Long and exhausting war for BC Liberal leader position and successor of current premier requires a lot of fight and lot of intellect. Every voter has more worth then an ounce of clear gold, every MLA’s word and voice is on stake for five candidates who’re hopeful to take a responsibility for party and province, and secure its name on history pages.
On Boxing that province will start counting down exactly two months till leadership vote. As we are approaching that date slowly candidates are taking out bigger and bigger weapons for fight with contenders in effort to secure win on February 26th, 2011. Three candidates [Dr. Stilwell, De Jong, and Abbott] are getting behind pair Clark-Falcon but that doesn’t mean that they without a chance to win.
Last week Mike De Jong scored a point on his card with idea of lowering voting age from 18 to 16 years of age before BC citizens cast a ballot for next provincial elections in 2013. Long shot idea which will be probably discussed in caucus, teachers and among Cabinet ministers sometimes before 2013 if he kept idea live in the future. Two other candidates, Dr. Stilwell and Abbott, are out of media spot for several days as they are traveling all over the province in cast for support for their candidacies. It is almost surprising that those three are not louder on other candidates and their ideas, but that’s maybe their strategy.
Currently the most interesting debate is among two, earlier proclaimed by many, strongest and most popular candidates, Christy Clark and Kevin Falcon.
Ms. Clark, only outsider in this race, continues to keep high public support but leaks support from her colleagues in the party and caucus. Leak of support from MLA’s and caucus could be judged from three views, first – caucus doesn’t like her ideas, they are not sure if she will stay in active politics following leadership race, second – they are not satisfied with her work on party unification and reconstruction, third – no one wants to be related with her regarding BC Rail scandal. Which one of those options is true it will be hard to judge, and after all leak of MLA support remains as fact.
Public is still waiting for her revelation on “First Family Agenda” which was on the top spot of her announcement speech, but until today we didn’t hear any specific elements of it. On Monday Ms. Clark in pre-produced video challenged tax policy and agenda of her counterpart Kevin Falcon, claiming that Falcon’s proposition on tax cuts “could end up putting British Columbians into a very big hole”. Her idea for new fiscal approach in the future is to make consultations with expert team who should help her and Cabinet to bring BC on the new path to the better future. Once more she avoided to mention on which way she will work and coordinate her actions with party and Caucus, because if you don’t have their support your expert team doesn’t have any impact on the future.
Since he entered leadership race, Falcon, continues to earn MLA and Senators, support or endorsements every single day based on his “3L” and “854” agendas. Beside any of his ideas are not final, they are considerable and that it will be discussed first among party members and caucus then with all other society elements. That path means that ideas will be sent down through MLA’s for learning and listening part of “3L” agenda and it will be brought to the Cabinet room later for leading part.
He’s strong arguments in last and start of this week was possible freezes of carbon tax and extension of TransLink hours on weekend days. Falcon’s stand on taxes is that BC needs competitive tax system as the best way to grow an economy, ensuring that taxes will stay low in favour of competitive economy which will generate needed revenues.
Taxation policy is the first of the big weapons which are used in the battle for premier/leadership between two strongest candidates. Debate is good, and I like it, but I think that is right time to put generals in one room and allow themselves to exchange kicks and arguments for better understanding of their intentions. Time is short; leadership vote is in two months, BC Liberal Party members are in need to gather all information’s before they decide who the best is. Also there are important issues as education; health, other economy elements, and infrastructure are still behind in discussion. Candidates, please take your weapons out and shout out proud and loud, voters read a targets well and choose wisely on February 26th – your future is in your hands.
Great news comes out of the Party executives who decided to allow voting to be executed through online and phone voting. Those two additional options will ensure that largest number of voters ever cast the ballot on February 26th. Those changes will at large be welcomed by younger voters and those who are social-media and online savvy Liberal members. If this experiment succeeds on party elections, new provincial government should think also to use same company and sources for next provincial elections in 2013, maybe on that way we can pass over 50% of voters who cast the ballot.