Face off period in BC Liberal party started on Wednesday night with first all candidates gathering in Vancouver Downtown. Five candidates and one representative, for absent George Abbott, used well this opportunity to faced approximately 1000 young leaders or these who want to be leaders in the future. Beside short speeches given by candidates gathering was also window to the atmosphere among supporters, but missing element was real debate between candidates what is expected to happen sometimes during the rest of this month and the February.
The most interesting part of the night was to listen and watched two major candidates on the stage presenting their ideas. Christy Clark vs. Kevin Falcon, Christy Clark once more came out with her populist agenda without mentioning some of the most important problems for BC’ers at the moment. Once more Christy Clark avoided to mention economy or job creation, didn’t provided any new thoughts on her “Families First Agenda”, but she comes out with brand-new online voting agenda. So, what we know about online voting, basically nothing. Few tryouts all over the world but without larger success, secureness of online voting system is still very fragile and chances for manipulations are much greater than those ones with current paper voting system. I don’t know what she’s waiting and why she’s delaying revelation of her agendas and policies, if she doesn’t do that very soon her only chances for win will be public support and popularity as former radio host, nothing else. In party elections like these one public support is not important at all, because party membership doesn’t vote on the grounds of public support, they want strong leader for strong party. Also is a time for Christy Clark to unveil her intentions in the case if she loses elections, whether she’ll stay in the active politics or she’ll escape again, in media or charitable sector with her newly acquitted supporter Pamela Martin?
Mike De Jong was only candidate who fired up attendees at Wednesday gathering calling for all present and listeners to join party and vote for next premier. He didn’t spend too much time talking about his program, but that was a great speech for party unity and new memberships. De Jong perfectly use his House Leader and MLA experience in it pushing everyone to join a party and to use probably only chance to elect premier in direct vote. His colleague from caucus and former Cabinet colleague, Dr. Moira Stilwell started her speech greatly with lot of quality remarks regarding her wish to ensure better future for those ones under-40 who will become leaders one day. Even if she doesn’t have support among large membership groups or caucus colleagues her ideas shouldn’t be discarded after election vote in February, and she deserves a place in new Cabinet maybe as Falcon’s successor on the position of Health Minister. It will be good to have someone from the profession in the spot able to negotiate new cooperation deals, and to help both sides on the road to success, and satisfaction.
Christy Clark, Mike De Jong, Kevin Falcon and Dr. Moira Stilwell at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver (Photo:The Province)
Parksville Mayor, and latest candidate in the race, Ed Mayne was refreshment to the evening coming out as complete outsider who presented few very catching ideas. Mayne proposes two term limitation for premier, something close to US constitutional presidential limitation. This idea is good because it is always preferable to make a change after some time and to set government in different, not necessarily in opposite, direction. Whoever becomes a premier in February it should seat down with Mayne and discuss this idea; there will be enough time for discussion prior to next elections in 2013. Also he offered to the province he’s managerial experience in some of the biggest Canadian companies what shouldn’t be forgotten but it must be used for the province sake.
Frontrunner, not to all commentators and journalists, Kevin Falcon as we know presented wide-range policy agenda which goes from education and economy to northern prosperity and unity of the party and the province. Following my conversation with Kalim Kassam (@kalimkassam), from WesternStandard.ca, I concluded that Kevin Falcon is one of two BC Liberal candidates who are searching around for good proven ideas which could be used in BC. Basically Falcon and Abbott are usually thinking in out of the box, in same time thinking in the box presented as BC, in effort to found others experiences usable in the BC. That approach gives them large chances to become premier and leader, and final battle with Christy Clark will decide who will become premier and who will be kingmaker. In any case duo, Falcon-Abbott, will remain as one of the most important elements of new government or at least Legislature Caucus under new premier.
Those one who still didn’t decided who’s their candidates will have new chance to see all six candidates on January 18th at Vancouver’s Convention Centre, and few more all over the province organized by Liberal Party.