Wednesday, January 2, 2008


NDP Premier Lorne Calvert, in calling an election for November 7, declared that growth was a good thing, so long as it was “shared”.

This fascinating concept is meant to stake out a distinctive position for social democrats on the ideological spectrum.

Whereas the Saskatchewan Party and the Liberals---the “right”---follow the old formula that growth of any kind is to be promoted because of an alleged “trickle-down”effect whereby even the poorest citizens feel its benefits, the New Democrats are so much more enlightened. While their opponents are campaigning from a 1925 policy book, the NDP is way ahead of them waving their 1961 ideas.

Some choice. 1925 or 1961, as environmental Armageddon looms on the horizon.

Calvert’s thesis evokes interesting logic. His manifesto would read:

It’s OK to rob a bank so long as the proceeds of the robbery are shared among the fashionably oppressed constituency of the NDP. The ‘working people’ (Businessmen don’t work). First Nations. The handicapped. Seniors. Single Moms. Transexual Dwarfs, whatever.

It’s OK to clear-cut old growth forests if timber revenues are equitably shared.

It’s OK to develop farmland if the sale of homes in new subdivisions reaps sales tax revenues for the provincial treasury and they are equitably shared.

It’s OK to generate radioactive waste if the nuclear plant provides power for low-income people.

It’s OK to wipe out an endangered species if the housing built on its habitat provides affordable options for low-income people.

Growth is OK so long as it is shared.

And if you still feel uneasy about it, go to the NDP website for Saskatchewan or Manitoba , and you will find that growth becomes “sustainable”. Sustainable growth? Virgin birth!

Whether these snake oil salesmen represent the left or the right, or the environmental movement, they can’t make growth palatable to discerning taste by sugar-coating it with these oxymoronic neologisms that attempt to cloak the fact that economic expansion in a finite environment cannot be sustained. Calling it “shared”, “sustainable”, “managed” or “smart” will not rescue it from this ironclad law.

Get real Calvert.

Tim Murray,

Quadra Island, BC

Canada V0P 1N0

October 11/07

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