Five weeks ago the CCPA-BC began a letter to our supporters with this statement: “What an interesting and exciting moment in BC politics! For a bunch of policy nerds like us at the CCPA, it doesn’t get much better than this.”
At the time, we were writing about the just-announced agreement between the BC NDP and Greens. We had no idea it would take so long to find out whether a new minority government would be given an opportunity to realize the policy changes outlined in that agreement. But we shared that piece again because it highlights key policy commitments in the agreement (many of which the CCPA-BC has advanced for years).
We are hopeful about the progressive changes to come in BC—like much-needed investments in affordable housing and child care, the introduction of a long-overdue poverty reduction plan, action on climate change, fair tax reform, and honouring Indigenous rights. But we’re also preparing for the backlash that is sure to come—the claims from right-wing groups and pundits that these progressive changes are somehow dangerous to the economy. Indeed, we’ve already been hearing some of these arguments, as my colleague Alex Hemingway discusses in his recent blog post.
So how do we prevent fear mongering as the corporate interests in our province try to convince us that these progressive ideas and policies cannot be realized?
First, as we wrote in our letter five weeks ago, it will fall to all of us to insist these changes happen—to keep demonstrating that they are desperately needed and entirely reasonable.
Second, we need to fundamentally change the way we do politics in BC. That means truly constraining the unfair influence of corporations and the wealthy. Banning union and corporate donations is only the beginning—we also need to put a strict limit on individual donations, create a fair system for financing elections, and look at the numerous other ways (such as lobbying) that those with money and power skew government policies in their favour. You can read more of our ideas about what that should look like here.
And just as importantly, we need to finally say goodbye to our first-past-the-post electoral system in favour of some form of proportional representation. The BC NDP and Greens have committed to a referendum, and Alex offers his thoughts here on how we can boost the chances of a “yes” vote.
I’m sure the exciting times in BC politics won’t end anytime soon. You can count on us to keep creating space for ambitious progressive policies, and keep pushing back against the corporate interests that are so well served by the status quo.