The day in which we will get first Liberal leadership contestant is there. Dr. Moira Stilwell decides that she wants to run for that prestigious double title and office, to lead Party and the government at least next two years. With short MLA experience and even shorter cabinet experience Dr. Stilwell thinks that she can earn back much needed popularity, public support and ensure that Party will be even stronger than it is today. But on the other side outside list is enlarged with one more name, Blair Lekstrom, former cabinet minister and independent MLA decides that leadership is not for him. As it was case previously Lekstrom enlisted his family life, stress which comes with Premier’s office and toxic political situation in BC politics.
In some media statements Dr. Stilwell said that incumbent Premier Campbell is her mentor and many of commentators said today that those comments mean: “Campbell after Campbell”. But I think that doesn’t need to mean exactly that, we are not aware of her knowledge and political wisdom at this moment, maybe she sees in Campbell mentor how to be devoted to public service or Party or just thinks that path which is set by Campbell is the best for the Province. We should give her little bit more time before we start making conclusions on her account and discharging her from all possibilities for leadership.
I’m sad to see Lekstrom’s decision not to run just because we saw a large public support for his candidacy, as it was in case with Christy Clark, Carol Taylor, John Furlong or Dianne Watts. Someone as Lekstrom or any other mentioned candidate would have a great chance to engage large number of undecided voters in campaign and probably to change a flow of whole election process. But I’m not losing a hope that one of mentioned candidates would change their mind and enter a campaign if for nothing else just for sake of BC citizens.
Interesting idea comes from The Vancouver Sun columnist, Craig McInnes, who wrote very wisely that BC teachers should engage students in this whole matter and explain to them that they can vote for leadership even if they can’t vote on provincial or federal elections.
“If educators are really paying attention, however, they will point out that the students vote doesn’t have to be an academic exercise, that high school students can have a loud voice in determining who replaces Gordon Campbell as premier”, said McInnes.
Well as he mentioned any student who want to vote must to become a Party member, but at the end that could be population which can be strong force in final decision over the Party and province future. This young force will bring also Social-Media side in full power and that will give us a chance to examine pulse of young fellow BC citizens in perception of their own future. Other important role played by youngsters can be in pressure on candidates on schools, education and university agenda which will played enormously important role in their lives and future of province. Different sources said that BC Liberals membership at this moment is somewhere around 30.000, and that it could be around 100.000 around February 26 when new leader will be elected. BC’s Ministry of Education reported that there is around 240.000 students from age 14 to 18 who are eligible to vote on Liberal Party elections, even a quarter of the population could play significantly important role in this election process.
“To make him premier in the last general election, Campbell’s Liberal party attracted about three-quarters of a million votes. To gain leadership of the party the last time it was up for grabs 17 years ago, Campbell needed fewer than 5.000 votes, since there where only about 8.000 party members at that time. It won’t be easy this time”, said McInnes.
So candidates, teachers, parents talk to young BC citizens and give them a chance to spoke loudly and proudly about their future, and please give them a chance to take power to decide on their future.