Consensus building in B.C. is a difficult proposition. Not quite an exercise in futility, but close.
The diversity of this province—geography and people—is never more evident than at the annual UBCM conference. To a city councillor from Williams Lake, Vancouver politicians must sound like they are speaking an unfamiliar language when they talk about homelessness. While this kind of diversity makes us a unique and enviable province, it also presents problems for those we send to Victoria as MLAs.
It poses problems for political parties, too. The NDP, for example, has a long history of support from trade unions. But the NDP all has a strong green element who do not support mega-projects.
The BC Liberals have different challenges, but with a similar theme of geographical/philosophical diversity. What is an MLA to do? The easy answer is to keep tabs on what is being said in your constituency and vote accordingly. But that’s not easy given our party system. There is no simple answer. Perhaps it is just a matter of holding on for a bumpy ride. But we should never lose sight of the fact that this diversity makes us a great place more than it drives us apart.
– Black Press