Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Vote for the BC Governing Coalition Today?

Scott Ross makes a good point on his blog.  No matter how great Christy Clark has been, she is really up against it.  Even closing the gap with the NDP in the last few days is a monumental achievement (and she should be lauded for that - even accomplished as it was without the help of many in the "coalition").  Winning beyond 15 seats, in the political morass created by Gordon Campbell (and some of his caucus colleagues - who continue to work against Christy), will indeed be an effort worthy of praise.

The BC Liberal Party is really the "BC Center-Right Coalition".  That coalition has been strained for years.  Hard right-wingers of the old Reform Party "Guard" variety formed their own "BC Conservative Party". Deals which were surely made during (and after) the last leadership were attempts to keep the governing coalition together.  Some of those deals apparently involved the types of people who had to surround Ms. Clark.

Many true Liberals were indeed upset with those conditions.  Many felt that Ms. Clark did not stand and kick the Reformers out, or didn't go far enough policy-wise.  One could argue that she did make some strong moves.  Moves like standing up to Alberta on the pipeline situation.  Christy went as far as she possibly could without having federal support cut off (and far as she could without being reigned in by he former Harper PMO "advisory team").

For a good - real - Liberal/liberal in BC, what are the real choices?  One could "park" a vote with the Greens, but that could really be a waste in most cases.  One could consider the NDP too.  However, with a leader who has been found to be doing some pretty questionable stuff in the Leg, a history of absolutely horrible economic performance, and some rather nefarious left-wing connections, this is no "moderate" Roy Romanow-type NDP.

A good liberal can't really fathom parking a vote with either of the obvious alternatives.

Besides, the BC Liberals have been stalwarts of an economy that has come under fire, but survived.  Sure the Harper Government's poor economic choices have made it hard for the Provinces.  Certainly the Harper housing bubble is going to have a HUGE impact on one of BC's top employers (construction).  Still, considering all that, this Province has remained one of Canada's top growth areas.  WITHOUT pipeline jobs.

The likely result of today's election is indeed an NDP victory.  Probably a slim majority.  Still, we hope that Christy will stay on to purge the party of those who don't adhere to centrist principles, and lead the charge to replace the NDP when they inevitably crash the economy, in what will surely be a 3-way race in 2017.  Social Conservatives in the BCLiberal caucus will begin to move over to the BC Conservatives in the months ahead.  Some fiscal conservatives with progressive social values MAY join them.

BC may wake up to find Dix in charge, but it likely won't last much more than a term.  Liberals must be patient, and focus on building a strong "center" in preparation for the 3-way race  that is sure to evolve in 2017.  To position for that eventuality, the BCLiberals should focus on attacking the right wing, while preparing to be a fiscally responsible, SOCIALLY responsible alternative to the NDP.  Christy "unleashed" may be exactly what the BCLiberals need to that end.

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