Sunday, August 13, 2017

BC Liberal Leadership Platform Briefing





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Accountability

I have watched politics and its outcomes for years; I can hardly remember a circumstance where the political process has generated a completely rational outcome. One recognizes the need for compromise among various constituents in the making of law, there should be no compromise in its functionality once it is put into practice. Accountability is sorely lacking, we must have clear and concise reporting on the outcomes of laws made, that is to say, every law must have a clearly stated mission, there must be a set of metrics established, they must be monitored and clearly reported to the public by an arm’s length actor. Until we do that, we will see public opinion swayed by constant exposure to smoke and mirrors rather than rationalized to real outcomes. 



Institutional Reform

It is the case that many of our institutions have lost the ability to adjust to the realities of the modern world as they have evolved into existence, in some cases they have evolved over hundreds of years – we need organizations that are DESIGNED to deal with the reality that we exist in, an environment where technologies morph daily. Institutions need to be adroit and have the absorptive capacity to utilize the mass of new technologies available now and technologies that are on the horizon. The majority of our government institutions are just too big and the institutional inertia they are experiencing is preventing them from responding to demands; efforts will be directed toward their long term financial sustainability, more adroit response to change, greater focus in their mandate, a drive to increase absorptive capacity, and better and more productive working environments for the people employed. Reforms will be effected by reducing the mass of large institutions, reconfiguring their organizational structures and introducing more opportunity for heuristics to come into play in the development of government organization. Stagnation is always a bad thing in an organization, there needs to be disruption to effect progress and improvement in the functionality of government organizations; this is especially true given the dynamics of the modern operational environment.   

Human Capital is the sub straight of the human endeavour, we all know it, we all say it, but the truth is, this value fails to find complete expression in our present governance. In order for British Columbia to excel relative to other jurisdictions, the development of Human Capital must be the primary focus of Government. I believe it is the case that, jurisdictions that facilitate the conversion of new knowledge into useable products and services are the jurisdictions that will prosper. We can readily quantify the benefit of the application of knowledge, that is to say,  we know the increased tax revenue garnered from dentist relative the norm for example. Government tax revenue is a direct product of any given jurisdiction’s population’s ability to generate income. Increase aggregated intellectual capacity and you increase government revenue.  Education should be accounted for under a WIP account as opposed to an expense account and a graduate student should be viewed as a capital asset - education is infrastructure spending of the greatest significance. We can afford to be generous here, the fact is, we would be remiss if we failed to invest heavily in education.

In many of our institutions, more money just means more spending – this is true to a degree with our educational complex. We have failed to take complete advantage of self-directed and technology driven delivery platforms for education.  Our educations systems are constrained by present structures and credentialization processes.  There needs be a focus on an increased velocity in the distribution of knowledge, so as to facilitate the province's prominence in the conversion of latent technology to marketable products and services, and perhaps most importantly, to compete with jurisdictions like China, India and others which are generating massive volumes of trained professionals every day.



Family Policy and Support

I will promote policy that generates family centred funding, gives priority to families having time together and supports them interfacing with society in a manner that is optimal for their specific needs. The British Columbian Family as an institution is quaking under the strain of post war societal trends and contemporary economic realities. I used to say, I paid to raise my children, this generation should pay to raise theirs. When I reflect, I could have used a culture of support and promotion of family from government and it was absent.

There is an alarming trend is society whereby, every aspect of our existence is institutionalized. We are born in government institutions, we are educated by government institutions, every aspect of our life is affected by government institutions and we die in government institutions. In this heavily institutionalized environment, the individual and the family are withering, and they are being replaced by a monoculture. Proper support of families is one policy initiative that can protect against the industrialization of child rearing, the destruction of the family and the social ills that fall out of it.


Fiscal Policy

I will seek to move the provincial growth to the top performing region in the G20 by aggressive use of region specific stimulative policies that seed entrepreneurialism and build the economy from the ground up. In British Columbia, like many western economies, we are ageing and with an ageing population comes economic stagnation. We are lucky as this is being mitigated to a degree by immigration, the fact remains, however, that many people are moving into retirement taking their productive capacity with them and they are seeking a safe place for their retirement funds. There is a massive amount of latent capital sitting in RRSPs generating very little good for their holders and failing to find their way to the people that really need capital, entrepreneurs.  This reality provides an opportunity to engage in a form of quantitative easing that benefits in a significant way the existing middle class and builds out a new group of good income earners.  If the government moves to the aggressive use of partially subsidized bonds to generate a localized increase in the velocity of the flow capital to startup companies and critical infrastructure initiatives, it will facilitate an immediate increase in economic activity and the medium and long term economic performance will be improved as well.    




Rural Revitalization

One is forced to accept there is a trend taking people away from rural areas to urban centres, one should never accept the many of our rural communities are mere shadows of their former selves. So rural revitalization will be pursued through improved utilization of crown land, high capacity internet infrastructure for remote areas and the productive cooperation of the First Nation Peoples. There is much opportunity in forest tenure reform, tourism, agriculture, crown land utilization reform and new industry to build out the rural regions of the province.



Environmental Policy

Finally, an aggressive environmental policy that is rationalized to realistic time lines, realistic assessment of risk versus reward, considers honestly where provincial policy can effect difference and is founded on science. It is my observation that much environmental policy or rather, obstruction to certain types of industrial activity, is founded on an errant map of reality. It is also the case the much environmental policy is corrupted by interested parties wanting to forward certain social agendas. There is a lot to be done in the way of conservation that government can help encourage, as well as, in the energy alternatives space and safe fossil fuel use space.

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