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The Mother Of All Experiments - THE COMMENTARY

By Joseph Planta

VANCOUVER - Most people my age, I think all people in the state between childhood and adulthood, experiment. When I was a kid, I remember how fascinated I was with matches and one day lit a match and burned my fingers. People in my age group usually experiment with stuff: cigarettes, drugs, booze and stuff of the like. A couple of months ago, in a decision made in much haste I signed off a form, signing up for membership of the BC NDP.

So, there you have it. This scribe who dutifully bitched, moaned, criticised and groaned about the NDP, in the past, is now a member of it. I donít regret making the decision, because in the last little while its given me the chance to think and accept some responsibility.

Being an NDPer in fact, rather than in passion, has some positives. I think itís the only party that primarily represents all people. (Or shall I say, has members of all races and cultures, generally.) The current stereotype is that the Liberals, much through Mr. Campbellís public perception, is a party for rich mucky-mucks and Howe Street junkies. Reform BC on the other hand, just by its name, is a party that is primarily representative of rural folk and white folk, dare I say of the Ďhickí persuasion. The NDP transcends those borders.

What bugs me about the NDP though is that their terribly left-wing. They are a party that I agree with most of the time, but then again there are situations that just bug the hell out of me. Their bombastic and misguided personality is wrong for this province and for the times. Following the death of communism in 1989, the left-wing has struggled with trying to define itself. Theyíre against the concept of globalization, and in a society driven by money and commerce, e-commerce this time around, it has to be embraced. The NDP party, particularly the Young New Democrats, a branch of the party I also belong to, participated in the protests at the WTO recently.

I was not a fan of that protest, and its made me think carefully on whether I should be a member of this party. I guess Iím not a left-winger, then again I support Medicare and welfare programs. Yet, I cringe at the fact people can rip off and screw those two particular systems. I guess this experiment with political affiliation, just didnít pan out the way I wanted.

I did however, get a phone call some weeks ago. It was a lackey of Ujjal Dosanjh who spotted me at the recent NDP debate at Tupper. He just wanted to know what was first and foremost on my mind as a British Columbian and I told him. I said that fiscal responsibility is first and foremost in the minds of British Columbians and that thatís what the NDP, particularly Dosanjh should focus on. Itís not a big deal with me, since I donít pay taxes yet, but if the NDP wants a snowballís chance in hell in getting re-elected, theyíd better make it a priority. I guess itís the conservative in me.

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