It’s election day in British Columbia. The NDP, Green, or the goddamn BC Liberals will be our next party for 2020. I have not forgotten the nearly two decades of BC Liberal rule where they cut funding for social services and education while lining their pockets and enriching their corporate friends. I sincerely hope my fellow voters haven’t forgotten either. Anyway, back to the main topic. The BC Liberals have been spending the last few months pumping money into campaign ads (like every other party does), but there’s involve a certain special ingredient: Poor People Are Bad! The ad I posted above is just one example, but my Facebook, YouTube, and other media consumption outlets have been inundated with their pathetic anti-poor fear mongering. They are big on tearing down tent cities, criminalizing poor people, “tackling crime” (see previous 2 in the list) and hiring more police officers to do just that. The BC Libs want you to be afraid of poor people and how THEY are ruining your rich, white, colonial way of life. Let’s chat about this campaign and how it will either work or backfire completely.
I wrote a piece a few months back about poverty shaming and how effective it is. Capitalism depends on pointing fingers at victims and blaming them for clear failures of the system itself. That guy sleeping in the doorway in -2 weather is just a leech who doesn’t want to work or pay a mortgage so it’s HIS fault that YOUR costs are high (not my 8 figure salary). The people camping in the park WILL assault you and ARE mentally unstable so use the cops to kick them out. The BC Liberals are preying on the fears of upper-middle class folks who have to witness the visible examples of inequality every day and don’t want to anymore. They just want to shuffle them away like the BC Liberals did with Vancouver’s vulnerable populations during the Winter Olympics in 2010. The BC Libs want you to vote for them because they want to be seen as the law and order party unlike the NDP and Greens who clearly just want anarchy (Don’t do it. Don’t give me hope). They also want to be the economy-first party and spend our taxes on their friends…sorry I mean the energy sector. The NDP and Greens are just going to give YOUR taxes to some addict and then he’ll buy drugs or become a Communist. This marketing works really well because the upper-middle class know they’ll benefit financially, they won’t have to blame themselves, and it targets no real systemic problems.
Everyone’ll They’ll win!
The BC Libs are throwing shade at the NDP and placing all the blame for crime and homelessness on them. Andrew Wilkinson is largely banking on your anger about a snap election to put him and his cronies into power, but to do that they also have to get you angry about other things in the meantime like poverty, homelessness, taxes, and crime which never happen under BC Liberal rule…*cough* Tent cities are their big ticket item and their online videos and paper ads feature “hazardous tent cities” as a focal point. These people in tents are dangerous and their lack of homes, mental health facilities, and drug counselling have nothing to do with our years and years of cuts and everything to do with John Horgan’s lack of law and order. They are also promoting their plan for more police on the streets despite this year’s horrible police shootings/beatings and repeated calls to defund the police. It’s a policy that works for their scared voter base, but it’s good to see most comment sections filled with rational people calling them out for this bullshit.
The BC Liberals are tossing stones while their hands are still covered in blood. Under BC Lib rule, mental heath support, education, child wellness initiatives, addiction resources, homeless resources and other social services were actively defunded. Homelessness was criminalized more than ever yet casino money laundering was A-OK. They cut rehabilitation services and income assistance, but had the damn Olympics. More people are on the street or in shelters because rental costs soared (and keep soaring) and community services are strapped for cash, but they’re giving themselves raises left and right. It’s no surprise that Horgan’s government inherited a problem that can’t be fixed in a few years. Wilkinson can bitch and bitch until the cows come home, but it’ll only be the chickens that are coming home to roost.
I wrote this piece because I don’t particularly like any of the leaders, but the BC Liberals are a fear mongering pack of liars and cheats who will stab the working class in the back as soon as they get in. It’s important that we look beyond their flashy and scary propaganda and remember the legacy of nearly two decades of BC Lib rule. They brought you these “scary” things by neglecting their fellow human beings and lining their own pockets. Instead of blaming tent cities and taxes for your issues, take a moment to remember Christy Clark and Gordon Campbell for the snakes they were and still are. Wilkinson is cut from the same cloth and his party hasn’t changed their position and never will as long as it pays well. Vulnerable populations are not your enemy here, but the BC Liberals don’t want you to see that or else you might accidentally stumble upon their corruption. Vote, raise awareness, and never stop telling them that this fear mongering nonsense is counterproductive to progress. In conclusion, I hope they lose and I hope Wilkinson is sad about it. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you all again. Solidarity, my friends.