E-Day plus 365

A year ago today, Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals won a second majority, and lost 31 seats. Last week, a Mustel Group poll had the Liberals at 54% to 37% for the NDP.

A 13 point lead despite Olympic cost overruns, Kevin Falcon's freeway bullying, cutting funding to emergency rooms, and still not addressing classroom sizes could mean a few things. One thing is that the polite, pick-your-spots approach the NDP has taken in the legislature isn't resonating with the voters. Another thing is that after the Liberals handed out signing bonus to public sector workers, the labour movement isn't mobilized to take on these kind of issues as they did in the Campbell's first term.

Or, it could be that no one's paying attention and it's getting close to summer, making this the useless kind of double-digit lead. The beaches may open this weekend, but the unfortunately for the Liberals, the polls don't for another three years.

Of course, the Basi-Virk trial has to open sometime...


Where's my torpedo?

Last week, BC Ferries announced the names of its three new vessels that will serve the Tswassen - Swartz Bay and Horseshoe Bay - Departure Bay beginning in 2008. This page doesn't get seasick, but I did become severely ill at the names Coastal Renaissance, Coastal Inspiration, and Coastal Celebration.

"Renaissance?" "Inspiration?" "Celebration?" BC Ferries is supposed to be the maritime extension of this province's highway system, not a f**king cruise ship line. Does anyone remember when the ferries were actually named after places in BRITISH COLUMBIA? This name-the-ferries competition is little more than a distraction from the fact that BC shipbuilders were shut out of the bidding process to build these ships. Built in Germany, named in BC - there's a postive economic impact.

Slapping a coat of bullsh*t corporate whitewash on the fleet's three new vessels shows just how little 'BC' there is in BC Ferries. Privatization has meant longer sailing waits, labour disruptions, safety failures, and higher fares. All David Hahn and his minions can do is mull over more asinine schemes to extort revenue and keep tarnishing a once-reliable brand. Here's an idea: next time build the ferries in BC, and let the Germans name them: This page would have no problem boarding the Fahre fur die Leute.



There is something just odd about sportscasters bitching about Barry Bonds using performance-enhancing drugs to pass Babe Ruth on the career home runs list....then cutting to a commercial for Viagra.

This page has seen it, what? About three times in the last four days?


B.S.B.S. - Bumper Sticker Bull ...

Here are a few bumper stickers I've had the (mis)fortune of coming across recently:

"Visualize World Peace"
You put this on a motor vehicle, while at the same time thousands have died in Iraq to secure a convenient supply of petroleum for that vehicle. Get your eyes checked.

"A Woman without a Man is like a Fish without a Bicycle"
I don't know about femminists, but the only place for surrealists is in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant.

"What would Jesus do?"
I'm sure that whenever Jesus was stuck, he didn't ask "What would Moses do?" At least The Da Vinci Code answers "Who did Jesus do?"

"If I can't dance, then I don't want to be part of your revolution"
If I can't run from the army and the police when they start shooting because I'm too tired from dancing, then I don't want to be part of YOUR revolution.

"You can't hug children with nuclear arms"
You can't spank them with weapons grade plutonium either.


Does the transit tax break go anywhere?

Among the transparent vote-buying goodies in this week's Conservative budget is a 15.5% tax credit for transit riders who buy a monthly pass. In addition, the government pledged $1.3 billion for public transit infrastructure.

However, the CPC plan to get public transit moving has a couple of bumps in the road. First of all, the money for the tax credit is being siphoned from existing climate change programs. Secondly, $1.3 billion is not a lot of money to share around every public transit system in the country, especially when Vancouver's Translink and the Toronto Transit Commission have major expansion projects underway.

For the tax credit to work, the infrastructure credit has to exceed projected increases in ridership, including those not precipitated by a tax credit on monthly passes. Otherwise, the vicious circle of fare increases and service cuts will once again leave transit users wanting to get off.


2010 = 86: Wrong Answer

This week the local mediots are full of warm fuzzies about the 20th anniversary of Vancouver's Expo 86. This page was nowhere near Vancouver at the time, but it appears from what the World's Fair left behind, Expo ushered in a golden age of overpriced condos, a white elephant rapid transit system, a stadium no one likes going to, and highway tolls in perpetuity.

Yesterday, former Premier Bill Bennett (who's real claim to fame is being only one of two BC Premiers who had a General Strike on his watch), came out of hiding to rally our corporate overlords to try and generate the same kind of excitement for the 2010 Olympics that there apparently was for Expo 86. The big problem in that line of thinking, of course, is that a World's Fair and a Winter Olympics are two completely different events.

An Expo lasts six months, and is geared towards people coming to see it in person. An Olympics lasts two weeks, and is pretty much a television event with the crowds in the stands as glorified extras. A well run Expo produces economic spinoffs for its host city, while the profits from an Olympics are skimmed by the 'Olympic Family' of corporate sponsors and pseudo-royalty who make up the International Olympic Committee.

There may be good arguments that the likes of Bennett and Jimmy Pattison did a good job of putting on a show two decades ago, but Expo 86 was lightning (that struck a lot of homeless people) in a bottle. Nostalgia won't find construction workers, clear the protesters from Eagle Ridge Bluffs, or get an arena deal with GM Place any time soon.