Should British Columbians look to Alberta’s upstart ‘Wildrose Alliance Party’ for political inspiration ?

“Every 30 or 40 years, we get tired of the government that’s in power and we sweep them out and we look to a new alternative. I think we have an opportunity to catch one of those historic waves.
Danielle Smith upon being named Wildrose Alliance leader

If you don’t follow the political scene in Alberta, you might not know about the growing popularity of the Wildrose Alliance Party– a new, upstart party that is slowly but steadily gaining members and strength in Alberta  since it’s birth two years ago.

What started as a joke to many and received sneers from political experts, the Wildrose Alliance is the result of a 2008 merger between two smaller conservative parties in the province. While they did not win any seats in the 2008 general election, as of today they hold three seats in the Alberta legislature, having just announced the crossover of two elected Progressive Conservatives to join their ranks yesterday.

Much of the party’s success fell to timing and the election of a new leader, Danielle Smith. In 2009, the party capitalized on the publics growing discontent with the current premier Ed Stelmach, and membership began to grow. Clearly, the people of Alberta were ready for a change in the status quo, and again the party began to attract some high-ranking PC party members as well as a large number of former Reform Party supporters. The rest,as they say, is history. Party leader Danielle Smith seems to have a realistic and solid approach to building the party, as she says, ” Brick by brick”- setting a firm foundation with solid riding associations and candidates in all areas.

It was sometime post-election last year,when I really started thinking about the possibility of how succesful a new political party would be in British Columbia and put it out there in a couple of posts. Those posts generated some very interesting reactions in emails and phone calls that lead to growing debates and discussions among many of my friends and colleagues, but for me, it was very simple. I wanted to run for MLA in my riding, but I have never been a member of any political party. Without a flicker of a doubt,the Liberals were never a consideration. There is much in the Conservative Party platform that I don’t agree with, and so of course, having supported the NDP  with my vote for years, I automatically leaned towards the NDP.

Herein lies the problem. It’s not news to anyone that there are massive divisions in the party. Even a brief cruise through the blogosphere and political chat forums will show you there are several splinter groups within the party, each dissatisfied with party leadership and executive for different reasons. Members are leaving, this is as true for the NDP as it is for the Liberals,which to me, speaks volumes about the condition of both parties right now. Geez, in my own neighbourhood, many people are embarrassed to admit they are, or were, Liberal.  Of course, the NDP are ahead in the polls now, but do they have what it takes to win another election?

The bigger question would then be, can what is so inherently wrong within the NDP, what has become so broken, be repaired and salvaged to create a unified, strong party again? One that puts the trust of the voter ahead of the hidden internal politics?

 Moreover, can they overcome the baggage Sihota brings with him? I’m not so sure about that.

 I, for one, do not support Sihota’s return to the party. I didn’t like him back in the day, and I don’t trust him, nor do I trust his motive – and I know a lot of people who feel the same way. People who may have hung in there and given the NDP another try, are now saying they won’t even vote if it comes to that, because anyone involved with Sihota must have rocks in their head. And that is a quote from one of my readers in northern BC. Regardless of his ability to bring in financial support – because voters honestly don’t care  or think about that aspect very much -and really, Sihota’s ability to heal the rift between the NDP and environmentalists is questionable at best, in my opinion. Times have changed, but has Sihota?

Now, forgive me because I am clearly not a political analyst, by far, but I am just sharing ideas and thoughts that I think a lot of people might be thinking, but perhaps won’t voice for fear of being ridiculed or mocked.  Where does the current situation leave someone like me who has a deep desire to make change in this province, but finds herself, in essence, party-less?

I care not only about the community I live in, but I also care very, very much about the future of this entire province. I was born and raised in the heart of BC , Prince George. My family worked on some of the massive construction projects that supported this province back in the sixties and seventies, and they still all work in what is left of the dwindling forestry sector. I have seen, first-hand as many others in this province have who do not live in the bubble known as Greater Vancouver, that this province is in dire straights. Dire because of what the Liberals  have done so far, and for what they will continue to do, even with another leader. They must not get majority in the legislature again.

Let’s go back to that quote from Wildrose Alliance leader, Danielle Smith:

“Every 30 or 40 years, we get tired of the government that’s in power and we sweep them out and we look to a new alternative. I think we have an opportunity to catch one of those historic waves.”
I think we are seeing one of those historic waves in British Columbia right now.
I’ve been saying it for some time in different ways without even realizing it, just by blogging about all the labour unrest  across the province. By telling the stories about vital health cutbacks, and cuts to crucial services for the elderly and disabled.  We have seem strikes already, walk-outs, massive job loss, bankruptcies and foreclosures. There are a large number of British Columbians who began this year with dread over their heads because they either have already lost their jobs, or they know they may lose it in the year to come. We all know the Olympics are going to leave this province in a massive pile of debt that is capable of crushing the spirit of BC. We all know that once the party is gone, and reality sets back in when the bills start adding up, that these Liberals are going to be scampering about trying to save their hides. The NDP is trying to get those votes, and Carol James is planning a series of town-hall type meetings across the province this year, but the question to me is this: Will anyone even be there who is willing to listen to her ?
Honestly, I’m not so sure.
I think the time is ripe for another alternative. ( this is where the naysayers can yell “Naive! Idealistic! Ridiculous! Grassroots parties never work, never gain popularity with voters, never make it anywhere…”)
  Yes, I  think it’s true that small grassroots party tend to never make it anywhere with voters. That being said, I still think the time is ripe and that there is more than enough discontent with both the Liberals and the NDP  for a credible, new party to capitalize on. Another upstart party like the Wildrose Alliance, full of passionate people with dedicated vision, solid backgrounds and a variety of experience and knowledge to give the party a firm foundation.  A party that will put BC first, and big, corporate agenda’s last. A party that doesn’t have union supporters whose pension funds have investments in Liberal supportive companies. A party that puts the power back into the hands of the people of BC through accountability,real transparency,good policy and strong leadership. With these ideals, I’m sure that like the Wildrose Alliance, it wouldn’t be too hard to attract elected candidates from the other parties to cross over or join. And to be sure, I am not at all saying we should go and create the party orientation they have of Reform/ Conservative, but that we look to the factors and model that has made a success story where everyone said there could be none. A grassroots party can work, and will work, with the right people leading the way to attract other candidates who may see a better fit in ideals, policy and platform.
Think about it – and I mean really think about what that means. Stephen Harper has just show us that the notion of democracy in Canada is just that- a notion. Is BC –  in its current state and with our current premier Gordon Campbell –  really all that different?
Not at all.
That’s why I think  every British Columbian who cares deeply, should look to the Wildrose Alliance Party for inspiration to act on the opportunity to ensure the future of the province –  as we love it.
” Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.( Harry Emerson Fosdick)”

25 Comments on “Should British Columbians look to Alberta’s upstart ‘Wildrose Alliance Party’ for political inspiration ?

  1. Good Morning Laila! Great article, with a timely message. I voted NDP for the last time in May 2009, the eleventh time in my life. Believe me, I plugged my nose while doing it…anyone is better than Campbell. Next time around, I’ll vote anything but either one of the mainstream parties.

    I’ve been harping about getting a new grassroots party going for the past 2 years, with little if any effect. The general feeling has been, give the NDP another chance…they’ve got it for sure this time around. NOT! As long as Carole is leader, they’re lost. If as I suspect, Carole Taylor declares her intentions for the leadership of the Liberals…the NDP are more than lost – they’re dust. It’s time to put the ego’s aside…but we know that won’t happen. Which proves once and for all what politicians are “in it” for…and it’s not the good of the province or her citizens.

    YES – let’s get a new party going…not next year, this year! Very soon. As you say, make sure people know their stuff inside out. Also, make sure they’re not going to mince words with the truth…or back down when the going gets rough. In fact, we can hope our new party MAKES things rough for both parties in the Leg now. Let’s get out there, using every means possible – let the general population know well ahead of time – SOMEBODY DOES GIVE A DAMN!… and we’re here to clean up the mess, and take to task those who actively created it – as well as those who knew yet did nothing to stop it. Perhaps it should affect the gold-plated pensions of every member sitting in the Legislature right now?

  2. In BC now we have Campbell that is as Reform -Conservative right as you could get so where do we find appeal in what hes brought us in his mandate -NDP ok Sihota may not be well liked but hes smart and connected and behind the scenes and what wins in politics ?
    and can we look and connect him to anything worse than our present group has done to us as taxpayers . Alberta and its wild rose party is built on dismayed conservatives who are more hard line which Alberta seems to like its not a model BC would likely support so what would we form as an alternative and how would a start up not face some major issues of splinter groups wanting control we may be better with a short NDP run while a center leaning party with a clean slate of good people who want to support an entire province not suck its resources dry to line theirs and supporters pockets , eventually everyone will pay for a lack of good decent paying industry based jobs that needs to be addressed as well , no easy answers though but we need way better open honest government regardless of who.

  3. Hi Leah, and thank you for the compliment. I saw that article on MSN this morning, and just went for it. I’ve been talking with the member of another BC party for sometime, off and on, about this, but it’s been nothing more than talk. When I started reading about the history of the Wildrose and how it started, I really like what I heard. It didn’t happen easily at first, but the interest was clearly there and they moved with timely manner to make it happen. While it took the second party leader to really move things along, it demonstrated to me a success that I’ve not seen with any other small fringe party in BC to date. I think they are clear with their platform, and with their leaders approach to building a strong organization, and I think everyone should take a look at how they did it.

    Hi SB- I hope your holidays were good !

    I am not saying that we should create a reform- conservative party alliance here in BC – I am simply saying that we, as a province, are going through the same kind of conditions that lead to the growing popularity of a credible alternative party. i’m saying we should look towards what they have done to create a success story where everyone said it wouldn’t happen. We take the best of what we believe,of what we see IS working, and create a platform that is realistic, viable, and offers a solution.

    This comes up a lot in discussions. “We may as well stick with the NDP” Well, unless you are all willing to wait for the dead weight within, for that tightly guarded control faction to disappear, something needs to be done. You may as well rely on aliens coming down from space to vaporize the dead wood if waiting and seeing and taking your chances is the only solution you can see.

    I have faith that enough people have the common denominators required to make the creation of a new large party viable.

    One, so many voters are frustrated and want change, and they want it now. What kind of democracy is it where we get stuck with a leader for a full term- regardless of what he has done ? The NDP is getting the higher poll result because they are viewed as the lesser of two evils right now. What kind of reputation is that? Not the one I would want to be a part of .

    The second commonality is that feeling of provincial pride – of wanting to preserve the future of this province.

    They want their children to be able to stay here and live and work, and be successful.

    They want small business to not only survive and thrive because it is the heart and sould of how this province was started.

    They want to know that while we have traditionally been a resource province, that have reached a point where we need to seriously look at the direction the Liberals have laid track for, and what it means economically and environmentally.

    They want to know that what has traditionally been protected, will not be sold off, or handed over under dubious arrangements as a bartering tool to another end.

    And yes,trade agreements and economic activity must be continued, but there is no reason to be doing things like shipping logs over to china when we could be cutting them here. There is no reason for us to be importing American wood. There is no reason that we cant encourage businesses to find ways to keep BC money in BC , rather than farming work and goods production to China for cheaper labour.

    I don’t have all the answers, nor do I have all the solutions, but I feel confidant that there are enough qualified and dedicated individuals out there who, like the MLA’s who just crossed the floor in Alberta, will see the light on the wall and take a leap as well.

  4. In my misguided youth, I participated in the Liberal Party, even managed a campaign or two. I decided the party system was fundamentally corrupt. There are two dissociated parts: the self perpetuating leadership group and the peasants who are little better than busloads of bewildered members who suddenly appear at nominating meetings.. Even the tasks of choosing candidates belong largely to the inner circle through undemocratic voting and membership procedures.

    A new party in the same system will become like the rest. I view independent politicians as the answer. We should pick our best and brightest and send them to Victoria to act on behalf of constituents, not party leaders. Ten independent MLAs like Vicky Huntington would change the landscape entirely. The Liberal and NDP drudges would be embarrassed into better behavior.

    So, what we need is a non-partisan (but truly so) party to be the conscience of the legislature.

  5. ” Carol James is planning a series of town-hall type meetings across the province this year”.
    Wow, that should work! She has never done that before!
    I agree with your opinions expressed about Mr. Sahota. He was, and possible is, one of the Chosen Ones.
    Ten Independents is a very interesting thought. If achieved, the results would be swift, and a hint of Democracy could actually be restored in our ailing system.

  6. Good idea laila and i am not at all against where you stand im simply being practical at this time we are stuck with the choice of lesser of 2 evils and the present ones convinced me the other aint so bad today , id love to see a middle ground and i mean true middle ground party who views the kid at his first job at a fast food joint as inportant as the ceo on Howe street to our economy the link is simple the kid making burgers turns the cash that keeps all things moving and the big executives running the show paid we also should protect our resotces in smarter ways i dont say no export but why not keep as much of our money here as possible , last the important things in social programs are education and health based keep a population as educated and healthy as possible we will see less need for welfare and less need to solve the associated issues arising can a politician find that balance is the question.
    Truly put our Govt has become so steeped in its game it feasr smart simple ways because a Campbell would have no way to hide what hes doing honest simple open govt answerable to its people is a long gone dream beurocracy reigns supreme and it wont be easy to change that .

  7. OK, people. Huntington is a starting point. Put your heads to thinking about other names. Then, we can test the waters to see if there is willingness to create a non partisan alliance of people who would put the province before party. Maybe, a few are already sitting in Victoria, unhappy with being turned into non-entities.

  8. All “alliances” will end in parties and get names and just become more ndp, liberal or whatever. Almost a good idea normy but it will end the same. Truly independent people elected in each area, with no “alliance” to any party would be a better go at it. Premier elected by the legislature. All voting on any issue the way the voters from their area want. All issues canvassed by the mla and voted on as his/her constituents want. It would eliminate the backroom bs.

  9. Hey Sal, how was the holiday?

    So, this is good discussion starting here, and Norm, I think you have a great idea. the point of all of this is that we need change, and we need to actually commit to it on a large scale level.

    There may very well be some within the leg. who ARE tired of party politics and want to put the province first. There is only one real stumbling block to this though.

    Running as an independent was my first idea when I first thought to run, but it was also pointed out to me rather quickly that running as an independant is a very expensive endeavor – also, as I pointed out previously, being one among many in the leg holds little sway. One would have to start a campaign fund immediately to even hold your own with signs,etc., but could also harness the power of the web, as many of my supporters have.

    However….. running as an independant, knowing there were several other very good independant candidates out there at least gives the change to shift things in the leg. I like it. But the question is, would the voters go for that? They did in Huntingdons case, but it was close, right?

  10. I believe many citizens have disconnected from politics out of frustration and disgust. Campbell could not have been more clear with various promises (FOI for example) that he promptly threw in the garbage. The lied so often that we came to realize it was not accident or mistake, it was strategy.

    Yet, we remember the NDP too. They had different players but the games were the same. Remember Dave Zirnhelt saying, “Government can do anything it wants.” Indeed, government Insiders did well, political debts were repaid.

    It will be the same on the next transition, unless we find a new approach. I believe we could identify highly respected, non-partisan citizens, willing to stand as Independents. We would ask them to sign a public pledge of commitment to principles that would include a promise to be beholden to no one. Volunteers would have to become involved with no prospect or opportunity of personal gain. They too could make public commitments to ensure true altruism. The last thing we need is a sham front group, the Vancouver’s NPA has been for decades.

    I think Chuck Cadman was an example to look at as is Vicky Huntington. A strong group of Independents, pledged not to cross the floor to join a party, would force the old time parties to change the style and eliminate the all-powerful leader and the despotism that engenders.

  11. The ideas are great about independant people but truth is that utopian dream leads to fractures so party lines need to be drawn at some level , because with 45 different platforms or more that may be used you will have a very difficult time once in front of the public it would lead to confusion , a better plan with some of those ideals written here would be great but do think of whats needed as a govt as far as ability to form and interact and make decisions .
    A party with a democratic principle of all memebers of all ridings have a say and mlas take that to caucus allows that input and uses it would give people some confidence , down side is our world is moving globally to unified govts and its becomeing very difficult to operate outside that system unless our federal govt stops on its path that way as well , much to consider here .

  12. I’m not sure about this Laila. As much as I am opposed to Gordon Campbell’s reign of error, I could never vote for the folly that is the NDP.

    Similarly, your comments on Moe Sihota are bang on, but he is hardly the chosen one. Even the dimbells who ran the NDP campaign on to the rocks in May understand this. And do not think the NDP are not divided either. Their best bet would be John Horgan, but he is despised by some strategists, for the simple reason that he doesn’t suffer fools.

    Sihota, for example, killed us with the Labour Relations horse shit in 1991 after gutting the industrial council. What did that do? Well, primarily, it weakened the rights of anyone with a claim. But who cares as long as they protect the interests of big unions (and their chq writing bosses). But the aggrieved worker be damned. That’s why many union workers are quiet supporters of the Liberals.

    However, back to your original premise, any spitting of the center-right vote guarantees an NDP win, and that’s precisely what backroom NDP tacticians like Tieleman and others are banking on. They want the party to move to the left (absurd) in the mistaken hope that they will re-attract the base. Won’t happen, for the same reason socialism failed. They miscalculated–on good ole human greed.

    Therefore, a group of independents, unless they were embracing solid principles and initiatives THAT WERE DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT THAN THE OTHER PARTIES, wouldn’t stand a chance. What would differentiate you and another nine? Nothing. You become a de facto party and in most constituencies end up confusing the voter and splitting votes–likely, more often than not, you would elect the party you might want to displace.

    The only viable alternative is to scrub clean the hull of the Liberals and elect a brand new leader with solid core BC beliefs:

    1) No hand outs to the natives. It’s time we left the apron strings of the taxpayer’s pocket–you want self-govt (without advocating for better education and healthcare–shame!) then that’s fine, here’s your piece of the pie, NOW PAY TOUR DAMNED TAXES IN FULL. No status cards, n nothing.

    2) Roll back the Corporate Capital Tax.

    3) Eliminate the Carbon Tax.

    4) Provide exemptions for lower income families with respect to the HST.

    5) Re-write the forest practices code: No more logging down to sensitive eco-streams, no more IPP fraud (pay them out and get rid of Gordon Campbells friends.)

    6) Call for a full public inquiry on the Raid of the Legislature.

    7) Shut down Insite, needle exchanges and the charlatans of the harm seduction lobby choking Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health. Fire every single last one of them and replace them with doctors who care and understand and don’t want to be moviestars.

    6) Reopen Riverview and shut down every shelter after you’ve thrown out all the street dealers and dime bag hookers. Determine who wants treatment and who doesn’t.

    7) Shut off the govt subsidies for the povertarians and profiteers that feed off the sick (there is actually a non-profit that wanted to charge the poor for cashing their chqs–the govt actually allowed them to bid).

    8) Reduce all provincial sales tax by 1%

    9) Reinstitute Ministry of Small Business Development. Make it real, with programs that will save the little guy.

    10) Make teaching an essential service. If they don’t like it, they can always go to Burger King and hang their degrees there.

    11) Give the healthcare system a czar with the authority to recommend the trimming of fat. And if private clinics want to do business, marvelous, no doctors that are on the MSP train can practice there and no docs in private clinics can get on to MSP.

    12) Kill ‘hidden’ initiatives like those having Ministers flying off to China to buy our lumber mills. They’re already getting a deal on our wood. MAKE THEM PAY.

    13) Raise the minimum wage to $10 dollars; reinstated funding for adult autistics, and all community grants assisting seniors.

    14) Make the Ministry of Children and families a priority.

    15) CUT WASTE. I can name at least two dozen programs sinking over 250M per year.

    16) Reopen trading “desks” an make BC’s resource sector extra-viable again.

    I could go on…

    Essentially, no more bullshit and spin. Do the job.

    I’m Alex G. Tsakumis, and that’s the way I see it…

  13. Alex…you have my vote for providing the most clear-cut, sensible list of what needs to be done!

    Especially for the #11 private clinics issue. If a clinic wants to be private, no issues…allow them the privilege. But that means NO taxpayer funds from ANY source! The building, funding, and operational costs of all private clinics must come from the private sector…otherwise, close your doors. All else is just allowing the doctors the opportunity to put each nostril into a separate trough. As has already happened, patients have been charged for their private procedures – and the doctor has also charged MSP exactly the same amount. And we’re not allowed to look at their books??!! I don’t freakin’ think so! That they’re trying to totally destroy the medical system we have, in favor of the American style system, is pretty obvious.

    There are no items on your list I disagree with – and that’s unusual to say the least. Say! You wouldn’t be interested in heading the new and revamped liberals would you? :)))

  14. I agree with Alex totally here great basic principles which would make sense and save money while we may disagree on some social issues as ill agree i am a little more to that end but with a solid beleif we need a very conservative approach to spending taxes on any govt programs , its our money and needs to work not be a make work or profit program.
    Now how does the possible revamp of BC Liberals happen ? i have a huge doubt those in control now and this straight to ridings association as well are going to change thier stripes the current mess is through the entire party Campbell does not get away with what he is doing if the local ridings dont allow really that is an issue they could stand up and say no more but dont so they too are in the game up to their necks and that is my point about a switch to the left it would clean house .
    If i saw a leader who could manage Alexs list id vote for them but i am sure you will have a to the death battle with Campbells executive and supporters they like being on the take way too much.

  15. .
    Count me in as someone in favour of a new BC provincial party (especially one with a name as beautiful as “Wildrose”).

    I used to believe that the New Democrats were the natural harbour for people of conscience. Not any more. A lot of small warnings, sure. But my big lesson took place in July 2009 where, instead of supporting the group of his own constituents on their “SHOW US THE DEAL!” efforts, Leonard Krog (NDP Opposition Justice critic) stonewalled us, then double-crossed us for his own benefit. (Details on my blog: see July 14, 2009, 5th anniversary of the BC Rail deal.)

    It would’ve cost Fermit the Krog nothing to have joined us in demanding that a pause be imposed on the BCRail-CN deal before further shocking benefits could be triggered, as stated, on its 5th anniversary. But Krog saw things differently. The stinker had stonewalled us, and then he actually held a Vancouver Press Conference to pass himself off as the creator of this whole idea … a brilliantly evil, slimey style.

    I felt sad for those who had been NDP members for many years, and who tore up their membership cards that day.

    And I never again suggested putting time, money, effort into rebuilding what had once been a grand old party in the service of the people. I knew that the notion of a great old party was stone dead.

    I know that people of principle still walk among us … and would flock to join and support a new BC Party of principle. I’ve been thinking it, too, ever since I first laid eyes on the “Wild Rose Alliance Party” concept.

    Good luck with that, Laila. Let us know how we can help.

  16. Hey … that was me (above) … didn’t even notice that the “Name” box had been replaced with “Anonymous”. Hmmm.

  17. Little things matter sometimes. I lost any potential for faith in the NDP when I guy I knew as mostly unemployed and unemployable was a appointed a ministerial assistant in the NDP government with a six-figure salary.

    The Campbell gang has first loyalty to a small group of wealthy business friends. The NDP would have first loyalty to a few large unions (CUPE etc.). So, as I’ve said before, the beneficiaries would change, but the game remain the same. Pick your poison but its still poison.

    I like the list provided by AGT. It addresses many of our worst difficulties but, since my close observation of the Liberal Party dates back 50 years, I don’t know how it can be cleaned, particularly from the outside. Besides, if you removed the self-interested, you’d be left with a aging group of folks who can’t remember why they belong.

  18. In response to Norm – i agree it would simply be a switch to different ideology but im sure a less mean spirited one witha little more self interest in BC even if it is union motivated that in itself is a better thing than todays situtaion .
    A new party who could fill that void and run on soem all around good commom ground principles would be great i just am not so sure it can built that quickly i would think 1 year would get it started but what mainstream media is going to support and give press to it?
    As to Alexs idea you know it may be easier to join and influence the NDP it sure did work for Campbell and his crew they were an ultra self interst right sided group who hijacked a middle road name it seems such things can be accepted in BC so a middle road NDP isnt that much a fantasy either.
    I am all for a new party but done right it will not be fast or easy.

  19. Good point SB. That is exactly what Campbell’s puppet masters did. However, I suspect the NDP can not easily be redirected because it has an unassailable group of ex officio voters.

    These party systems are well evolved and leaders have the tools to stall most attacks. Unions with deep pockets holding someone else’s money occupy the high ground within BC’s opposition party.

  20. Going back to Alex – who appears to be fronting for a new incarnation of the BC Liberals under Watts and/or Taylor – I say : Ha!

    I believe, with all sincerity, that it is impossible to ” scrub clean the hull” of the Liberal ship and come away with anything other than a pile of rust that will eventually corrode and reveal itself to be yet another pile of toxic waste.

    However, there may be a possibility that would allow your ‘only viable alternative’ to occur. I hear the seismic activity has been increasing lately around the island.

    Should a large scale earthquake occur, the resulting tsunami that hits the coast would likely destroy the legislature and tragically take all the Liberals with it. Of course, we might lose the NDP too, but that leaves the rest of us to begin the creation of new parties with the remaining survivors…….. thus you get your clean slate for the Liberals Alex.

    You know more than anyone, Alex, the deep and twisted connections within the Liberal party. Deep,twisted and powerful, and far removed from the average British Columbian. The party can’t be re-invented simply by electing a new bloodsucker, oops, I mean leader, no matter who it is. Yes, Carole and Dianne look good and talk the talk, but it won’t make a difference to all the rest.

    I think Carole Taylor is far too old for the job, and as many people have said before me, holds absolutely no appeal to most people out of the lower mainland. In fact, she really doesn’t seem to appeal to many female voters at all, from what I hear, so that’s a long shot.

    Watts, on the other hand, has managed to woo the media and the adoring public with the motherly appeal and guise of non- partisan politics. But, let us really imagine her at the helm of the good ship Liberal…

    You think she will pull everyone in line? You think all the backroom deals are suddenly going to stop when there is so much profit and money on the line that has been set up for so long by our current commander? Do you honestly think that all of Gordo and crew’s buddies who have been sucking at the government tit for so long, the ones who have been licking the cream from top pf the jar, are going to just sit back and let all that happen?

    Nah. I think not. Not unless they think, or know, that she can be ‘managed’ just like Gordon. How far her nicey-nice, allegedly non-partisan politics will get her provincially is a mystery, but I doubt the ones who really run the show will stand by idly and let her make the policy changes that need to be made that would cut them off from that seemingly everyflowing stream of cream they currently get from the Liberals.

    No Liberals for me. Not now, not ever.

    SB, I don’t know that if the NDP executive will listen to anyone knew, if they currently arent listening to the people within the party who have been hollering. Norm is right about that. Like I mentioned before, some of the union supporters to the NDP are playing both sides, because of those pension fund investments. Doesnt do to put those funds at risk, does it? And SB, why not go and look at how this Wildrose party has done it. Three seats. Not bad for two years, when we have three until the next general election. Start with looking for someone strong and vocal to head it up, a good leader who has the background and can present well to the public in terms of talking and representation. Recruit among the current MLA’s in both parties – there are several that I think would have potential, that really care about making good policy and the future of BC. Might be a good change to jump ship.

    I like the independant idea, and I think a group of strong people like myself could pull that off. I also like the idea of a new party, one built from people with principles, and my gosh, thanks Alex, for giving us such a great platform to start with !!! ; )

  21. Laila,

    God knows, (40 years or so?) of watching, reading studying discussing politics, ( in BC, Canada, US , International) has lead me to believe that most voters are low information voters who vote on the basis of not fact, policy or program, but instead belief.

    Look how many people believe they voted for Gordo as Premier, even though the simple fact of the matter, and Basic Civics, is that you can’t vote for the Premier.

    So, in BC, Dippers are Socialists who are bad for the economy, good for lazy unions, and run up large deficits, even though that is not by any factual standard, the actual case.

    Greens are Tree Hugging Enviros who will shut down the resource industries, even though again, that is probably not the case, (Greens have no track record in Government).

    Libs are good for the economy and are sound fiscal managers.

    (Socreds are now, pretty much irrelevant, because the public belief is that they are old, staid dinosaurs who went extinct).

    In addition, despite the ‘Naught decade, ( in which, “we”, got nothing, no jobs, no wealth, no prosperity, no security and “they” got richer and more powerful), neoliberal economics and Disaster Capitolism are still the dominant economic beliefs.

    So, there is nothing the Dippers can do to change their public image, because it is not grounded in fact or reality, it is grounded in a low information belief system nurtured by half heard and barely understood media snippets.

    The Libs are slowly changing their public image, negatively, through gross and crass mismanagement and arrogance, but this illustrates again the dominance of the belief system, because based on what they have done so far, what has been reported, understood, covered, they should be a dead joke, run out of town on a rail, tarred and feathered, but instead, still poll well on economic issues.

    While a New Party, has the advantage of, initially, until the media and soundbites take hold, self defining it’s image, as soon as old hands get involved, or profile has been reached to get on the radar, the Party loses control of the image. The BC Electoral roles are littered with new starts, new parties, and old dreams, all failed because to get across to the low information voter, requires either an established presence that can be piggybacked off of, (BCLiberals), or a slow, constant and gradual relevance in new, media and reportage that can take a decade or more. Look at the Greens who have not managed much of anything, ( but better than most new parties) in 30 years of effort.

    History would suggest, (BCLiberals, Reform-Alliance, Republicans) that the best two options are:

    — acquiring an Old Party name with a reputation for some level of moderate path, (predominantly neoliberal economic policies), keeping the neoliberal economic policies as a stated platform, ( even if this is just guise), and modernizing the rest of the platform to fit dominate but not extreme social norms and say all the right things to all the right people in a cynical exercise, while getting enough media coverage for the “new” faces and keeping old dinosaurs in the closet long enough to freshen a saleable image, (this was the BCLiberals, Reform-Alliance path),

    – or seek refuge in an existing Mainstream Political Party, while making common cause with sufficient like minded members, to be able to stage and internal coup, seize control of the Party and gradually shift the core message to appeal to the extremists who will get out the vote, (The NeoCon Republican Plan).

    Either path, no matter how noble the underlying beliefs are, require a very cynical, underhanded, dishonest and disciplined practice of politics, not healthy for women, men, children of all ages, pets or growing things.

    IMHO, the best that can be done, is to pick a Party that will have you, who’s beliefs mostly match your own, then build a local reputation as honest, forthright and clear spoken, and try to win a coveted reputation as a worthy representative of the Riding, it’s people and it’s interests, irrespective of Party Politics,

    you know, the old fashioned job that we used to expect MLA’s to do,

    and rely on this garnering you enough votes from the few high information voters, to attract enough attention to garner some support from the local low information voters, if only because they have heard your name, and one or two good things about you.

    If this succeeds, then it is a worthy basis to build a reputation, and perhaps, clean up a party with.

  22. Response to Laila
    first when you order the tsunami please warn me im just a commute down the highway from Victoria ok lol
    i agree the deep seated power brokers within teh Liberal party will not change it would be a new pin up poster face for the same old crap .
    A new start up would be good but as we have posted a long time in making a success some of would be recognized for efforets posthumously so next alternative is to take the approach as Liberals did with another party , those of us with some beleife in social issues have little we can do so NDP is the alternative and it does not have the ability to stop members from joining or voting on who controls ridings or candidates so changes can be effected and as ive said before as of now that may be our best hope from there clean and gut the Libs send their true right socreds off and make it a liberal middle road group that can represent us all properly this wont be easy no matter what.

  23. JImbo, sorry for the delay, but I wanted to say that your advice is well thought out and well taken. Obviously you put a lot of thought into it and I appreciate the wisdom, considering my experience in politics is nil, and I am working on passion for change and good policy.

    At that end, I hope to see more comments from you on other issues. Your opinion really adds to the discussion.

    SB, I won’t be ordering a tsunami, but I suspect you would hear of one before me!!

    There is much to think about, isn’t there?

    One thing is clear, although there is plenty of interest to this idea of a new party, if the number of personal emails I’ve receive can be an indicator, no one seems to want to do the hard work that it takes to get one going – and that is a political statement in itself.

  24. I would ahppily help Laila i simply have to put it on hold till my late in life folly into educating myself after that id be front row and as for teh tsunami well likely we all will know but we could all wish a huge sewer pipe burst on Campbels caucus meeting that would be Karma lol.

  25. I, am a senior citizen who says, stop your blabbing and do something. All of you are very intelligent people, talk to the Wild Rose Party. Get something going, you have no idea, how many citizens, would gladly support you.

    The Wild Rose Party, has good common sense, and logistics. Gordon Campbell, has none, and what in the hell would our alternatives be?

    What makes you think, Campbell, would even notice a burst sewer pipe.