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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

BC LIBERALS (AKA Liberal dominated conservatives) ... FEDERAL LIBERALS (Tax and spend Trudeau style) ... FEDERAL LIBERALS (who are more like the BC NDP) running to be BC LIBERALS ... FEDERAL CONSERVATIVES running to be BC LIBERALS ...

AND NOW in recent days come the question as to whether former Kamloops
Former BC Liberal MLA, and cabinet minister, Terry Lake
Mayor, and BC Liberal Cabinet Minister, Terry Lake will indeed be seeking the Liberal Party of Canada nomination to join Justin Trudeau’s Team.

How will that play out here in the Kamloops Thompson region for the re-election of Conservative MP Cathy McLeod?

My recent wonderings over past couple of weeks, about Federal Conservatives supporting provincial Liberals ... and federal Liberals supporting provincial Liberals ... would lead someone from another province to truly scratch their heads in wonderment.  And yes, ask, "What's in a name?".

Former provincial Liberal MLAs, seeking a seat in Ottawa, will more often than not, seek the nomination of the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) -- rather than the Conservatives.  I for one find that odd given that until the last federal election, Liberal candidates would generally place third behind the Conservatives or NDP. 

Richard Lee, who represented Burnaby North as a provincial Liberal for 16 years until being defeated in 2017, said he was appointed as party candidate for the Feb. 25 vote after a telephone call from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week ~~ Globe and Mail

Here’s another thought them ... does a stronger federal Liberal Party here in BC, mean that federal Conservatives could be headed for more loses in the upcoming federal election in October?  It certainly seems this may be the case ... which then begs the question, is it something perhaps that federal conservatives have unintentionally created themselves?

One federal conservative indicated to me that experience with BC Liberals in their area might be quite different; stating, “Most in my area are Conservative Party of Canada supporters. Not all are, but given that the Federal Liberals are more like the Provincial NDP, it is surprising to see some choose to run for the Federal Liberals”.

That certainly sounds plausible, so let’s look at this example as a test; one however in the reverse.  We have Ujjal Dosanjh, who sat as an NDP MLA, and who then became Premier of the province after a scandal rocked Glenn Clark finally resigned.  After the defeat of the NDP government, he was tagged by federal Liberal leader Paul Martin to run for them – elected, he sat as a LIBERAL MP for them from 2004 to 2011

No one likes a traitor ...when Paul Martin announced that Shirley Chan (top aide to former NDP premier Mike Harcourt, Ujjal Dosanjh (former BC NDP Premier), and Dave Haggard (president of the 55,000-member Industrial, Wood, and Allied Workers of Canada) had signed on to the Liberals' “dream team” of candidates in British Columbia, the reaction was swift and unforgiving: Their former colleagues in the New Democratic Party branded them “turncoats” of the worst kind.  ~~ The Rabble, 2004

Seeking comment from others, another individual, experienced in the twisting turns of BC politics (let’s call him Bill), provided me with this comment:

The federal Liberals are smart to nominate candidates that have previous elected experience for a variety of reasons.  I wouldn't fault them for doing this at all, especially those outgoing BC Liberals looking for greener (redder?) pastures”.

They continued. “Christy Clark was a lifetime (federal) Liberal, and I was generally surprised to see a lot of members of the Conservative Party of Canada support her.  But it can also be attributed to the fact that she is a cunning lifetime politician and generally knew the right thing to say to the right people.”

Norm Letnick, who ran for the CPC nomination in Kelowna-Lake Country in 2005 or 2006, but lost to Ron Cannan. Norm then sought the BC Liberal nomination and won. He’s still sitting as MLA

On the Saturday evening of their recent AGM, BC Liberal Party leader Andrew Wilkinson stood up and
announced a new brand identity for the party.  No more, “Today’s BC Liberals” ... it was being replaced with “BC Liberals – Opportunity for all of BC.”

Perhaps the opportunities he spoke of were between BC Liberals and their federal counterparts ... and between federal Liberals and their provincial counterparts.  Here’s THREE MORE examples:

Wilf Hurd was elected a BC Liberal MLA in 1991 and 1996. The federal Liberals then came calling asking him to run in the 1997 election, he was acclaimed. However, he was unsuccessful losing to Reformer Val Meridith
John Less... ran for the Liberal Party of Canada in 1997 – he was elected as BC Liberal in 2001

Marc Dalton ... was first elected an MLA for the BC Liberals in 2009 -- currently seeking Conservative Party of Canada nomination for Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge

And now back to my expert (and that’s my description of this individual) in the twists and turns of BC politics....

“The situation for the BC Liberals, as I see it internally, is that their existing message has been rejected by enough of the public to let the NDP take power again -- and they haven't changed their message.  In general, the economic climate needs to get worse and people need to feel pain, and also start to receive contempt from the government before votes will change.”

“As for the BC Conservatives, if you're going to have any relevance, the leadership search committee must recruit somebody that has obvious stature.  We're talking in the Kevin Falcon league. I don't think this will be happening.”

Still, there is hope, and a light on the horizon. With the obvious choice of BC Liberal MLA’s to seek a new life as a Federal Liberal MP (as I have shown) ... and the latest of these perhaps being former BC Liberal MLA and cabinet Minister Terry Lake, the 'so-called' big tent BC Liberal party is going to start showing fraying in the fabric. 

Joyce Murray ran and won for the BC Liberals in 2001, and then lost in the 2005 election. She ran for the federal Liberals 2008 by-election. She then ran in the 2008 general election and retained the seat, as she also did in 2011 and 2015

In my opinion, this is going to perhaps be a serious problem, not just here in the Kamloops Thompson riding, where Lake will pull to his side ALL Liberal human and financial resources (should he indeed run).  It will be an all out effort to defeat sitting Conservative MP Cathy McLeod.  And I think we will see similar scenarios taking place across BC in the weeks ahead.

How have things worked in the past between BC Liberals and federal conservatives ... can it continue to work ... is it fraying ... can those supporting Conservatives federally continue to find what is appearing more and more to be a shaky home in the BC Liberal party?

And ... if provincial Liberals do actually continue a trend towards their federal counterparts, how can small ‘c’ conservatives continue support of the BC Liberal Party?  The Tyee gave good reason that will become increasingly difficult, in this comment from the end of January:

Trudeau has a record of broken promises. From the voting system, to climate policies, inequality, health care and trade deals, his commitments to reform in a wide variety of areas simply did not materialize.  The resentment towards the Liberals’ callous attitude is palpable.”

As I have said before ... a liberal is a Liberal is a LIBERAL ... and the BC Liberals are once again in the penalty box as far as being out of government.   

A conservative cannot therefore be a Liberal ... which means that BC Conservatives must therefore begin rolling out alternative options to policies those of the BC Liberals of the past ... and the NDP of today.  They have to be ideas the public will be able to grasp and easily understand – but better yet they'll need to clearly show voters how they'll make their life better.

Let's check in with Bill once again for his thoughts:

The situation for the BC Liberals, is that their existing message has been rejected by enough of the public to let the NDP take power, and they haven't changed their message.  In general, the economic climate needs to get worse people need to feel pain, and also start to receive contempt from the government before votes will change.”

Again ... that will leave room, and lots of it, for the BC Conservative Party to draw needed support to their side.  BUT that will only happen through good policy ideas.

There is one HUGE elephant in the room , so let’s consider this three-part scenario.

It would start with the February 19th BC Budget delivered by the Minister of Finance, Carole James.  That budget (according to a friend of mine) could easily be an election budget—one filled with goodies for all (of course not mentioning who will end up paying for then). 

Number Two ... the Budget would be followed by the Throne speech announcing those goodies, but with little to no facts, figures, or numbers.

Andrew Weaver (L) and John Horgan (R)
And finally, however not necessarily 3rd in numerical order, NDP Premier John Horgan will start to work on potential pitfalls for Green leader Andrew Weaver, that would force him and his other two MLA’s to have to vote against Horgan’s government (or to not be in the house for the vote on the budget), thereby potentially bringing down the government. 

Bill Barlee was a former NDP MLA/Cabinet Minister in B.C., from 1988 to 1986. He then went on the seek nomination as a federal Liberal candidate in 2000 election for Kootenay-Boundary-Okanagan
Here however is where the fly in the ointment comes in.  Horgan would need to steal enough Green Party votes away, as he just did in Nanaimo, to win a majority government – otherwise he's back to another minority government -- or a steal for the Liberals and Wilkinson becomes Premier.

Personally, I don’t believe the BC Liberals have yet been in purgatory for long enough, and I do not believe voters will give them that victory.


The best would be for the party to finally change the name.  To truly be a big tent party, it cannot continue to have the name 'Liberal' in it. They come back the following election, complete with a new name, and many new candidates with no connection to the 16-year term the Liberals had when last in power, and they win.

OR ... the BC Liberals remain the BC Liberals ... the BC Conservative Party develops a platform that neither the NDP or Liberals can tear apart, and conservatives once again get to be Conservatives.

The Hill Times, on February 4th, quoted a Liberal source who had stated:
You lose one per cent of support on one issue, another two per cent on a second issue, point five per cent on a third issue, and so on. On five or six issues, you could lose about seven to eight per cent of the support which is a big deal in an election.”.

That indeed could be a big deal for all ... BC Liberal ... BC Green Party ... and BC NDP.  It also, leaves an opportunity, as I stated, the BC Conservatives.

My crystal ball says the big-tent party will become a moth-eaten tent, if it continues to hold on to the Liberal name.  That will happen if provincial Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, an ardent supporter of the federal Liberals, continues the fight to retain the name.

Stay tuned for the up-coming Budget and Throne speech in February ... it will begin to tell the tale of where things may be headed.

In Kamloops, I’m Alan Forseth, and now I am very much interested in hearing what your thoughts are on this important topic.  Please take a moment to write them down in the Comments Section directly below this blog post.


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