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Wilkinson steps into a trap he set himself

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Lets not understate the fact that BC's new speculation tax isn't without controversy. It is. There are some folks unhappy that they're now subject to a tax that didn't exist until now. But lets also discuss why we are here and the big mistake that BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson is making.

We are here because of the 2005 legislation passed by the BC Liberals to de-regulate the real estate trade. It became a self regulated industry with significantly reduced government oversight. In fact, oversight passed to the industry itself.

Land speculation has been a thing since land has been able to be purchased and sold. It can be a high risk venture, but most often pays off well. By deregulation, rules and oversight to said speculation slipped away and the practice of 'shadow-flipping' took root in some of the province's hottest markets. In short, it allowed shady realtors to manipulate home sales in such a way to make hundreds of thousands extra in commissions …

Higher education and Nanaimo

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BC Liberal candidate for the Nanaimo byelection opined about higher education recently. While the thought of a politician injecting himself into what ought to be taught is unsettling, I'll leave that alone for another day.

So lets cut to the chase here. While Tony Harris give his thoughts on higher learning, what is the BC Liberal record on tuition fees for Malaspina/VIU?

Well. Funny you should ask. In 2001 the cost of tuition for an Arts program was $1240...in 2017? Well that cost was $4346. That's a 251% increase. 176% of that was while Nanaimo had a BC Liberal MLA (2001-05).

My 2 bits

In trying to re-define "real estate speculation" Tony Harris accidentally reveals something else.

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Go ahead, read his article here.

The background here is that BC Liberal candidate for Nanaimo, Tony Harris was caught editing out the word 'speculation' on his bio page just ahead of his announcing of his candidacy. For anyone born yesterday or unplugged from the affairs of BC for the last 10 years, real estate speculation has turned the industry into a giant slot machine for developers and realtors. Its become a tough slog for first time home buyers as the average starter home has consistently and dramatically become more out of reach for average folks.

None of which is directly to blame on Tony himself. But being given a front page exposure for apparently trying to hide his affinity to the speculation part of real estate seemed that it needed an explanation. So that's where we begin and that's where it gets awkward for Tony.

Thing 1.

Young people aren't tuning out of politics; they're tuning out of the big parties. Yes, your Trump/MAGA hat stunt was in poor ta…

Lessons of history should guide #Nanaimo voters ahead of byelection

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It was a fascinating dynamic to watch hard core Bernie fans either refuse to vote, vote Green, or Vote Trump because their guy Bernie Sanders didn't win the Democratic Party nomination in 2016. Eventually, Hillary would win the popular vote by at least 3 million votes, but as it is with our own FPTP system, votes don't determine outcome. Electoral votes did.

Strategically, either by fluke or by design, Donald Trump went on to win and become the 45th President of the US. He won smaller conservative states to be sure, but he also won enough larger states to tilt the balance - regardless of what New York or California did.

Already, the Warren/Beto/Sanders camps are going to war against each other *inside* the Democratic Party, as the various groups of activists claim that their opponents are 'no different than Trump'. Hogwash. At this point, a moldy piece of bread is an improvement to Trump, but activists would convince you of otherwise. If this keeps up, Trump is on his…

The only way that the legislature debacle becomes an NDP/Liberal proxy war is if the narrative is spun that way

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One of the most disappointing articles I've read in a long time was published by Rob Shaw, where he suggests that the current debacle under way at the BC Legislature is a proxy war between the two major parties in BC.

That itself is a BC Liberal talking point. Its a "both sides" argument being made.

Its false, but that's how this is being spun, and it serves BC Liberals that this be told in that narrative.

In short, Speaker Daryl Plecas and his special assistant Mullins uncovered some shady things they believe worthy of a police investigation. So they forwarded whatever they had to the police. Two special prosecutors are now involved because of the politically sensitive nature of the investigation.

In the ordinary world, had you done anything or accused of doing something shady, until it could be proved beyond doubt; you could rightly be expected to be suspended with pay as the investigation does whatever it does. In the case of the legislative duo in question, their…

The problem with FPTP

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One of the most outrageous lies told by the anti-reform folks is that 'proportional representation' will trigger the arrival of extremist politicians. That is a lie. Voters choose the parties they wish, they get the government derived from the ballot box. Its fair to suggest that our current system has done more to hasten the arrival of more extreme politics than the option of changing the system.

As evidence, it was under FPTP in Canada that thanks to the regional concentration of the right-wing separatist BQ in Quebec, a party with no more than 12% of the popular vote nationally became Her Majesty's Official Opposition in 1993' this is despite the former PC party winning a significantly larger share of the popular vote, but spread out across the nation so that they lost all but 2 seats.

Equally, the regionally concentrated, ultra conservative Reform Party in that same election went from one seat to 3rd party with over 50 seats despite a lower proportion of the popula…

A little primer on proportional representation

One of the more insidious talking points of the anti reform side is that changing to a proportional representation system will give rise to extremist groups.
This is bullshit.
The electoral system doesn't determine who gets seats, it determines how they're elected. Ultimately, voters choose who gets to represent them.
But to the false point being made by the chicken-little movement, consider Alberta for a moment. To consolidate conservative votes into one party in order to beat the NDP in '19, Jason Kenney has formed his UCP movement. 
Mathematically, it works. If you take all the right leaning votes that had split into 2 or 3 parties and replace with 1 option (assuming all vote for #1), then you win. The trouble is that among the conservative spectrum in Alberta, they have...issues.
I'll pause here for a moment and underline this: not all rational conservatives are extremist in their views. While I don't necessarily agree with their political or social views, I…