British Columbians share a vision of a fair, affordable and sustainable society. But politics as usual won’t get us there.
For too long, enormous power has pooled in the hands of Big Money donors, industry CEOs, lobbyists and political insiders. They have more influence over government decisions and more access to politicians than everyday British Columbians.
This has real consequences for real people. Young families are being forced out of their home towns because of the housing crisis. Fentanyl overdoses are killing too many of our friends and family members. Climate catastrophes like forest fires and flooding are devastating our communities.
We need a say — a real say — in the decisions that our government makes.
Ban Big Money
The first step was banning Big Money from politics. Until 2017, provincial decision-makers were able to take unlimited amounts of money from corporations, unions and wealthy donors, from anywhere in the world. Thanks to British Columbians who stood up and said “enough is enough,” we now have campaign finance laws.
Even with new laws to rein in the “Wild West” of campaign finance, there was more work to be done to build a democracy that actually represented the people who live in B.C. We needed to find out how decision-making was truly made under the previous no-holds-barred system and hold those responsible accountable. This is why Dogwood launched our call for a corruption inquiry and now, with the Cullen Commission, we are on our way to getting the answers British Columbians deserve.
Still, we can’t stop there.
We need bold and drastic action to solve the big problems the world is facing today. We need to educate and engage the next generation in our democratic institutions — to preserve what we’ve built and take up the mantle to continue demanding what our province needs.
Around the world and at home, youth are actively tackling the major challenges of our time — climate change, gun violence, racial injustice and inequality, LGBTQ+ rights — and working to create a future for themselves. And they are making an impact even without real access to decision-makers and a real seat at the table. But democracy should be accessible to everyone — especially those who are going to bear the burden of today’s decisions.
It’s time to lower the voting age in B.C.