MLA Dan Jarvis: Time to Lose Your Job


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North Vancouver-Seymour neoLiberal MLA Dan Jarvis is about due to lose an election.

While elected consistently since 1991 even before Gordon Campbell neoliberalized the centrist, mildly progressive party, his political record has been quite lacklustre. A chronic backbencher, he spent most of his productive time as a deputy critic of minor issues, never rising to any prominence despite being in the ledge for 18 years.

We clearly have a placeholder here, a seatwarmer to occupy a riding for a neoliberal party that is not terribly interested in social and economic justice for the vast majority of British Columbians.

So when it comes to serving the province as a provincial politician, he has clearly underperformed.

What does appear to be the case, though is the role he fills as false maverick in the party. Here’s how:

– he opposes his own government sending ferry contracts to Germany instead of building them on the north shore.

– he votes against his own government’s Tsawwassen treaty

While this can explain why he never made it too close to cabinet or a higher profile critic position, his space to oppose the government allows him to pander to contrary views, particularly ones with local interest like shipbuilding, to help ensure his seat for the party.

So what does that give to a community? Cynicism. The government will let a critic spout off to keep the constituents thinking government is listening, then the government can go ahead with whatever decision they want, like building gas-guzzling ferries in Germany not with our own shipbuilding industry.

And while the neoLiberals consider NV-S a safe seat, do residents really deserve this kind of dismissiveness?

But then again, if they’re blind neoliberals, they’d vote for Jarvis even if he were dead, which Jarvis himself joked about regarding the possibility of not coming out of his heart surgery last month.

And speaking of heart surgery, why would voters want to re-elect a man over 70 who had heart surgery just months before the election? That is taking to an insane degree the notion of voting for the party over the candidate.

But something of a concern about Jarvis and his electoral organization is his re-filed financial statements after the 2005 election. He initially submitted documentation of just one corporate donation of $3,000 from Canada Online Healthlink Inc., which operates CanDrugstore.com, an online pharmacy that dispenses drugs to Americans.

Months later, his campaign filed an amended financial statement with these additional corporate donations made just days before the election:

  • Pacific Rim Consultants Ltd: $500
  • Electric Power Equipment Ltd.: $600
  • Surespan Construction Ltd.: $500
  • Fiberco Ltd.: $2,000

My first question is what kind of organization were they running in the 2005 campaign to neglect reporting all but one corporate donation?

Less than $1,000 of the $8,000 his campaign raised came from actual people. While this is normal for the corporate-run neoLiberal party, it makes me wonder why they can’t even get half of their funding accounted for properly. After all, it’s not like they had hundreds of human donors requiring immense paperwork to keep track of.

So to summarize, we have a 20-year underperforming MLA in what the neoLiberals consider to be a safe seat. He just had major heart surgery a few weeks ago. He speaks out and votes against his party, which gives him standing in the community, but without being able to influence the party’s decisions. And his campaign finance record keeping includes people who can’t read column headings on Elections BC forms.

If that doesn’t just scream electoral dismissiveness, then I’m not sure what would.

And while I’m sure he is a pleasant enough fellow, as a politician neoLiberal MLA Dan Jarvis has been useless to citizens of North Vancouver-Seymour.

It’s time for him to lose his job. So any voter who wants to be more than a blind neoLiberal follower willing to excuse everything Dan Jarvis is not doing for the riding, should look at what the NDP’s Mo Norton is offering.

Willfull ignorance is really inexcusable, especially when Dan Jarvis has accomplished so little in 18 long years as a politician.

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website, dgiVista.org.

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