Two major players will announce today their intentions to become BC Liberal Party leader and BC Premier for period of two years, if they don’t call an early election in February 2011. Education Minister, George Abbott (@georgeabbotmla), and Health Minister, Kevin Falcon (@kevinfalcon), will hold press conferences at 11 AM and 2 PM in Vancouver. Those announcements will boost leadership race and that is start of stronger exchange of views about BC future and Party future. With Moira Stilwell (@drmoirastilwell) already in the race two new candidates will give a chance to public to start forging their opinions.
Abbott’s bid will be based on as he said to the media ability to build consensus among the members of caucus and Cabinet and to handle controversial issues which we saw numerous times in last few weeks since Gordon Campbell decide to resign. Long time MLA, Abbott, is confident that he will have a support of dozen member of current Liberal caucus, but adds that there are more than dozen members who are supporting his bid for leadership. Earlier Abbott told to the media that he supports moving ahead date for scheduled HST referendum, but that seems to be problem because administration started complaining that they will not have enough time to prepare referendum on earlier date than it is scheduled now.
On Tuesday, Kevin Falcon, spoke to the media and said that he needs few more days to decide whether he will run or not, but sources close to him said that on today’s press conference he will announce his bid. Two other cabinet ministers are unusually silent on this issue. Rich Coleman (@colemancountry), solicitor general, and Attorney General, Mike De Jong, are considered among media as front runners but they are not revealing their attentions yet. Coleman is considered as one of the most popular politicians among BC Liberals who can succeed Gordon Campbell on both positions.
Even if she said that she’s happy on CKNW, Christy Clark (@christyclarkbc) emerged once more as front runner and someone who’s on the edge of announcement. Several BC Liberal insiders confirmed in a last two days that they expect to see her in the race in matter of the days. On Tuesday night well informed City Caucus tweeted that BC talk show host is close to announced leadership bid but they didn’t reveal a name of the host. Christy Clark who was minister in previous Campbell Cabinet’s is considered as one of the most popular possible runners, but there is still scepticism about her role in BC Rail case [especially because her spouse was also connected with this case].
Dr. Moira Stilwell announce that if she become BC Premier she will rise BC minimal wages from $8 to $10 dollars, and it seems that wages will become one of the most important issues in this political race. As I already wrote in my previous posts HST, deficit, education, health, forest industry would be also on the top of the list and some of proposed solutions for those areas could be kingmakers in this campaign. Candidates who are entering in the race in next day or two will have a lot of time in front of them to prepare campaigns and to pursue voters to give them support on elections in February 2011. It seems that BC political fall and winter will be really hot and unusually interesting not only for journalists and commentators, but also for all BC Liberal members who will decide in which direction this province will go in next few years.