Prime Time Crime


(Published in the Abbotsford News week of Apr. 04, 2005)

It’s all a matter of TRUST

John Pifer

Who are you going to trust? That is the question BC voters will be asking themselves when they cast ballots in the provincial federal election on May 17th, and it is not an easy question to answer.

In fact, “none of the above” probably best describes which political party is to be trusted, and that attitude may well result in an even lower voter turnout than usual – a turnout that has been in steady decline for years.

Politicians of all stripes know that any trust in what they say they will do or have done is currently on a scale lower than whale droppings, and rightly so.

Every time you hear NDP leader Carole James or her MLAs Joy MacPhail or Jenny Kwan interviewed, just count the number of times they say “Gordon Campbell”, usually with references to “broken promises” or “untrustworthy” or even “outright lies” over the past four years.  It will far outnumber the times they say NDP, because Mr. Campbell is perceived as the weak link in the Liberals’ current pre-election barrage of largesse and praising the good economy.

He is their target, and you can hardly blame them for going after the Premier, who has proved he cannot be trusted fully, if at all.  Or do you need to be reminded of his notorious flip-flops and contradictions on everything from the sale of BC Rail, to the substantial increase in gambling across the province, despite empty denials, let alone the mismanagement of our health care system, whereby pouring more money in has produced few positive results?

But if the New Democrats think these attacks alone will pave the way to a miraculous return to power for them in the May 17th election, they are dreaming in Technicolor.  The last election all but wiped them out because of 10 years of damaging rule as the government in power that severely affected the province adversely.  The general public simply is not prepared to trust them again with power so soon, regardless of Mr. Campbell’s two-faced regime.

I expect the NDP to win about 30 seats, possibly even 35, putting it into a strong Opposition position in the 79-seat Legislature after having only retained two seats in 2001.  I do not expect the New Democrats to form government unless Mr. Campbell does something totally bizarre or scandalous in the next six weeks.

And the NDP may get far fewer than 30 MLAs if they continue to pussyfoot around how they would handle their Big Union backers vis-à-vis changing the Labour Code again to suit organized labour, or if their yet-to-be-revealed platform on how they would govern is a dud.  The whole strategy they have adopted regarding the approach to the fixed-date election has been odd, to put it mildly.  They have presented no vision other than to demand that social programs take precedence over the economic foundation necessary to finance them.

That’s as ass-backward as can be, and has left the Liberals well out in front with the finish line in sight – too far ahead for any last-minute NDP photo finish, I’ll wager. Trust me.

* * * * *

Boy, would this humble scribe love to tell you all about the controversial testimony in the Gomery Inquiry into the rampant corruption within the federal Liberal Party of Canada, but the judge’s narrow-minded, ridiculous publication ban does not allow that, under penalty of all kinds of doo-doo hitting the legal fan. To have a public inquiry ban the public from the information presented, in some foolish belief that no Canadians can be trusted in case they wind up on a Montreal jury in associated criminal cases, snacks either of Big Brother gone mad, or Monty Python gone over the top.

Veteran B.C. journalist/broadcaster John Pifer may be reached at


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