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[dropcap]R[/dropcap]ecently I was asked my opinion on whether the BC Liberals should regulate or ban businesses like Uber and Airbnb. My first response is always, “Too late, these businesses are already here.”
The sharing culture is picking up steam, with businesses like Uber, Car2go, Airbnb, and Kickstarter changing the way we consume items like cars, or services like taxis or hotels. The ‘share economy’ is increasingly becoming a way of life for Vancouverites, and for other Canadians. However, the BC Liberals are now trying to contain the cat by asking four million plus people to hold the bag.
Full disclosure here: I have, more than once in the past, voted for the BC Liberals. I was not voting so much for the party as I was voting for my local constituent, who truly spoke for the people in the riding. I didn’t mind which party they were in, so long as when we as a population spoke, they listened. Now that I live in Metro Vancouver I am learning that, in my former riding, we were spoiled that way.
Easy things to change that would please the most people, like getting rid of Daylight Savings Time, are ignored. Meanwhile we are spending gobs (yes, that’s the technical term) of money on things like polls and plebiscites. I appreciate that the government is asking us what we think, but I simply don’t think it needs to be as often or as binding as it has been.
Unfortunately, most of the time the people don’t see the bigger picture. This is why we elect governments.
Take the TransLink plebiscite for example. The tax increase would have benefitted more than hindered us; it would have provided more services, such as the unmanned trains to run past 12:30 a.m. However, as a result of the plebiscite, the government went with ‘what the people wanted.’ Unfortunately, most the time the people don’t see the bigger picture. This is why we elect governments. They are meant to know the questions, see the bigger picture and determine the best courses of action.
There is a point where the MLAs must make decisions, as a government, on a course of action. Do we allow ‘x’ to happen? Do we make it easier or more difficult for ‘y’ to happen? Do we lower taxes and increase service fees or drop services altogether? These are the questions a government exists to answer.
We do not live in a direct democracy, we live in a representative one. We elect people to represent us as a collective and to make decisions for the province. It is not an easy job. I am not sure I could do it myself; I’m a little too vocal about my beliefs. Nonetheless, these MLAs are meant to be making the decisions and convincing us they are the right ones before the next election. That seems to have stopped happening lately.
Questions in polls and plebiscites are often ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions. Rarely in life are the questions we face that simple.
So, BC Liberals, stop asking the population and start doing the job of governing. Do you want to allow Uber in and create new regulations? Is it something the province would benefit from? If yes, then do it. If no, then find another solution. A prof doesn’t ask its students if we want to do the project, a boss doesn’t ask if we want to clean the bathroom.
There are parts of your job that suck, and this may be one of them. Guess what? You still have to do it. We voted you in, so show us why it was worth it.