Monday, September 10, 2012

BC Liberals & Conservatives: Struggles to Attract Credible Candidates

Premier Christy Clark is “re-structuring” her cabinet, but a more pressing challenge for her is finding enough credible candidates to carry her party’s tarnished banner in the next election.

The B.C. Conservatives, on the other hand, have yet to demonstrate they possess a disciplined, seasoned process to oversee an election campaign. Cummins once expressed concern to me on a Shaw Voice of B.C. program that his party would attract the wrong kind of candidate who could prove embarrassing.

As I wrote here previously, the B.C. Conservatives have to inoculate themselves from “bozo eruptions” from candidates in the middle of a campaign. They can derail any campaign momentum rather quickly.

Indeed, Cummins himself has just provided the exact kind of comment I’m talking about. In an interview with the Vancouver Sun’s Jonathon Fowlie last week, Cummins compared himself to Jesus Christ no less.

In talking about facing a potential challenge to his leadership, Cummins said he could find only one party board member who wanted him gone. Then, he added this gem of a quote: “I hate to use a Biblical reference but Christ had 12 apostles, and one turned him in. We share the same initials but I can’t rise from the dead and I can’t get unanimity on the board. I wouldn’t expect to be able to. He couldn’t. I can’t.”

Clark’s potential problem when it comes to candidate recruitment is a little different. While Cummins is asking people to come on board a new venture, where the expectations might not be so high, Clark is trying to convince people to jump aboard a ship that is listing badly and seems likely to go under, or at least not right itself any time soon. 

While her predecessor, Gordon Campbell, could woo “star” candidates such as Carole Taylor, Wally Oppal, Margaret McDermiad, Kash Heed and Moira Stilwell with the offer of a cabinet post, Clark is not in a position to do that.

The best she can offer, right now at least, is the chance to be a portfolio critic sitting in the Official Opposition. That’s not the most appealing offer to people who currently have good careers in the private sector.

The one leader sitting in the catbird seat is, of course, the NDP’s Adrian Dix. He’s only losing a handful of MLAs from his caucus (Clark, on the other hand, will lose about 20 sitting MLAs) and his party is well along in the nomination process.

The NDP finds itself in a situation similar to the one it faced in 1991, when it was also heavily favoured to form government. Back then, it got people like Mike Farnworth, Joy MacPhail, Penny Priddy, Andrew Petter, Ujjal Dosanjh and Sue Hammell to run as first-timers, and they all became strong cabinet ministers.

It’s yet another parallel to the pivotal 1991 election, which saw a long-time political dynasty almost disappear from sight. The current premier has a lot of work ahead of her to prevent the same thing happening again next May.

New BC Liberal-inspired Drinking Game:

Family drinking game

The lushes at K&K have come up with a new drinking game. From now until the provincial election on May 14, 2013, we’re going to drink a shot of Baja Rosa every time Premier Christy Clark or someone in her newly shuffled cabinet says the word “family.”

If we had started this drinking game when Clark and her so-called “families first” agenda was ushered into office, we would have a nice buzz going right now. But with the election looming and Clark desperately trying to make a connection with disillusioned voters, we fully expect to be on the verge of liver failure by the time polls close on election night.
In fact, it’s only been a few days since Clark introduced her new cabinet and we’re already comfortably numb from the sweet nectar of tequila- and strawberry-infused dairy products.

According to the Vancouver Sun, Clark wrote a smiley letter to each of her cabinet members stating: “Our government faces many exciting challenges and opportunities in the months ahead. Our success will be defined by our ability to develop and implement an agenda that connects with the priorities and circumstances of B.C. families.” One shot.

“I have established a cabinet working group on family affordability which will work to find savings, and opportunities to provide some relief for household budgets.” Two shots.

“I urge you to identify specific ideas on how our government can help keep life affordable for families.” Three shots.

“What I’m really focused on are families,” Clark told the media Wednesday. Four shots.

“And there are a lot of families who fit into this category—who just feel like they aren’t getting ahead and they’re worried about their future.” Five shots.

Clark then passed the families first peace pipe to her new finance minister, Mike de Jong, who said: “Where we can reduce the [tax] burden further for families, we will explore that.” Six shots.

Clark then got changed into a cheerleader uniform, grabbed a set of pompoms and performed a cheer. “F-A-M-I-L-I-E-S! What does that spell? Families!”

Admittedly, we were pretty wasted on Baja Rosa by the time that occurred, so we may have hallucinated the whole thing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Families!? Let's count the number of families lives she's ruined with this unconstitutional communistic approach to curbing drinking and driving. $4000+ in fines and penalties to a first offender who may have a higher tolerance than Ms Minnie that is 4 foot 11 and weighs 100 lbs. No leniency to the mother of two who made a mistake and had three after work drinks instead of two and now has to be fired and cannot afford the $4000 to get her license back. Liberals are a bunch of home wreckers and they can be as sure as hell they won't be getting my vote, nor those of a large number of youths or bar or resturaunt owners who have been affected by this idiotic law. Wouldn't a better solution have been to spend the money on running sky trains longer so there is an alternative form of transportation available at 2am?