How Partisan Politics is killing democracy

In the grand scheme of all things political, many would still consider me a political neophyte. I didn’t take political science and my experience working in politics is limited to handling the public relations for an independent municipal candidate in Surrey’s last election.

That being said, I think my background has served me well in investigating and researching stories as well as analyzing the state of affairs in British Columbia, and not only with respect to my educational or professional experience, but also because of my personal history.

DSC_1532Long time readers will know that I was born in Prince George and grew up in a very rural area outside the city itself. My family has, for the most part, worked in forestry as long as I can remember. My dad works in a pulp mill, my uncles and brother in a sawmill and many family friends are loggers, feller-bunchers etc. I spent one entire summer living in a tent trailer with my mom and brother  in Hudsons Hope, while my dad worked on the dam up there and my grandfather,who passed a few years ago, worked in Bullmoose mine, a coal mine at Tumbler Ridge.

I know firsthand how precious this place really is,how vast and wild and untouched. In many ways, I feel as deeply connected to this province as a person could possibly be, the land is in my blood much like my genetic makeup.

My playgrounds weren’t in parks, they were in the boreal forest around my family home. DSC_22300001I would go outside after breakfast in the morning, check my toads… this is a story in itself… and then wander the yard and road searching for agates,salamanders, berries, or whatever else would piqué my curiosity, which was and is, insatiable.

My friends while I was young, weren’t always kids at school, but my brother, our family dog, and the wildlife we grew up with. Moose and bear were as common as rats and squirrels are here on the coast, and far more respected. We spent every weekend either camping, going for long random drives on forestry roads in the back 40, or in preparation for the long winters, fishing, hunting and stacking cords of wood. I learned more about life growing up this way than you could learn in any school.

Ironically, my parents taught me that to be polite, you never talked about three things : religion, how much money someone made( or didn’t) and politics.

Again, as long time readers will attest… we know how that turned out!!

Looking back at my high school annual, it was clear even then that I wasn’t quite like the rest of my classmates. I had a wanderlust even then that surpassed my humble roots even though they served me well, and wanted to be a foreign correspondent, dodging bullets in a far off land, thanks to reports on the news from Christiane Amanpour.

Life had other plans for me however, but looking back, no regrets at the longer road I have taken to where I am now, and nothing but complete and total respect for my roots in the north remains.

Without my past, I wouldn’t be who I am today, and wouldn’t feel the way I do about this province. For me, B.C. is family, as much as my father, brother or anyone else. And like you might say to a family member… :  “I have your back, B.C.”

Now that you know where I’ve come from, let me share where I think we are now.

To be honest, I’m very concerned about where the labels assigned to political leanings have taken us. What I am seeing in the press and among regular people on social media, is a compete discounting of any ideas, policies, or changes.. based not on the merit of those items… but based on the label assigned to the person it originated from. Frankly, it’s a bit frustrating because in the end, it is the voters of this province that suffer the most from all these partisan politics.

I guess if you had to label me, I would be a leftie with a small L. But when it comes to finances, I am very conservative and I say that not to indicate the party, but that I think government needs to be really, very cautious when spending public money. But if you say you are a fiscal conservative, well, frankly, in some left factions, the world comes to an end.

Likewise, if you are a rightie BC liberal, and actually care about poverty and education and civil rights, you again cause worlds to collide.

Sadly though, for so many covering and living politics in BC, as soon as the label LEFT or RIGHT appears, the ears and mind close to anything further. Doesn’t matter if the NDP have a good idea, the Libs or Cons will never accept or acknowledge it. And God forbid those socialist NDP’ers come up with a good idea, because as Bill Bennett will tell you, they are a bunch of Commies.

So what the hell does a person like myself, who is sick of party politics, but is “left” on some issues, “Right” on others to do?

Hell if I know!!

It’s appalling to me on so many levels that public and political discourse has come to this in BC, leaving so many people discontent, unengaged and bereft of a political home because of partisan politics. Both the Liberal and NDP leaders have spoken about bringing change, and bringing people back to politics, but I am just not seeing it.

Clearly, BC does want change. 12 years of the BC Liberals have left us with a mountain of debt and ‘contractual obgligations’ that are far above and beyond what she who must not be named, claims, and it actually pisses me off to hear her talk about how horrible the NDP will be and how big their deficits will be.

Likewise, this entire ‘Change for the better, one practical step at a time’ spiel coming from the NDP? It is getting a bit old, in particular when I hear Ralston, or Dix, or anyone else talking about how they need to see what the Libs left them, before they know how bad it is.

Reality check? The information is available to the NDP as it is the Liberals or anyone else, to see what the financial state is of our province. Renowned former transportation economist Erik Andersen has done extensive work on this. And I am still not sure why the NDP have not done full FOI’s on many issues, or why others were dropped, but not being a party member, I don’t know.

I do know this. When Clark talks about her families first crap, the people of BC actually want to see policy that is families first.

The working poor in BC, don’t want to see $11 million Bollywood infomercials, they want to see something that will help them feed their kids, pay their bills and stay in a warm home. They don’t want to hear about an RESP that they need a bank account and good credit to open in most banks, when they can’t damn well feed their kids or buy them a birthday gift.

therosyglowhas faded -photo credit the Canadian Press

When Dix talks about bringing people back to politics, he forgets that those people want more than excessive gesticulation, vague answers and rhetoric. Yes, yes we want change… but let me tell you this. Far too many people in this province are going to be voting NDP not because they believe in them…but simply to try and get rid of the Liberals.

When people read that the NDP took corporate donations from Enbridge or EnCana, or as we just found out, asked for donations specifically from Liberal donors à la feel good Tony Soprano style, they gag. They curse. They ask themselves, who the hell do we vote for now?

Change, simply for the sake of change, or because you are the lesser of two evils, is not Dixexactly a win to be proud of. Like getting a job because a company has to meet their quota of female workers, sure you made it to the finish line, but technically, it was by default.

I’ll tell you what I think. It isn’t the nastiness of political races that turns people off – if that were the case, why were so many Canadians engaged in the litter box of the US presidential race? Although many won’t admit it, they like the smears, the insults, the nasty mud-slinging. But like many won’t admit watching Manswers like our premier has, it’s still true.

What turns people off more than slinging mud, is absolute blind partisanship – period.

“My party can’t do any wrong.” is the attitude that really offends anyone with a reasonable IQ, and many average people see this displayed on twitter, Facebook and in the news. Yes, people make mistakes. Strategists make mistakes. Political parties make mistakes.

Acknowledge them, admit them, apologize and make things right if that needs to occur. Basic kindergarten stuff, people. Pretending you didn’t make a mistake, or defending it, just makes it worse. Claiming the left can’t come up with a good idea because they are left, is just as stupid as claiming the right have no good ideas either, and this is just part of why independent candidates are surging ahead in different ridings.

We are at a crucial juncture in this province, where we have a brief window of time to save our forests, and forest industry. Where we can protect our environment for future generations and develop sustainable resource management policy. Where we can really do something to fix the fact we have thousands of children in poverty, going hungry, and people  with special needs who’ve been neglected and ignored for years.

Where we can decide the future of our province, and the direction we want to pursue, is more important than a race between parties to grab the premier’s seat and thumb their nose at the opposition.

It’s time to really, and truly, put people before politics, people before power and party agenda’s and do what is right… not merely what is left or right.

Anything less, is unacceptable.

55 thoughts on “How Partisan Politics is killing democracy

  1. I think you hit the nail on the head, Laila. There are good ideas from both sides but like little kids in the sand box they won’t agree if they aren’t their own ideas. It isn’t necessary to have a degree in Political Science in order to have common sense. Keep up the good work.

    1. Laila

      Thank you Loni, sometimes I think the politicians and supporters would rather die than admit the “enemy” had a good idea or policy proposal!

  2. Michael Watkins (confute on twitter)

    I think it is a reasonable course of action to be deliberate and set expectations low until a new government is installed. While it is true that there are many elements of BC’s fiscal health already known, some key bits of info are held in confidence of the current government cabinet and may not be discoverable until a theoretically-new government is in place.

    I used to be a political activist for at the federal level (not the NDP) and consider myself a social liberal environmental-aware Canadian that wants small C fiscal conservatism steadying hand of government. While I have plenty of pet peeves one personal favorite bugaboo is secrecy. I want to see government opened up. When the public can see everything it makes it impossible to hide the truth and I trust the people’s read on things if properly informed by the facts.

    I’m somewhat hopeful that Dix will make some strides along that path but I realize that hope is against all odds since so many politicians have said as much but failed to deliver.

    What makes me hopeful is that making government more transparent would improve the future electability of DIx’s party, which is no small thing in a province which typically leans more to the right provincially and has done for many decades.

    If Dix is as deliberate and cautious as the legend being built around him, BC might do well under his leadership.

    Appreciate the piece!

    1. Laila

      Thank you Michael and I appreciate the thoughtful comments. In particular this: ” I want to see government opened up. When the public can see everything it makes it impossible to hide the truth and I trust the people’s read on things if properly informed by the facts. ”

      I agree completely. Clark said in her leadership run, that she wanted to bring transparency back to government and to create the most open government. Well it never happened. FOI games abound. The will ask for extensions,third party consultations, another extension and in the end hand you a pile of blank paper. Open? Honest? Transparent?


      I agree. The peoples ability to process information is constantly underestimated and I think we are seeing this in the current election. Clark is outright lying to the press, to her supporters and everyone else.

      Dix keeps details to a minimum, counting on a strategy of playing quiet for the most part. But its not working and its not going over well. Yes, the polls are very favourable for the NDP right now. But being voted in on a wave of discontent with the current government doesn’t mean you should coast in on the foam…

    2. Michael Watkins

      I see him running a front runner strategy, not unlike Stephen Harper in has done in some elections. Not very satisfying to myself, a committed democrat in the pure sense of the word. But understandable.

      My guess is he’ll have to open up more than he has been so far, before all is said and done.

  3. Well done Laila. And a reminder that politicians are not above the people they seek votes from. People seek to be governed, not ruled over.
    I can only hope that in the aftermath of the election, we enter a post-partisan era and learn to talk again. The hyper-partisan reality that BC has been stuck in for the better part of the last 20 years isn’t healthy.

  4. persey

    Now THAT is why I check this site 10 times a week!

    I love it when you come up with an absolute gem like this one: entertaining, thought provoking writing.

    I empathize with your “hell if I know” response to the right answer but most of us recognize that the extreme polarization of politics here is one of our biggest problems.

    As an aside, and having spent most of a lifetime in the forest industry myself, I believe in the future of forestry. The dirt is the resource, not the trees. So long as they don’t wreck the dirt, we can have forestry in BC. We will have forests in spite of the rapes that have occurred on forest lands. Just takes a little longer.

    1. Laila

      Very kind persey, much appreciated! Yes, I know that forestry can be saved with some dedication,and commitment to replanting,governance over timber licences etc… but I do wish more people here on the coast really understood the impact of the Liberals failure to handle and manage forests on their watch.

  5. Mosko

    Terrific piece, Leila. Why don’t our politicians think this way?

    They need a radical change not only in the way they think, but in the system. Party politics is a major problem, but we’re stuck with it for now.

    That said, we have to dispose of the Liberals ASAP. Hopefully the NDP at least have their priorities right. I don’t care how much they spend if it’s on hospitals, the handicapped, poor and elderly. If they manage the economy properly they can get that house in order within a reasonable time.

    1. Laila

      Hmm. If they thought this way, they likely would be very popular politicians…

      The debtload in BC is absolutely astounding. How many times have I and others written about the ‘contractual obligations’ from P3s etc, that have nearly bankrupted small countries ? And just now the media is beginning to cover and understand that separate portion of provincial debt.

      This is why I am still very interested to hear if the BC NDP will continue the use of P3’s in the province. They were on the record as not wanting to use them in healthcare, but the rest is an unknown.

    2. Ed Seedhouse

      When you consider debt you must also consider income. A family that takes in $20,000 a year will find a $5000 credit card debt a major burden. One that takes in $100,000 a year won’t worry about it at all. Nor will they need to.

      B.C. as a province, in relation to it’s income, and compared to most of the other provinces is actually quite well off so far as debt is concerned. More than half the provinces are in far worse positions. We have a high income and can afford a higher debt, especially when interest rates are about zero.

      It’s true that the B.C. “Liberals” have expanded our debt greatly, but my main beef with that is the hypocrisy they show by campaigning against the very debt they racked up! That and the fact that much of it was wasted debt, incurred for no good reason other than to pay off their friends and financiers.

      The Canadian government, on the other hand, prints it’s own money. It can always pay any debt denominated in it’s own currency. And it can always purchase anything for sale in that currency. And yes, too much of that can cause inflation, but we are a very long way from having that problem. The problem the Bank of Canada is currently wrestling with is to get inflation UP to around two or three percent. And it isn’t doing very well at that.

      The “National Debt” is therefore a false problem. The real “deficit” and the real “debt” is the blighted lives of real people we are wasting by not giving them productive work to do. We could easily afford it, there is plenty to do that needs to be done and is not being done.

      So, please don’t listen to the panic mongers. and the Frazer institutes Debt-wise we are not, as a Province, badly off and there is no need to panic.

      As a left winger and an NDP partisan I would love to be able to rant about the debt run up by the Liberals during their term and how awful it is. As a rational person who has taken the trouble to check out the actual facts, it would be dishonest of me to do so.

  6. bear1733

    Laila you are absolutely right. You just described me. I was voting against the Liberals and their corruption but now that the NDP have done their Tony Soprano impersonation I am left wondering WTF. This blatant attempt to shake down business people by the NDP is as bad as some of the sleaziness that has become the norm for the Liberals. Now when people tell me that “they are all the same” I may have to agree with them.

    Laila your words represent my frustrations and frustrations of many that I speak with. Could it be that the disgusting behavior that we see from politicians has exactly the impact that they want to have on us? Could it be that the intent is to foster disengagement and leave but a few highly partisan political operatives to vote and control government? If so, I would say that both of the main parties are doing a great job of it. Be Well…ross

  7. nonconfidencevote

    Very well stated.
    Perhaps we should elect former Italian circus clown Beppe Grillo who is the unelected leader in a 6 PARTY COALITION for the Italian parliament.
    He isnt allow a seat due to a manslaughter conviction in the early 1980’s.
    He is however, allow to sit as leader.
    “Leader of what?”, you ask
    ” I want to destroy everything. I want to shake the corrupt Italian political system to its knees.’ states Grillo.
    Grillo has never met most of the members of his coalition, He doesnt care who they are or what they believe so long as they help to bring everything down.
    The voters are totally disgusted with the political situation in Italy.
    The EU is extremely worried that he may gain control ( Itay is the 6th largest economy on the Planet) and tearing up banking contracts, loan agreements, etc. scares the crap out of them. Say bye bye to the Euro and possibly the entire banking system.
    Italy currently has called a former leader out of retirement ( he’s 87 years old! Thats comforting) to run the day to day operations of the 6 party, minority coalition govt.

    Is this the future Canada may face in 10 or 20 years? ( lets not forget Harper sat in minority status for two terms)
    God help us all because the politicians here arent much better.
    They line their pockets with generous salaries, perks and pensions, they help their friends and political donars, they lie, they cheat, they steal…… with impunity
    Because the laws are written bye them, enforced by them and inevitably, flaunted by them.

    Time for two term leadership in Canada similar to the system in the U.S.?
    Time for ONE TERM leadership?
    This endless ‘annointment” of a Leader for Life” is self defeating for ANY political party. Inevitably when a multi term leader steps down ( think Trudeau, Mulroney, Cretien) or loses his (or her) party is decimated during an election.
    Tiny little Costa Rica has a unique electoral system.
    The leader is only allowed to serve ONE, 5 year term.
    That way, they only have 5 years to get shit DONE.
    No long term contracts, No Prime Minister( President) for “life” lining his pockets. No bullshit.

    This archaic parliamentary system we have here in Canada needs an enema.
    The political donation system should be banned.
    Lobbyists should be banned for the corruption and non democratic processes they foster.
    Corruption Laws should be vigorously enforced.
    Judges, Crown prosecutors, Police Chiefs should be elected to avoid political “interference” through biased appointments handed down by biased leadership.
    A large federal prison should be built within view of Ottawas Parliament buildings with the sole purpose of housing disgraced ministers, senators, MLA’s etc.

    Rant over..

    1. Lynn

      Disagree with you on electing law/justice officials. Electing judges, prosecutors and coppers leads to the politics. Big arrests and tainted trials happen just before elections. Nope. That isn’t the way I’m afraid.

    2. nonconfidencevote

      Fair enough. Good point.
      I guess when I see the same judges handing down the same milquetoast sentences approved by the same Crown Prosecutors…… I grind my teeth in frustration.
      Perhaps….mandatory sentencing?
      AND lets get rid of the “two for one” reduction of sentenced time for people that are awaiting trial in custody.( spend 6 months awaiting a murder trail = 12 months off the final sentence…as “time served”) If you arent allowed bail or cant afford bail. Tough.
      A recent sentence here in BC was “pleaded down” to a lesser degree to 8 years
      The murderer has been in jail during the trial for almost 3 years. He can apply for parole in 2 years………. making the 8 year sentence for murder ……..a joke.

    3. Laila

      Great rant up top nonconfidance.!! Rick Mercer says all Canadians should rant more. We get things off our chest, and maybe others will think a little more critically because of it.

      Or one would hope 🙂

      Your comments on the justice system are bang on.

  8. Not a particularly rosy point of view, but pretty much on point, if I’m not mistaken (I won’t apologize for those bits of language belonging more properly to Mr. Beer ‘n Hockey, but if we can’t take a joke, well, then…):

    Until people stop considering shopping as a past time, along with almost all of television and radio, and start to engage with each other, not about being right, but about seeking common ground starting at a local level, and until that local organization becomes a serious influence on, if not threat to, larger hegemonies, it is unlikely that much constructive will issue from our current structures.

    1. Laila

      Well gee, your point of view isn’t particularly rosy

      Yes, I do know what you mean. Sometimes,I’ve actually been so frustrated that I’ve wished I were as clueless and uninvolved as so many are who get up,go to work.come home and watch tv and repeat. It would be so much easier…

    2. My comment about rosiness was for Dmitri Orlov, just a heads-up, given that many of us have, as you have, been immersed in some pretty negative material over the last decade or so. No, Ma’am, I won’t quibble with your outlook, especially given your desire to do right by all us’ns hereabouts. There has to be at least a bit of optimism at the bottom of the glass to carry on working for constructive change when political and social structures at so many levels appear to be terminally corrupt.

  9. Tony Martinson.

    Yes and no. We need more practicality and less partisanship, certainly. But the problem is a three-headed beast, and includes the refusal of voters to be engaged – not just vote, but stay engaged, continually insisting that their elected officials be accountable – and a smart, fully active media. We need all three to have a healthy democracy. Of course the three weaknesses feed off each other, but unless all three groups commit to being better, we will continue to get the least-worst option as the best outcome in elections.

    1. Laila

      Excellent points as well. People feel powerless I think, and media/ politicians often milk that sentiment and malaise.

      We are capable of far more than anyone could imagine, if the right leader stood up and said enough.

    2. Ed Seedhouse

      “People feel powerless I think, and media/ politicians often milk that sentiment and malaise. ”

      The people are only powerless because they are unable to see that the power is theirs to take.

    3. judi sommer

      Good point.Orwell continues to be very relevant(scary!) when in 1984,the prols, who are at least 75% of the population, repressed by the Inner Party, are compared to a horse who could shake off the flies tha tannoy them-but at first they have to become aware of that power. I do have some hope for the system: the fury and backlash against RBC, the flood of angry comments, letters, and emails to papers and MLAs surrounding the shoddy treatment of Kevin Page and John Doyle to name a few.Now if people can remember what made them crabby into the next elections.

  10. workforfun

    Another great piece Laila.
    I was surprised to learn today, that the federal Public Employees Union has taken out an ad against the federal Conservative government over the slashing of environmental regulations.
    Of course the Tories don’t like it – “it crosses the line ” was their complaint.
    I think it brilliant that a large union is taking on the Conservative government at their own game – and the government doesn’t like it one bit. ROTFLMAO and it made my day.
    I do believe we have a way at making the government sit up and pay attention. They don’t like being made fun of or being publicly criticised. I sure hope that a lot more unions can make an effort along these lines as there would be little the Conservatives could do without stirring up public anger.

    Sorry if this a bit off topic, but with the party system the way it is, it is about time the public got involved and even unions can help bring about some justice.


    1. judi sommer

      It seems unions are even more standard bearers for the rights of workers (Chinese Miners/Foreign Workers debacle) and the environment. Given many families are hurting financially, some have turned on unions claiming they are fat cats who should be grateful to earn even a minimum wage.This is the ugly underbelly of what the Tories have done to our social fabric.It is now interesting to read comments on the CBC stories beginning with ‘I’m not a fan of unions but I am grateful for….”

    2. Laila

      I agree, it’s nice to see people standing up for what they believe in once in a while. Too often people expect others to fight for them.. not realizing they give away their power when they do.

      Time to hold everyone accountable.

  11. Jack Hackett

    Great piece Laila. My wife comments ‘that lady has such a great ability in putting into words the feelings of the heart’
    One might want to look a little closer at the Independents running in this forthcoming election. Bob Simpson of the Cariboo North did a fine job of presenting various topics during the past leglislative session. Not controlled by party politics. Which incidently got him into trouble in the first place thus an Independent. The Arthur Hagland site presents ‘the Independent’ very well.
    Keep up the good work.

    1. Laila

      🙂 Very kind word from both of you Jack! Tell your wife I said thank you.

      I agree, I think there are some great independents running and Bob is one of them.

  12. johndavidcox558

    I agree 100%. With everything except the short list of Liberal screw-ups. And Dix and the NDP haven’t really copped to the sexist plank that forbids men from newly entering the party to run. It’s so bizarre that CC almost sounds sane. The answer has to be GREEN. But, so far, they are just nincompoops so they are not an answer yet.

  13. judi sommer

    Hi Laila,
    Spot on as usual.The labels are hardly helpful and simply encourage name-calling and juvenile antics in the sandbox of comments on news stories on line.Thre is little debate of any substance and many politicians are the worst offenders;Bill Bennett,”Foghorn Krug”, Pierre Poillevre among the many. Ok-Pat Martin too so My comments aren’t seen as partisan!
    I think Justin Trudeau has latched onto a notion that would serve us well in BC: stopping the muzzling of caucus/backbenchers and whipping of votes on issues dear to the Member and his or her constituents.Obviously, votes involving issues around confidence that could bring down the government are another matter.That would go a long way to dispell some of the cynicism.I wish Justin luck: van Loan has cancelled Opposition Days for awhile to forstall this .The longer he delays this or tries to bury it,the angrier voters will be as Mr Trudeau is enjoying a post-election honeymoon. If his motion passes, that would bring some real transparency to the democratic process.

  14. Laila

    Justin Trudeau has no more substance than Clark, in my opinion.

    Like most marriages, when the rosy glow of the honeymoon wears off this moment..he with the glossy locks will need to show more than charm and a winning smile. He would do well to take a lesson from Clark, because it didn’t work for her either.

    1. nonconfidencevote

      Trudeau scares the hell out of me.
      His wheezing, maniacal, “preacher on the pulpit” delivery.
      His belief in the complete drivel that he spews forth.
      His genetic makeup consisting of 20% father’s intelligence…….
      The adoring fans/voters…….

    2. Laila

      Someone told me once never to vote for a man who spent more time and used more products on his hair than I did… It’s proved to be excellent advice.

    3. judi sommer

      Ah.Laila. There’s a potential “tell all” in that comment. Wise advice to all of us but what do you do about a bald guy who may be suspect? No need to respond!

    4. judi sommer

      Fair enough.But he has come up with an idea that resonates with a lot of voters.We will soon see whether he has the necessary gravitas to give him more credence.I am so sorry that Bob Rae’s timing was never right.The Libs owe their current status to him: a classy guy and amazing parliamentarian.

  15. Blanche A. Nixon

    What I find interesting about this article is the clarity with which it designates the BC liberals as a right wing party.

    Tell that please to all well meaning Canadians who talk about defeating Harper by ‘uniting the left’!

    Now I for one think right and left may turn out to be a bit obsolete, given the global climate change crisis we face, but anyone who thinks of themselves as ‘political’ and follows up that identity choice by actually following politics, should know that free enterprise, free market capitalism, as it has evolved in the last quarter century is not going to bring up either prosperity or sustainability. so people of BC, show us how its done, and choose a government that might have the brains and ethics to chart a new intermediate course.

    socialist? Capitalist? Green, red or blue? Consider Orange.

    Reject exporting questionable raw materials through our pristine Canadian rocky mountains and west coast, and show us how to create a people’s party that actually thinks about the people….along the seven generations line that our native people endorse.

    Doing the same unworkable thing over and over and over again, can’t continue to be our asylum default position. And we can’t continue to down load the problems our tired old system creates onto our grandkids……..which is what Christy and her liberals will do if re-elected.

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