Tuesday, March 10, 2015

TransLink Referendum

The upcoming TransLink referendum (a mail-in ballot) is asking Vancouverites whether they would accept a 0.5% hike in provincial sales tax to support the construction of a Broadway SkyTrain line, light rail in Surrey, the new Pattullo Bridge, additional buses and increased road maintenance.

Those in support of this question will mark their ballot Yes; those against it will mark their ballot No.

Another take on this referendum can be found in Doug Ward's recent Tyee article (posted yesterday), which raises larger ideological questions concerning the welfare state, civil society and public life. Yet another take is not so much the question of public transportation, but an authority known as TransLink -- created by former Liberal MLA Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon.

Though the Tyee article focuses on the "No" side's Jordan Bateman, nothing is said of the "Yes" side's recent point-person, Jim Pattison, who, oddly enough, shares Bateman's libertarian tendencies.

The quote that best sums up this article (and indeed the history of liberal democracy) belongs to former Vancouver city councillor Gordon Price, who states: "That's the brilliance of Bateman's meme. How do you get people, even a bus rider, to vote against their best interests?"

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