Interesting week in BC politics: Van Dongen, Falcon and Abbott, Clark’s learning curve

In last couple of days since John Van Dongen resigned from BC Liberals membership and changed his political dress provincial political scene is overheated, overreacting. Blind partisanship is one of the most executed activities in public, in media reports or statements, on social media and doesn’t goes away. 

I even found myself in the situations where my friends are attacking me for not agreeing with their partisanship or not being enough to one or the other side of the political spectrum. At this moment British Columbia and its political world looks more like dirty american politics, and we saw that in the case of Van Dongen who’s personal life came out as one of the most important elements of discussion following his resignation. My colleagues journalists, commentators and bloggers where attacked as enemies of the state because they’re not supporting one or the other political branch. Discussions regarding political future of current Cabinet ministers especially Christy Clark’s main leadership opponents Kevin Falcon and George Abbott is also filling media asking would they run on next elections. So let’s dissect some of these issues.

Van Dongen’s decision to change sides and cross the floor to BC Conservative ranks is probably provoked by his personal relationship with fellow BC Liberals, pumped with public annoyance with current government politics, but also attracted by offers given to him by Cummins. If he doesn’t feels two decades of work with his colleagues is not enough to stick with them and work with them on a changes even if that means leadership challenge than it’s better for him to leave. He’s not the first and probably not the last member of the BC Liberals ranks who will leave the team or change his political dress in effort to make his political and private life more productive and more suitable. Usually when politician is leaving one post to obtain another I’m used to say: Well it’s time for change and new generations of young(er) leaders to lead. I wish him and his constituents all of luck with BC Conservatives and I’m hopeful that Van Dongen and BCC will be able to fulfill their wishes and needs. Although I’m not sure that Cummins and BCC are the best choice to lead the province, at least not at this moment.

On the other sides BC Liberals, under which I mean politicians, establishment, supporters and all who feel as fans of this political party should simply forget on BCC, Cummins and John Van Dongen. That story is over and what their main focal point should be is how to change current political situation and turn this loss into the improvement in public eyes and resolution of main problems current which are children poverty, unemployment, health and education. If polls and pollsters are seeing BC Libs as the worst option for the province, favoring Adrian Dix and his NDP, then I don’t think that smart option is to spent time discussing somebody who doesn’t want to work with you.

Kevin Falcon, BC Finance Minister and Deputy Premier (Photo: Flickr)

When it comes to uncertainty regarding Falcon’s and Abbott’s candidacy on 2013 elections I must to agree with Vaughn Palmer who makes connection between Clark and Falcon when it comes to family issues. As we all know that Clark resigned from government claiming young family and wish to take care of that first and then to discuss her political career. Running on elections is not easy decision, every and each candidate should have a time to make it, but I’m pretty sure that minister Falcon will make it at the right time and with right facts. At the other side if George Abbott decides not to run I wouldn’t be surprised because he’s currently in charge of one of the most important and most turbulent ministries in Clark government, education sector is booming with problems and BCTF doesn’t help to fix it. Pressure, long hours and age factors should be taken in consideration before he decides either to run or not to run. Knowing how hard both of them worked in previous leadership campaign uncertainty regarding run is probably minimal but still you can’t fight against your own family.

Premier Clark should lead not learn (Photo: Flickr)

This week BC Liberals MLA Randy Hawes said to the media that premier is in learning role, adding that we all need to sit down and give her some time to fulfill that role. According to his opinion Clark is in learning curve and she’s in it. Hm, if we were in the first year of the term or in the first 100 days of Clark’s government I would say Mr. Hawes you’re quite right, but at this point we’re entering second year of her term and approaching election in next 12 months or so of which at least 6-8 would be spent on campaigning before BC’ers cast ballots. Other important element is that Clark is not rookie or fresh backbencher her political career is pretty long and she gathered enough experience at the cabinet table. Minister, Deputy Premier and now Premier doesn’t need a time to learn she’s suppose to be educator and leader that’s why so many BC Liberals, even if that is disputed by many, gave her support to lead. Clark doesn’t need time to learn she should lead and fulfill her promises.

Remaining days of this year will be interesting when it comes to BC political scene and I’m pretty sure that trio CDC (Clark-Dix-Cummins) will do whatever is need to entertain us and to bring new issues for discussion. Dix will hunt the government labeling them as the opposition and himself and BCNDP as the government, while I’m not sure that he’s not little bit to fast to claim that. Cummins will continues shopping for votes and support among BC citizens with uphill battle to secure as many as possible interesting candidates as nominees for next elections, majorly hoping to score some results at the back of Dix’s elevation to the Cabinet room. Well from Clark is expected to start governing not doing photo-ops and to stay away from scandals, but it seems that she can’t do that. It would be highly interesting to see where BC voters will go over the next year, now they’re at the left, maybe they’ll go to the right or to the centre, whoever wins will not have a blank cheque to govern over the province.


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