To the editor:
I think a crucial point to stress in the current B.C. government vs. BCTF dispute is that Ms. Clark and Mr. Fassbender are not “wrong” in the sense in which the runaway slave laws in antebellum America were wrong or the pass laws in apartheid South Africa were wrong. Those laws, we can see now, were wrong in the sense of being evil.
No the B.C. Liberals are wrong only in the sense of being mistaken. They sincerely believe that rigidly limiting education spending, while spending freely on their favourite projects (e.g. a new stadium roof) is what they must do to get the best results for B.C. and its citizens over the next 10 years and perhaps beyond. In this belief, they are “wrong” in the sense in which a thermometer or a clock can be wrong—inconsistent with reality.
Their ways really would, given a decade or so, lead to the erosion of the social order in B.C., as politicians in Britain are now learning to their sorrow. Homegrown terrorists come out of second-rate public schools. (The Brits have really let their public schools go downhill.) More simply, bored, uncommitted citizens who care nothing for their community or nation come out of second-rate public schools. Most importantly for Christy and her supporters, deep, systemic economic ills come out of neglected, second-rate public schools. And all of these ills, even once we are ready to admit that they are present and growing, are very difficult to remedy once they get a foothold.
But it is important for us to keep this simple fact always before us: The B.C. Liberals are not evil; they are simply mistaken. This problem we must attempt to correct by reasoning and evidence. Get them to examine their logical premises. Patient, logical debate and compromise. That is the democratic way.
For which of us has never made a mistake?
Dwight Randolph Wendell, Facebook