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The political system in BC cries out for a third party, a new Social Credit party. While we all bitch about every government, from today’s vantage point the Bill Bennett government looks pretty damned good!

At the outset, the Liberals under Gordon Wilson looked like the Socreds re-branded. That perception stayed until Gordon Campbell launched his term in office with a billion dollar tax rebate to the well off. His government looks increasingly like a party of the hard right. Whereas Bill Bennett with the Social Credit Party created a wide tent welcoming all who weren’t disposed to the NDP.

In the election of December 11, 1975, of which I was a part, there were federal Tories and Liberals galore.

In the 1979 election, which coincided with a federal election, it was quite common to see lawns with Social Credit and Liberal signs, Socred and Tory signs and even Socred signs along with NDP signs for the federal vote. My campaign workers bust their asses for me while at the same time they were bitter foes right outside our campaign offices and they fought in the federal campaign.

There are rumblings that the BC Conservative party will campaign in our next election in 2013. This would be a big mistake for at least two reasons – the political vacuum is in the centre not the right and British Columbians won’t vote for provincial branches of a federal party. That’s why, when Gordon Wilson took over the BC Liberals in 1991, he immediately divorced his party from the federal Liberals.

The NDP is an exception to this rule because no one thinks they’re going to form the next government in Ottawa.

It’s not easy forming a new party. For one thing, you must worry about money the same way the post 1972 Socreds and the 1991 Wilson Liberals did. It’s always hard to wrest funds from those to whom you haven’t proved yourself.

Another problem is that all the wing nuts, professional malcontents and political wanabes flock to your colours. Preston Manning had that problem when he founded the Reform Party. But, why the hell should an undertaking like this be easy?

The fact is that the best thing Campbell has going for him is the apparent weakness of the opposition NDP. He may find, however, that unorthodox though it’s been, Carole James avoidance of the head to head clash and strategy of building up support in smaller communities might work better than many, including me, think it will.

The main thing is that British Columbia needs a middle of the road alternative and for that to happen, the time to get started is now.

7 Responses to “A case for bringing back the Social Credit Party”

  1. Gavin Bamber says:

    When Campbell leaves, the BC Liberal party has a chance to become a new party… but I wouldn’t count on it.

  2. Patrick Proudlock says:

    Good point, Rafe.

    In 1952, W.A.C. Bennett, a Conservative M.L.A. from Kelowna, crossed the floor of the legislature and sat as an independent. Then he signed on with a “Wacky” group known as the Social Credit League. This fringe group went on to win the election — and all the rest for the next 20 years.

    The A.B.C. vote (“Anyone But Campbell”) has got to go somewhere; it might as well be the party with the colourful past.

  3. cherylb says:

    I prefer the slogan – Anybody but Liberal “ABL”

  4. admin says:

    One of my acronyms is LINO: “Liberal In Name Only.”

  5. Eagleone says:

    We need a free enterprise party of the center that represents the traditional economy of the working middle class and the small business owners. A party that opposes monopoly capitalism, and public sector unions and won’t take donations from either corporations (foreign and domestic) or unions, but rather only from citizens directly. A party that works for all citizens of BC from the perspective of fairness, accessibility, transparency of policy, and the protection of the free enterprise economic principles.

    That will never happen though because our political system is designed to be controlled by large party power structures that are funded by the finance of unions and large corporations.

  6. Cindy says:

    As a former Young SoCred, I watched this province flourish. There were jobs, education and great healthcare. With a left and right party, the centre has sorrily been in need of a new vioce. I would welcome and fully support a new Social Credit Party. Sign me up, let’s roll up our sleeves and put BC back where it belongs. The best damn place on earth!

  7. Robert McDonald says:

    We need an aternative choice in the BC political realm. There has to be someone out there, besides Bill Vander Zalm, that has the view of the public eye that can emulate the works of the honorable Wacky Bennett. B.C. needs a progressive and fundamentally grounded individual to lead us into the near and distant future. Lets make this work.

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