I have supported the NDP for a long time as a member, a volunteer and a donor.
I write today because I am concerned about the provincial NDP’s current direction and more specifically, by B.C. NDP leader John Horgan’s reaction to the Leap Manifesto as reported in this paper: “In total collectively, it doesn’t reflect the values of British Columbians. Our past and our future will be dependent on the development of natural resources.”
The Leap Manifesto may not be the perfect roadmap forward, but I am convinced that all governments must take seriously the following statement from the document, “Climate scientists have told us that this is the decade to take decisive action to prevent catastrophic global warming.”
What Mr. Horgan and other political leaders must see is that what “our future will be dependent on” is an environment that nurtures and sustains life, not “the development of natural resources.”
I appreciate that the NDP are in a tricky spot. They want to win the next election, so they must present a platform that appeals to a broad cross-section of B.C. voters.
But here is the thing: considering the stark future that will result from tepid actions to address global warming, electability can no longer be any party’s primary concern. If we don’t take significant action in the next five to 10 years, we may well miss our opportunity to limit the worst effects of climate change.
If the recognition of this reality is not already imbedded in the “values of British Columbians,” then it is our politicians’ job to help foster new values that are consistent with humanity’s survival, not pander to some individuals’ short term self-interest in the quest for government.
To be clear, I am no fan of the B.C. Liberals. Their recent actions on climate change have been abysmal at best, and their leadership in other files no better.
Still, I can no longer support the NDP at all costs, even if they are the only viable alternative to another four years of B.C. Liberal mismanagement.
The time for vigorous policies and actions that move us away from fossil fuels is now.
That is what I will be looking for in all parties’ 2017 election platforms.