Since Gordon Campbell announced his resignation from Premier position bloggers, commentators and journalists started examination of BC political scene in search for his successor. Currently several cabinet ministers, former ministers, MLA’s or Mayor’s are in “race”, but still we don’t have anyone in the race for sure. Falcon, De Jong, Coleman, Abbott, Bennett all those names are on the list from current cabinet, outsider list still contains a names of Watts and Taylor, a lot of people wants there Christy Clark, but some of them also want to see there Blair Lekstrom.
This composition of race list would be perfect for a Liberal leadership race, but also would be really powerful and fulfilling to see representatives of all BC parts in the race. Wide range of candidates, empowered with different ideas and opinions will produce real democracy and it will put membership in the situation where it would be hard to choose leader. Through the process of crystallization the best candidate will be pushed to the surface and he or she will be able to put all forces in same direction to the better party and province situation.
Rich Coleman, Dianne Watts, Carol Taylor, Blair Lekstrom
Social networks as Twitter and Facebook will have a great impact on membership, in a same time they will show whom of the candidates is the best choice in eyes of public. Anyone whom will be involved in electorate process should read tweets and Facebook statuses, currently public is not at the Liberal side and if they elect a wrong leader situation could be worst than it is now. Based on some researches Twitter shows that Rich Coleman will be BC Liberal leader because he is the most active of all mentioned candidates, Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts will be at the last place because she doesn’t have a Twitter account. On the other side Dianne Watts is one of the most popular candidates in the public, based on her success in Surrey in last five years since she become a Mayor. Following her is a Carol Taylor, former BC Finance Minister, whom even get a support from current BC Health Minister, Kevin Falcon. Mr. Falcon said to the media that she would be perfect candidate for a Premiership and that he hopes that Taylor will change her mind and accept calls for leadership race. Blair Lekstrom is outside of the media outlets at the moment, but he’s resignation from the cabinet under the influence of his constituency whom is against HST is going in his favour. If he decide that he will race for a leader of BC Liberal that could be big help on his road to the top, because public will see him as someone who works and leads in cooperation with his constituency or all BC citizens in the future.
Some Facebook profiles and media reports are putting in the race several BC Conservative MP’s or federal ministers, but I’m not sure how much chances they had in a race for a Liberal leader. Everything is a possible in the world of politics, it doesn’t happen once that one leader was comes with history of being at different political wing in the past. For example that happen with Winston Churchill in the UK before Second World War, and after the War he was national hero, maybe we can something like that in the BC in future.
Who ever becomes elect as a leader and Premier will face with few hard choices and actions in a first days of mandate. First will be to decide whether will call new provincial elections or continue with current mandate, this is based on the remaining question will that person will have a full support from incumbent caucus for much needed changes in the province. Second major challenge will be to decide what to do with HST? Continue to defend it until Referendum is held or to scraped immediately and start new discussion about province finances and budget deficit in a light of loosing a money which is injected in province budget after the HST is accepted. Health system, educational system, forest industry, minimal wages, transportation system are just few other areas which will need a lot of changes and reforms in following years.
B.C. needs leader whom will be able to manage a budget as a real financial master, someone who will help to the investors to found their way to the BC, whom will be able to act as fighter for BC good in a relations with federal government and whom will be smart enough to avoid situation as it happens with HST. BC doesn’t need to follow other Canadian provinces, they need to follow us and be afraid that they will loose some investments or chance for new projects. If that happens with new Liberal leader BC will be proud to present herself as inner-Canadian leader and the Best Place on Earth.