Hydro debt is symptom, not disease

Bravo to Stan Gauthier and Len Walker for their slamming of BC Hydro’s mismanagement, (The NEWS March 23 ). The letters were well researched and clear — but in truth the situation described is inevitable, given the unquestioned but hopelessly un-democratic process of party funding by private donation.

This is an open invitation to the purchase of influence, and has been brought to its inevitable current condition at the Site C Dam.

Provincial Parties receive enormous donations from wealthy corporations and individuals, who of course require a payback. Hence the utter absurdity of BC Hydro’s position.

Parties are bought, making the whole system inherently corrupt, and elections are increasingly today’s not-so-funny story. No new party can even get off the ground unless some very wealthy backers chip in a couple of million dollars — witness the demise of the sane and well-reasoned Action Party of Canada a few years ago.

I long for any party with the guts and integrity to demand all parties be solely funded from the tax base, with hefty penalties for infringement, on the same reasoning that only government should ever pay for the armed forces, police, diplomacy or any other government activity.

This can be done again as it was for decades prior to 1975 — borrowing from the Central Bank with the interest reverting to government instead of to the wholly private finance system. This has proven to be an inherently inflationary and basically unsound system which has exploded all government debts far beyond any possibility of repayment, hence the continuous disposal of national assets at fire-sale prices — raw logs, anyone? Taxpayers are left with the now massive, but perpetual, interest — Google the auditor general’s “Report on Interest and the Debt”, November 1993, and you will see exactly what I mean.

Russ Vinden