Tag Archives: Gordon Campbell

8 Reasons Why Stilwell Isn’t Really Running To Be Premier

  1. Moira who?
  2. Rookie.
  3. Moira who?
  4. No real public profile in cabinet, so a leadership run can help her get a higher profile cabinet position.
  5. Gordon Campbell is her mentor means she won’t even attempt to distance herself from that toxic element, which will alienate her from everyone except the party elite that loves Campbell, but can help her as a real loyalist who deserves a better cabinet position with the leader.
  6. Her social media posture is horrible with her Facebook and Twitter presence stalled as of before the May 2009 election still stating that she’s running to be an MLA, with an unmanaged Facebook page filled with snake oil sales ads.
  7. Her social media posture includes an unfinished, yet released, Twitter rebranding attempt: @MoiraMockup that deleted its few tweets by the end of yesterday. Oddly, the focus on Stilwell’s amateur use of social media led to Christy Clark spending yesterday afternoon going on a tear adding hundreds of people she’s following in Twitter, indicating an understanding of human engagement in Twitter. And since she was doing her show at the time, it looks like “her people” filled out her Twitter following list, indicating among other things, that she has people.
  8. Any leadership candidate who “owns” delegates can deliver those delegates to a potential leader/premier, with the accompanying quid pro quo cabinet payoff.

Moira Stilwell: first candidate to declare, first also-ran.

Tracking the BC Liberal Party’s Internal Democratic Deficit

It’s astonishing what kind of democratic deficit exists within the BC Liberal party. Their constitution calls for a one-member-one-vote leadership election, but the party has far from a robust, geographically membership base on the ground. How will they ever decide how to pick a new leader?

Energy Minister Bill Bennett said the voting system must be changed so that the vote isn’t entirely controlled by party members from the densely populated Lower Mainland.

Mr. Abbott, like Mr. Bennett, comes from a largely rural riding where the one-member, one-vote system would be a drawback.

via Behind-the-scenes battle raging in Liberal Party – The Globe and Mail.

Sure, no ever accused the BC Liberals of being overly populist. They are a corporate comprador party that happens to have human members. Candidates are parachuted into ridings and even “members” of the party are not eligible to actually vote for the leader without paying an additional fee that the party executive sets: two-tiered democracy! No surprise here.

The additional fee is offensive on principle, but in practice, it may end up being a fundraising vehicle or a manufactured barrier to participation. Imagine the provincial executive meeting this weekend sets a $1,000 fee for transforming oneself from a “common” member to a “preferred” member capable of voting for a leader.

This government has always been a fan of market-based Darwinian inequality over universality, so it would be no surprise to see a significant barrier to participating in a vote for the leader.

The party is locked into a “one person, one vote” mechanism – now the party’s constitutional lawyer is reviewing just how much flexibility can be wrung from that wording.

A core alternative is to allow delegated voting, so that each of the 85 ridings would be able to cast equal ballots.

What all this reflects is that the party does not care about, or is incapable of, expanding meaningful membership depth in all areas of the province. With a 4-year party membership costing only $10, and with a preponderance of members in the lower mainland, perhaps the party should reap what it neglects: one-member-one-vote means those who bother to join get to vote, the rest of the province be damned.

If the party neglects most regions of the province, so be it.

But if the party wants to move to a delegated voting system, and its constitutional lawyer can tease that out of the constitution, then the party will essentially be admitting an error in not caring about developing a broad membership base around the province.

It sure looks bad for them either way.

What is certain is that the tone of political expectations is changing in the 21st century. Organizations with overt expressions that oppose rich, populist, inclusive democratic participation risk losing their significance. The declining voter turnout reflects that shift in expectations.

The rest of November is sure to be tumultuous for politics in BC. When the BC Liberal executive pins down some details of the leadership convention this weekend, contenders will react and jockey. When the BC NDP provincial council meets the following weekend in Victoria, the nature of their deliberations will be affected by what happens with the Liberal executive this weekend. Since the NDP provincial council is largely comprised of delegates from the 85 riding associations, there is a great opportunity for participatory democracy to occur.

Things are moving fast. Don’t go more than a few days without keeping up.

Stopping the spin: it’s not just about “one person”

It’s interesting sitting here in Toronto, at York University, listening to the political turmoil in British Columbia.  Listening to Gordon Campbell talking about his political past, his political present… halloween costumes, and so forth, all discussing his sudden, ‘surprise’ announcement resigning his post as Premier of the Province.

It’s interesting because you can hear the message being constructed by Campbell and the Liberals — he’s said it at least three or four times so far this press conference, which tends to indicate a manufactured message that’s being pushed on us — he resigned because “it’s about one person and not about the province.”

Attention everyone who cares about the future of people who live in British Columbia: it is not just “too much focus on one person and not enough focus on what’s best for British Columbia.”

Gordon Campbell certainly is just one person.  But he’s one person who led a party of MLAs who served as the government in British Columbia.  If it were just about one person — really — then we’d only care about Campbell’s vote in the legislature.

But it’s not “too much focus on one person.”

It’s about the entire government.  All of the BC Liberals voted in favour of each and every regressive, neoliberal, destructive policy that the government enacted.

So when you hear the message from Gordon Campbell today — that he resigned because the public was putting “too much focus on one person and not enough focus on what’s best for British Columbia” — remember that each and every one of the BC Liberal MLAs voted in favour of each and every policy that Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals foisted upon the people of British Columbia.

The defunding of arts groups.

The imposition of the HST.

The gutting of university funding.

De-listing medications from medicare.

Hospital user fees.

More than 100% increases in tuition fees.

And on.

And on.

And on.

These aren’t decisions that were taken by one person.  Each of the BC Liberal MLAs voted in favour of them.

Campbell resigned because he knew the public was angry.  And not just at him.

The challenge for everyone in British Columbia today is to make it clear that it wasn’t just one person that made these decisions — technically, formally, theoretically, BC is a representative democracy — and it was each and every one of those representatives that voted in favour of the BC Liberal shock doctrine in BC over the past ten years.

Not too much focus on one person.

We — all of us who care about the people in BC — need to remember that we can work together to make BC a better place.  Changing figureheads won’t change the program.

Gordon Campbell resigned because he was wrong.  And it’s not just about one person.  It’s about all of the BC Liberal MLAs.  They should all resign.

Premier Abbott and the September 24, 2011 BC Election

I owe a debt of gratitude to Charlie Smith for saving me the time of writing all about how May 2013 won’t be the next provincial election date. I was going to say all this before he wrote about it yesterday, but I have more below.

One thing is clear: the next B.C. election will likely take place well before 2013.

There are two reasons for this. The first is that the next leader of the B.C. Liberal party will be chosen within the next seven months.

It’s unlikely that this person will sit as premier for almost two years without a mandate from the electorate.

via Premier Gordon Campbell’s resignation guarantees Carole James will lead NDP in next election | Vancouver, Canada | Straight.com.

The rest of his article is about how Carole James will lead the NDP into the next earlier-than-expected election. He’s right about the lack of time for the party to vote her off the island, but if she happens to voluntarily resign there would be a new leader.

What we’ve seen with Campbell is pressure from inside the party for him to leave. Languishing at 9% approval rating in the polls for weeks wasn’t enough to dislodge him. In the coming days, we’ll hear more about the caucus revolt and the members planning to resign from caucus if he didn’t quit. Thus we’ll see what it took for him to lead himself out the door.

So, if Carole James happens to not be the leader of the NDP in the next election it won’t have anything to do with what happens at their next convention in 55 weeks, but it will be an internal matter.

But getting back to Premier Abbott, I’m prepared to go on the record with my prediction that George Abbott will be the next Liberal leader and he’ll pair a provincial election for a valid mandate with the HST referendum on September 24, 2011. That will save a pile of cash.

Earlier yesterday I expected there to be a short, quiet, backroom caucus deal for a new leader leading into their Penticton convention later this month. This would avoid a long, bloody skirmish that would make the Vancouver Board of Trade nervous.

Happily I was spared that now irrelevant prediction by learning last night that the party’s postponing/canceling its convention. Whew.

So why Abbott? He’s a level-headed moderate compared to Campbell’s golden straightjacket, knife-wielding, neoliberal privatization agenda. He certainly drank the Liberal Kool-Aid all along and has his right wing elements that are worrisome, but he was the only one to ever call the premier on his bullying tone. And he paid for it with a cabinet demotion. Bill Bennett did it too just days ago, but that doesn’t count because Campbell was already a lame duck leader.

Regardless of whoever is running the BC NDP, the backroom wisdom of the Liberal party will want someone who at least appears more moderate leading into the next election. Anyone more moderate would evaporate whatever wedging the NDP has been doing in appealing to the centre, centre-right and business interests.

The next variable to scuttle my prediction of the election date will be if the HST ends up at risk of being pulled before the referendum in September, which I think will be wildly unlikely. Ultimately, there is no need to sacrifice the HST when Campbell offered himself up as the samurai fall guy.

At least I got that prediction right.

Regardless, we are in for some interesting times in every aspect of provincial politics in the next few weeks and months. And don’t forget that there are municipal elections scheduled for across the province in 54 weeks, so the farm teams of provincial parties will have members jockeying for positions to be called up to the show, this may include various mayors. And with the possibility of Chuck Strahl and other federal politicians being drafted or jumping into the mix, we could see the face of BC politics on all levels transform significantly before September 2011 ends.