If you're from British Columbia and are paying even the slightest bit of attention to our fine province's current state of affairs, you know that the political landscape is a great big Gordian knot right now. Sadly it seems as if there isn't any one person with a sword sharp enough to cut through this problem and it's, quite frankly, embarrassing.
The BC Liberals are about to enter into a leadership convention with the likes of Kevin Falcon, George Abbott, Mike de Jong and Dr. Moira Stillwell throwing their collective hats in the ring. I will make no secret of the fact that I am not a BC Liberal supporter. I have never been, nor do I anticipate ever being a supporter of that party so it comes as no shock to those closest to me that I am less than enthused with all of these candidates. After nearly a decade under the thumb of the Liberals, more specifically Gordon Campbell, I find it hard to believe that any of these candidates (with perhaps the exception of Dr. Stillwell, due to her being such a rookie) will be anything other than Campbell 2.0.
Mr. Falcon has a history of broken promises in his portfolio: Residential care beds, bridge tolls (which I do not necessarily oppose. Seems to work in SF), moving NICU and a litany of others, can many people expect him to keep his word? Will he be concerned about being held accountable as a Premier the way has hasn't been as a Transportation Minister and a Health Minister?
Next is Mr. George Abbott. I have to be honest, of the four candidates, I'm less terrified by this guy. He claims he's going to restore arts funding, is more likely to reach across the aisle, and says he'd move up the HST referendum date to July 24th, 2011. He's also someone who's all about the tax cuts. This I can't support. How can you hand out tax cuts left, right and centre when we're facing a huge deficit? Where is that money going to come from? Yet moe budget cuts on education and schools, Mr Education Minister?
"Open" Mike de Jong isn't so open with the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry by picking the former Attorney-General as the head of this commission. I've met Mr. Oppal, and respect him even, but how does that speak to being open?? Mr. de Jong talks a really tough game when it comes to cracking down on drunk driving, but when the likes of Carol Berner kills Alexa Middlaer is sentenced to an insulting 30 months in prison, it all just sounds like lip service to me.
Dr. Stillwell, I'm sorry. I just don't know who you are.
Now we come to the BC NDPs. Carole James has been the leader of this party for far too long, and it seems to me that she's the only one who doesn't yet realize this. Sure there are people out there who are showing her support, and she did survive the recent emergency caucus meeting but bad things happen when you speak against your party leader, if your leader is Carole James. Given what happened to Mr. Simpson, is it any wonder that people are tying on a yellow ribbon for her?
If you have heard about the "scarf" incident, then that last sentence probably wasn't as funny (and undemocratic) as I think it is. According to Corky Evans, a former MLA, former cabinet minister and attendee at the November 20th, 2010 NDP Provincial Council meeting, "...staff members stood in the hallway outside the meeting room and gave yellow scarves to everyone EXCEPT the folks they knew had signed or delivered the letter, and a few of the rest of us they figured might support the 13 signatories.
The result was surreal. It was also the most divisive thing I have ever witnessed in our Party. The MLA's who had NOT signed the letter asking Carol to resign were identified, in front of their peers and the Press, as Loyal and Good. Thus, the folks WITHOUT yellow scarves were immediately and publically identified as Disloyal and Bad."
I understand that backroom politics has forever been a function of government, and that it will remain that way until kingdom come (I don't like it, but I understand) but this is just sick and reeks of schoolyard bullying. I was mortified when I read this. This is what passes for good politics now, Ms. James? This is how you now chose to run your party?
Now there are mumblings that Ms. James is thinking of ousting Jenny Kwan, the longest standing MLA in her party, and possibly one of the most popular politicos in BC right now. This would be a fatal mistake, Mr. James. Turning her into a martyr will only bolster the BC Liberal's efforts to endear themselves to the electorate.
I could go on at great length on this topic alone, but in the few hours I have been chipping away at this post we went from having a caucus meeting where Kwan and/or other "dissidents" being heaved from the caucus, to now James supporters rumoring to urge her to step aside.