Dear BC, Don't Vote NDP

April 17th, 2017 | R. Rados
bc election

I know you're thinking about it, but you'll regret it. You're thinking about pulling the trigger on Christy Clark's conservative Liberals, but it would be the biggest mistake you've made in a long time. Your situation is similar to what we had in Alberta in 2015, when we made Rachel Notley the premier of Alberta because we were pissed off about the cronyism, the lies and the nonsense of the incumbent government. We failed to watch our neighbours—like Saskatchewan—suffer under two decades of deranged socialist policies. This is your opportunity to dodge a bullet and to not make the same mistake we did.

Mark my words, British Columbia. You will suffer if you choose that glimmering orange path of false hope. The NDP isn't the answer to your problems. If you're really tired of Christy Clark, re-elect her and force the Liberal Party to deal with her internally. Throwing Clark and her entire party into the fire for the sake of making a statement won't benefit you in the long run. Trust me, I'm living in Notley's Alberta.

Right now, British Columbia has two years left to capitalize on Alberta's shortcomings. I know that sounds harsh coming from an Albertan, but the truth is, we deserve the pain. We voted for this nightmare out of spite, but we learned our lesson. British Columbia's corporate tax rate is 11%. Ours used to be 10% before 600,000 Albertans voted to send an angry message. If you do the math, you'll realize the economic advantage your province offers when compared to Alberta. Your provincial unemployment rate is 5% and ours is 8%. The math is saying that you're not really in bad shape at all. British Columbia has it good right now, so why throw it all away?

Switching from a mildly aloof right-leaning government—that calls itself Liberal—to a hard left socialist nightmare isn't going to give you what you want. If you vote NDP, you'll end up with a corrupt, ideological government that will stack its ranks with people who don't have your best interests in mind. You should, actually, know this already. If you need a reminder of how destructive NDP policies are, just take a look at your own province's history. You've already made the same bad choices that you're planning on making again.

As it stands now, the NDP platform calls for $700M in new taxes while promising to balance BC's budget. That same budget also promises $1.2B in new spending. As is the case with most NDP promises, it doesn't add up. The NDP is doing what the NDP does best: deceiving you. John Horgan has painted a pretty little picture at a time when voters are annoyed with a premier who they perceive as corrupt, out-of-touch and past her expiry. The reality is that British Columbia has one of Canada's lowest unemployment rates and strongest economies. The perfect future that Horgan is trying to sell you is nothing more than a chocolate-dipped turd.

NDP government's don't produce or enhance prosperity, they destroy it. Manitoba just shed its 16-year NDP dynasty and put itself back on the economic playing field like Saskatchewan did in 2007. Before Saskatchewan shed its own 16-year NDP dynasty, it was callously referred to as the “armpit of Canada” for its lack of prosperity, its economic stagnation, high crime rates and lower-than-average salaries. Despite having an abundance of oil, uranium, potash and coal, Saskatchewan went absolutely nowhere until Brad Wall became premier in 2007. In 2017, Saskatchewan is struggling under lower oil prices, but it's beating Alberta by attracting more investments and competition.

However, British Columbia is beating both Saskatchewan and Alberta economically and socially on almost every level. Under Christy Clark, BC has kept itself ahead of other struggling provinces by freezing carbon prices, keeping taxes low and encouraging investments in the oil and gas sector. For some added perspective, just take a look at Ontario's unemployment rate and the unemployment rates of other populous Canadian provinces. Canada's other well-known economic machines have higher rates of unemployment than British Columbia.  

Ontario's unemployment rate is 6%; Alberta's unemployment rate is 8%; Saskatchewan's is 6%; Quebec's is 6%; and the Altlantic provinces all struggle with unemployment rates between 8-14%. At a time when almost every province is struggling to put people to work, British Columbia is thriving with the lowest rate in the country—at 5%.

As the graph below shows, BC's unemployment rate is at the lowest since the 1970s. Even accounting for the global economic downturn of 2008-09, BC has been under good economic management ever since the provincial Liberals took office. Before the economic crash of 2008-09, BC was on its way to having an historically low unemployment rate. This graph doesn't include late 2016 rates or the early 2017 unemployment rates of 5%.

Notice the period of mediocrity and stagnation under the province's NDP government from 1991 to 2001. Just about one term into a new Liberal government, BC's unemployment rate started to plummet until the crash of 2008. During the NDP's decade in power before that, BC went nowhere.

One of the best measures of economic success is the number of jobs available. Currently, BC has more of its population working than any of other province or territory besides the Yukon. Another measure of economic success is GDP growth. In 2015 and 2016, BC led the country in that too. It's also predicted that BC will lead the country in economic growth through 2017.

Conventional wisdom dictates that we shouldn't try to fix what isn't broken. Unlike Alberta was in 2015, British Columbia isn't broken. Your economic forecasts are better than Canada's overall national forecast. You have more people working, more people producing products and more people investing in your province. Why would you choose to piss that all away out of spite? Usually when we're in a bright and sunny place, we don't say, “Hmm. I really miss that dark, dank place I used to be in. I should go back.”

Choosing the NDP on May 9 is like choosing to go backwards in time. Failing to see the destruction and stagnation left in the path of every NDP government that has ever ruled a province in Canada is just plain stupid. Look at Manitoba, look at Saskatchewan, look at Ontario in the 1990s and take a good, long, hard look at Alberta right now. What you're seeing isn't success or prosperity. We left that behind in 2015, but we're looking to take it back in 2019. You've got two more years to take our jobs, take our investments, take our entrepreneurs and to take our money without any real competition—but after that, Alberta is back. Will you be ready for us?

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