Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Politics worth watching

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The following editorial is from the Edmonton Journal. It’s provincial election time in British Columbia, which at the very least promises unequalled entertainm­ent value compared with drabber, more predictabl­e, tilts across the land.

Although Premier Gordon Campbell’s Liberals lead every poll presaging the May 12 vote, the margin in the latest Angus Reid survey sinks to two per cent among those who declare themselves “absolutely certain” to cast ballots, while the New Democrats led by Carole James claim a far superior electionda­y organizati­on.

In fact, neither major party leader is particular­ly popular, while hopefuls in Green and Conservati­ve ranks will be lucky to win any seats at all. And yet it wouldn’t be B.C. politics if there weren’t a surprise pitch or two from the mound. One side started with a promise to improve energy efficiency, reduce the carbon footprint of schools and improve greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution in the north and interior. The key promise of the other is to summarily end the carbon shift that increases taxes on things that damage the environmen­t while reducing income taxes.

Well, there’s nothing unusual about that saw-off, is there? Except that it’s the NDP that is pushing to kill the carbon shift and incurring the wrath of environmen­talists, while it was the more conservati­ve Liberals who instituted it and continue to defend the program.

So far, the local punditocra­cy has pronounced the coming campaign as duller than a slate spring sky over Coal Harbour. For the rest of us, who haven’t seen a bloom in months or anything beyond election results as foregone conclusion­s, that seems a bit like rubbing it in.

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