Premier Christy Clark is just having a nice chat around a kitchen table with four or five folks. Everyone clutches a teacup, and as Clark talks about jobs and economy, they all nod.
But they don’t say anything.
It’s the latest broadcast ad from the B.C. Liberals, and it marks the start of a long, miserable, American-style election season here in B.C.
Our objection is not that the ads are insanely early – though they are, with almost nine months to go before next spring’s provincial vote.
It’s that we’re already being bombarded with the worst clichés of political advertising.
The ad is ostensibly about two things: controlling government spending, and job growth.
Clark tells us that we’ve got to “keep our eyes on the ball” and “stay focused.”
“We have to create jobs!” she says, with such force that the sugar bowl is almost rattled.
Okay, yes. Those are fairly uncontroversial ideals.
I’m pretty sure the NDP, Greens, B.C. Conservatives, and independents would all agree that those are sound policies.
So, with fall, winter, and spring to inform us of the Liberals’ intentions, why not start telling us how you’re going to do that?
How are the Liberals (or NDP) going to keep spending under control while funding health care for an aging population?
How are they going to deal with a rapidly growing Lower Mainland that needs new schools, roads, and hospitals while rural areas of the province see population decline?
How will they help young people afford housing, without crashing the market and wiping out construction jobs?
Please, politicians, don’t tell us what you want to do.
Tell us how you’re going to do it.