or a Pack of Lies?
is mounting that the recent BC Liberal election victory was
based on misrepresentation at best and a pack of lies at worst.
his article in The Tyee, pointed to Campbell's
words about budgets, including his self-righteousness in 1996
compared to his hypocrisy in 2009. By now everyone knows that
Campbell's claims about the state of BC's finances during
the recent election were nonsense. Statistics on escalating
welfare caseloads were suppressed and a recently leaked government
document reveals that government expects those caseloads not
to peak until June 2010. Many believe information on collapsing
government revenues was also withheld from the public. Finance
Minister Collin Hansen maintains that he didn't learn about
collapsing income tax revenues until June 24th, but private
sector economists were talking about massive BC deficits long
before the Minister of Finance woke up.
Progress Board has released its Interim 2009 Benchmarking
Report showing BC slipping to 9th
place ranking on the economy. BC continues to rank first
on the environment and health outcomes, as it did before Campbell
came to power. According to the Progress Board, on its Number
One Core Target, per person constant dollar gross domestic
product growth (real per capita GDP growth): "BC's growth
rate was slightly below the national average in 2007 and well
below in 2008."
per capita GDP growth goes down if population
grows faster than the economy.
The graph shown here, using data taken from BC Stats, shows
that in the 1990s BC's economy grew but in many years, due
to record high population growth rates, per capita GDP declined.
Since Campbell came to power, BC's population growth rate
has fallen to historic lows. Some falsehoods are repeated
often enough that people begin to believe them, for example
characterizations of the 1990s. The truth about BC population
growth is the opposite of the picture painted by those who
claim people fled BC in the 90s. Likewise the truth about
economic growth, as shown by the graph, is that unlike 2008
which had negative real growth there was no year of negative
real growth in the 90s, and many years of significant positive
growth. Having the facts won't change the propaganda pumped
out during election campaigns, frequently using our
tax dollars on government ads. The data show that apart
from some good fortune in 2005 and 2006, the Campbell government
has not performed nearly as well as it claims.
and policy should be about the future. When history is used
each side cherry-picks. It is time for the BC Liberals to
stop misrepresenting the 90s, and it is time for the NDP to
talk about the economy. Campbell's misrepresentation of BC's
recession should have been attacked during the election campaign.
is possible that more revelations will be made about information
that was suppressed during the election campaign, but that
probably will have little or no influence on how anyone votes
in 2013. Hopefully, this record can be used in 2013 to minimize