|Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion in BC|
The NDP looked way ahead before voters went to the polls in British Columbia. Then it all changed. Why? One word: “Pipelines.” Or more precisely, two: “Kinder Morgan.”
Until two weeks ago it was the election of the NDP’s Adrian Dix to lose.
Then he got greedy. Worried about an emerging Green threat, Mr. Dix sought to pre-empt the party by going greenier-than-thou, specifically by promising to ban significantly greater tanker traffic out of the port of Vancouver, which would doom the export of Alberta oil to the Pacific.
This was a stunning turnabout on a clear promise to withhold judgement until the pipeline application had been filed with details made available...
The Kinder Morgan flip-flop sent a message that the NDP would prefer the enviro-left to the development-right. The voters got the message, judged that the economy would suffer and made their choice.
Of course the enviro-left will reject that thought. An NDP representative commenting on the results actually said that people who fail to achieve their ends via elections will gain them in other ways and referenced the “War in the Woods,” a famous BC environmental confrontation. We shall see.
This framing of the BC NDP as preferring the "enviro-left to the development-right" is a good summary of the probable result of Dix's desperate attempt to rob votes from the Green Party.
It is also the framing that both the Harper new Conservatives and the federal Liberal Party will use against Thomas Mulcair's NDP come 2015.
The risk for the Liberal Part of Canada is that it also goes too far in supporting those who oppose pipelines through BC as a proxy for fighting global warming, rather than supporting responsible pipeline development and tanker shipment of the Alberta oil sands bitumen.
The Liberal Party is already dangerously close to sliding down the slippery slope that Dix's BC NDP rushed down, with the same consequences possible.
The 2015 battle will be about the economy, because the world recovery is still weak, given the unwise austerity programs in the EU and the budget-slashing Republican Party's control of the House in the USA.