23 May 2013


By Betty Krawczyk
This article was first written as a Facebook posting and is reproduced by permission of the author.

In the book”Games People Play” by Eric Berne (1964) the author delineates some of the more common social transactions between humans and describes them as games. AIN’T IT AWFUL is a game played by people who are not moved to try to change a situation so much as they are to complain about it. I think the continuance of the BC Liberals in power will be lamented by at least some people who didn’t bother to vote. In fairness, I understand the disinterest, or rather the disconnection, between numbers of young people and the voting booth.

I don’t think it is primarily apathy that drives the young away from politics. Rather, I think it is another game described in Berne’s book that is much loved by lawyers, especially corporate lawyers, and is particularly loved by politicians. This game is called “Now I’ve Got You, You S.O.B.” It is used to try to blow up some rather insignificant infraction by one side to that of a headliner by the other. Adrian Dix NDP leader, tried to stay away from this particular game during the BC campaign but was side swiped by the BC Liberals who love the game, and are good at it. The BC Liberals are first, foremost, and above all, game players.

But in my opinion there are other reasons the BC Liberals won. I understand there was money going into the BC Liberals’ coffers from Alberta’s oil and gas interests. And I’m wondering why the polls were so wrong. Plugging into my strong sense of paranoia (paranoia has been described as a heightened sense of awareness) and raising the question…might there have been some deliberate poll fudging that had BC Liberals trailing in the polls to give progressive voters the idea that what the heck, the NDP are going to win, the polls say so, so why go out of the way to vote? Does this sound off the wall?

I would say so myself if it weren’t for the last Alberta provincial election. The same thing happened there. The Tea Party was way ahead in the polls but the polls were wildly wrong. So what has happened with the polling? Have these poll takers just become newly incompetent, or in some way we don’t as yet understand, newly corrupted? I also wonder about Gordon Wilson’s last minute conversion back to the BC Liberals. His reasons sound spurious to me (Global News 5/5/13). Did Wilson hear something the rest of us didn’t hear from inside the insiders?

But there is this other thing, a contradictory thing. It comes down to this…I don’t believe people deliberately vote against what they perceive to be their own best interest. Take David Eby’s win (NDP) in Vancouver- Point Grey riding. This is a wealthy riding. Vancouver-Point Grey includes UBC, Kitsilano, the University Endowment Lands, stunning beaches, beautiful homes and parks, etc. And as one might expect, this riding is also way above average in education so there is probably not a terrible amount of worry there about jobs. Ditto for the Green win in Oak Bay-Gordon Head riding.
The Oak Bay-Gordon Head riding won by Andrew Weaver is also above average in wealth and education with many older citizens. As a riding, the people, like Vancouver-Point Grey, are probably not that worried about jobs and can focus without the distraction of poverty staring them in the face on other things like the environment. Andrew Weaver is an environmental scientist. It’s a perfect match. 

I also voted Green but I felt a tug of guilt as I did so. I know a lot of people who are out of work, or working for minimum wage, mostly young men who are not going to be doctors or lawyers or educators. They need jobs. Not years down the road when green energy projects might start generating enough jobs for people, but now. The problem is this… in the now, primarily what we have in our country that could keep us going is resource extraction.

And paranoia aside, this is the main reason I think the BC Liberals got back in. It was the matter of which party might manage to get the oil and gas lines going. The populations of the ridings of Vancouver-Point Grey and Oak Bay-Gordon Head are not indicative of the majority of the population of BC. The majority are worried about jobs that will pay them enough to live, to marry, to start a family and/or to feed the one they already have. Many feel that putting the environment first is a luxury they can’t afford. And until this problem is met head on by everybody things won’t change.
This is the true dilemma of our days. It means that there must be a radical readjustment of our entire capitalist system that is eating up the globe if we are to create work that is healthy, and peaceful, and good for children. I have tried to urge Elizabeth May of the Green Party to try again to get the Bank of Canada back on their agenda for party votes so that, if this ever got on the ballot and passed, the federal and provincial leaders could borrow from the Bank of Canada without interest instead of from private banks with compound interest. Until this is done our country will never get out of debt and neither will we.

People do play games, as Eric Berne noted and wrote about. But we all we have to stop playing AIN’T IT AWUL and NOW I’VE GOT YOU, YOU S.O.B, and start playing WE’RE ALL ADULTS HERE AND WE CAN FIGURE THIS OUT. We must. The carbon readings have just reached 400 parts per million.

Betty Krawczyk is a Louisiana-born, British Columbia, Canada based environmental activist, author and former political candidate. Krawczyk is well-known locally for having been arrested and imprisoned numerous times for defying court orders related to logging and highway developments. Most recently, on March 5, 2007, she was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment for her role in protesting highway construction on the Eagleridge Bluffs in West Vancouver (from Wikipedia)

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