The Art of the Impossible

The Art of the Impossible

Dave Barrett and the NDP in Power, 1972-1975

Book - 2012
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At his first cabinet meeting Premier Dave Barrett takes off his shoes, leaps onto the leather-inlaid cabinet table and skids the length of the room. "Are we here for a good time or a long time?" he roars. His answer: a good time, a time of change, action, doing what was needed and right, not what was easy and conventional. He set the tone for a government that changed the face of the province. During the next three years, he and his team passed more legislation in a shorter time than any government before or since. A university or college student graduating today in BC may have been born years after Barrett's defeat, but could attend a Barrett day-care, live on a farm in Barrett's Agricultural Land Reserve, be rushed to hospital in a provincial ambulance created by Barrett's government and attend college in a community institution founded by his government. The continuing polarisation of BC politics also dates back to Barrett the Fraser Institute and the right-wing economic policies it preaches are as much a legacy of the Barrett years as the ALR. Dave Barrett remains a unique and important figure in BC's history, a symbol of how much can be achieved in government and a reminder of how quickly those achievements can be forgotten. This lively and well-researched book is the first in-depth study of this most memorable of BC premiers.
Publisher: Madeira, B.C. : Harbour Pub., 2012
ISBN: 9781550175790
Branch Call Number: 921 BAR
Characteristics: 368 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Mickleburgh, rod

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okbookgirl
Feb 13, 2013

A great read about an energetic time in BC politics that resulted in lasting legacies - e.g., Labour Relations Board, Agricultural Land Reserve and much more. This is a personality-based history - but what personalities! I didn't remember that during the years of WAC Bennett, BC had no Hansard, & no question period. Barrett's brief government was far from perfect (but what government is?) but lots was accomplished and it helped open up government more to public scrutiny. Recommend highly to anyone in B.C. &/or who enjoys politics.

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