Gordon Campbell, Machiavelli and Redemption


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Gordon Campbell is in a unique opportunity to go to Damascus, on that road to Damascus. He has until February 26, 2011 to do the right thing, a right thing, any right thing even.

He has clearly lied about a variety of important things over the last decade. Yesterday he was outed as a belligerent bully domineering his caucus as he pursued his self-aggrandizing, neoliberal agenda. He’s clearly a bad guy who rules through fear and pain instead of hope and inspiration. None of that is new.

But we have seen some better choices lately.

  1. he’s quitting
  2. he has promised to not create a doomsday throne speech and budget as a special evil parting gift to his party and the province
  3. he is talking about increasing the minimum wage
  4. he is talking about increasing post-secondary education funding
  5. and he has suspended his wholly narcissistic 15% tax cut, his hail mary pass to save his political neck

And since every one of those things has happened because he has been backed into political corner so he is attempting to appease some power greater than him, the last three on that list may just be more lies compared to what the newly branded kinder, gentler Liberal party will become.

But between now and February 26, he has the opportunity to do one more final, not-purely-awful thing. He could really step down, allowing an interim premier to take over until the party elects a real premier.

And while that too would be merely an act of expediency, it would continue a pattern of forced redemption.

And while that is not really the same as a road to Damascus experience, it is something.

And not surprisingly, since the Liberal caucus is suffering under battered wife syndrome, the province clearly has also been since 2001, a kind of forced sado-masochism.

So an apology would be welcome right about now.

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website, dgiVista.org.

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One thought on “Gordon Campbell, Machiavelli and Redemption”

  1. Excellent post. For your #5, the tax cut, it was still consistent with his party’s history on fiscal policy. And in addition to being self-serving perhaps was meant to throw the NDP’s costing for any promises they’d like to make, into a funding crunch.

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