Is Bennett for everybody, or nobody?

Mr. Bennett's ambition 'to make sure that everybody's views (in Kootenay East) are represented’ is an admirable one.

In the spirit of post-election truth and reconciliation, Mr. Bennett’s ambition ‘to make sure that everybody’s views (in Kootenay East) are represented’ is an admirable one.

Firstly, however, even though New Democrats have now been released from their Dix-inspired Let’s-Not-be-Nasty-to-the-BC Liberals campaign strategy, we should congratulate Mr. Bennett on how he has worked the constituency.

And especially on how he encouraged imaginative fabrication in his supporters: one Bennettite, for instance, made the inventive, if bizarre, claim that there would be a ‘total shutdown’ of Elk Valley mines with the election of an NDP government; another created an anti-NDP ‘business report,’ the very existence of which is doubtful. Mr. Bennett should have no difficulty in representing these viewpoints.

However, anyone who has observed our MLA’s career for 12 years must be impressed by how his politics are shaped by a visceral animosity towards social democrats and social democracy. Who can forget his classy online reference to ‘ NDP ‘turds’ as quoted in The Globe and Mail? So we can safely assume that the slightest hint of a centre-left political viewpoint will be discarded from his legislative brief.

Those who harbour a general belief in parliamentary democracy can bow out as well. On the eve of his 2001 victory Mr. Bennett commented that even the two seats the NDP held after the BC Lib landslide were ‘two too many.’ None of this silly democratic – parliamentary – opposition nonsense for Bill!

And having characterised eco-conscious activists in the past as ‘Gucci-wearing,’ ‘latte-sipping,’ and ‘condo-dwelling,’ Mr. Bennett will certainly invite environmentalists to take a hike.

Lastly, by throwing his support behind the Harper government’s Temporary Foreign Workers legislation, he has shown that he doesn’t really mind if workers in the Elk Valley, the East Kootenay and elsewhere in B.C, unionised or not, take a 15 per cent cut in wages. Which is, in the long run, one of the two primary objectives of the TFW strategy.

So it is that Mr. Bennett’s politics have been based on divisiveness and exclusion over the last 12 years. No one should stand on one leg waiting for him to represent ‘everybody’s views’ over the next four.

 

JC Vallance

Fernie