We all know very well that currently the ICBC looks like a burning dumptster, AG David Eby told us so. He, being a curious AG, investigated the suspicious fire, found arson and ferretted out the culprits, a platoon of lawyers. A lawyer himself, Eby suppressed the temptation of camaraderie and went headlong to douse the flames, repair the fire damage, and fireproof the ICBC.
This sounded credible, and I for one believe he was and is sincere. But I also know that once inside the box, one loses sight of the wide world outside it. The Lawyers “working” the ICBC, turned around and sued Eby, twice. The lawyer who judged the lawsuits, the same one in both trials, chopped off Eby’s firehose so that the flames in the ICBC dumptster would be left burning forever.
This just did not happen out of the blue. It happened because of a host of causes converging to make it happen. Causes such as being made “Godfearing”, which spills over to make us obedient to temporal “Lords”, too; they taught us to trust the magistrates, instead of taking their word with a few pinches of salt; they made us perceptive to “compromising” principles; and to be subservient, to “grin and bare” oppression. There are also issues with the governments hiring hordes of PRopaganda PRofessionals and contracting lots of Consultants to “fool us” with the pretext of enlightening the society for democracy to function. But this leave those-in-power to “govern” us Czarismatically, securely shielded behind their PRotectors.
Eby ignited hope in our hearts with his very efficient dumpster parallelism. He made us receptive to change and ready to help him Change the ICBC. But, being boxed in as he was, he could only hear those who had created the ICBC mess. They would not let him tear up the box for the light of day to shine on the ICBC. The burned-out insiders pushed him hither and thither but kept him securely distanced from the Demo (of Demo-cracy).
Despite that, incurable optimists like me presented ideas to Eby. Sadly, oblivious to that old dogs don’t learn new tricks, Eby fell into the trap of having the “experts” in the dumptster “evaluate” the “outsiders’ suggestions”. Instead of having the people at large debate with an open mind new ideas on the level field of reason. The resulting stuff proved a soft target for the Lawyers and they demolished it.
In the March 12 column, I went at it again, making suggestions to Mike Farnworth, Eby’s successor. I will not reiterate them here except to emphasize the need for a free forum available to all citizens to air their ideas and concerns and ask questions. This is the essential means to evade the suppression of free speech by the Czarisks (a Czarisk is to a Czar what an asterisk is to a star) of the “establishment”, so that the Demos be spared the dire effects of the magistrates’ “monologue” and enjoy the bliss of free speech.
Next I will list some basic information the Demos need for Democracy to function and make ICBC into what we like it to be. All in the hope that Mike Farworth would avert the pitfalls that made Eby fodder for the lawyers.
This list is partial, but would start us on the right route.
Premiums charged: How do ICBC premiums compare (on a “weighted average” basis always) with Provinces with public auto insurers? How do compare with the “private insurance” served Provinces?
Claim Payouts: Eby informed us that in BC the Lawyers take half the money ICBC pays to claimants. How does this compare with the other public auto insurers in Canada? How does it compare with the “private insurance” served Provinces?
Payroll, employee benefits and disbursements: What is the ratio of these items to the aggregate revenue of ICBC?; and the ratio to the total number of vehicles insured? How do we fare on these items to alternative situations?
Lawyering: How much does the ICBC pays to “its own Lawyers (employed and retained) by the ICBC to interact with claimants lawyers? How does that compare to Provinces with Public Auto insurers and the those with Private ones?
These questions are not-much-to-ask and certainly without the answers to them, we can neither “re-construct the ICBC, nor yet hold accountable those responsible for the fire in the dumpster.
After Eby’s divorce from, and Farnworth espousing the ICBC, the government move on to consider public insurance for strata-titled properties. I do not know whether they are looking at expanding the ICBC, creating an affiliate, or making a new independent insurance entity. But, at this stage everyone should heed the “Remain flexible lest you become rigid” adage.
This possible expansion of Public Insurance augments materially the need for the public forum I have been suggesting. Let the people speak on that, too. Let’s be proactive.