I first had a vague inkling that something might be shifting in the Lotuslandian political zeitgeist in the first day or two after the writ dropped last Tuesday.
Which, to my mind at least, was supported by the following in the Dean's Friday column in the VSun:
...(BC Liberal Finance Minister Mike de Jong) levelled a broad-brush accusation that NDP spending promises would mean “massive” increases in taxes and deficits and a downgrade in the province’s Triple A credit rating.
Maybe. But at first read the NDP plan did not represent all that massive a shift from the three-year budget the Liberals themselves tabled in February.
Horgan would increase program spending by 1.4 per cent above what the Liberals were projecting for the current financial year, by 2.5 per cent in fiscal 2018 and three per cent the next year.
Those increases, for the most part, would finance readily defensible priorities — including a long overdue increase in social assistance, elimination of interest on student loans, hiring more park rangers and conservation officers, and rolling back ferry fares on the smaller routes...
And then, on Sunday, Martyn Brown went for broke in the GStraight in a way I'm not sure I have ever seen in the public prints since I really started paying attention to #BCPoli in 2004:
...The Clark government is demonstrably not working to help make life even remotely affordable for those low-income individuals and families.
It is not prepared to make even those modest investments, to help those who are able to work, lift themselves out of poverty, with meaningful employment that might alleviate or ultimately eliminate their dependency on social assistance.
Again, on this issue, the NDP did not try to outspend the Greens, who propose raising income assistance rates by 50 percent over the next four years. A bold and noble platform commitment, for sure, but not at all realistic, in my humble assessment.
Horgan’s platform is by contrast eminently reasonable and clearly affordable. It offers a welcome first step toward helping those most in need, yet without also unduly and even cruelly raising false expectations of what any new government will be able to responsibly afford...
What, exactly, is that shiftyness thing I mentioned at the top of the post really all about Alfie?
It looks like some of the puffed-up punditry 'round here is starting to look at Mr. Horgan like he is the reasonable, pragmatic one who will really and truly make things happen for all of British Columbia without blowing the place up.
Is the Keef sure to follow?
I realize the Mr. Brown may have an anti-CClark axe to grind, but still...Go have a look at his entire piece...He makes a decent case as a detailed follow up to Mr. Palmer column.
The real interesting thing to watch for in Week 2?....Well, in this vein at least, it will be interesting to see if other herd members start to paint Mr. Weaver as the extremist out on the looney left...If that happens and middle really does open wide for Horgan and the Dippers, I'm pretty sure the BCL wizardarian braintrusts' collective lobb-shopped potato-head will very likely explode.
Subheader ear worm got hold of you?....Relief is...Here.