent and half-hearted. But half a heart is better than none! Again, point for Clark.

Finally, the Liberals and NDP disagree on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. We’ll just assume the NDP is wrong on this one. Therefore we will award the point to Clark and deduct one point from John Horgan and the NDP for not changing their minds about the pipeline.

The final score: Christy Clark and the BC Liberals, 7 points. John Horgan and the BC NDP, -1 point. It’s true we haven’t really talked about Horgan and the NDP much at all, but when the government and the opposition are at odds, we should probably assume that the opposition isn’t worth paying attention to. Otherwise they’d be the ones in government. Therefore, the Globe endorses Christy Clark and the BC Liberals.

If you’ve been looking for that perfect illustration of how rationalization differs from reason, look no further.

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