AbeBooks.com. Thousands of booksellers - millions of books.
Feed on

The polls have Gordon Campbell’s Liberals a massive 23 points behind the NDP. Though this is three years away from the next election one has to conclude that Gordon (Pinocchio) Campbell is electoral toast. It is he who has micromanaged his government from the start and thus it is he who is so unpopular. While it’s cheery to the NDP that they are at 46% the wise of them know that when you have over 1 out of 5 voters supporting the Greens or the Conservatives that nearly ¼ say a plague on both your houses and that something’s amiss. The Greens will be happy but they are born Pollyanna’s – they’ll still not take a seat.

There’s no need to dwell on Campbell – he is a horrible premier and the people are on to him and indeed were in the last election which he won because 50% of the voters stayed home and the NDP ran a pathetic campaign.

What about the leadership or lack of it shown by Carole James?

I’ve been very hard on her because she won’t do battle with the Liberals. I’ll tell you frankly how I could be wrong.

If the Liberals stay with Campbell in 2013 – and they may have no other choice – and if they continue to be lower than a snake’s belly in the polls, Ms. James tactic of staying cool and doing spade work constituency by constituency may pay off. The prospect of a premier that’s not always in your face may be appealing. Her gamble is that she will be listened to more and more the longer Campbell is Premier – that she will be seen as a statesman (sorry Carole, I just can’t spit stateswoman, statesperson out!) at a time when that will be the very thing people want.

There are two very important considerations Ms James must deal with. Whatever her strategy, she is owed the support of the party or the pink slip. And here is where the Liberals have their best thing going for them.

The NDP traditionally assassinate their leader. At the best of times they are at each others’ throats and these are not the best of times. Many blame Ms James for losing the last election and that, I can tell you from personal and close up observation, is unfair. After one fiasco that I was present at – the famous media flight over private power sites which was a shambles – I told her personally and in writing that whoever was running her campaign had a death wish for her which was clearly true. The NDP, if they want to win the next election – and it’s not always clear that they do want to win – they must either tell Ms James now that it’s time to go or rally behind her and her strategy.

What the NDP must do is make their decision now and base it on the assumption that there will be a new Liberal leader and if it’s Carole Taylor, Diane Watts or Mike DeJong it’s sort of like “new pitcher, new strikes” – a new game where past performance won’t much count…

What these numbers also tell me is that there is a golden opportunity here for a middle of the road party. This won’t likely happen as long as some who hate Campbell but loathe the NDP think that the public will vote for a party connected to Stephen Harper and run by Harperite Randy White. There’s a reason why Gordon Wilson, upon becoming leader of the BC Liberals, quickly seceded from the main party. He understood that British Columbians will not vote for a Liberal party or Conservative Party that’s a suburb of the national party. He knew that if he kept the federal association that the worst thing that could happen in a campaign was his federal leader endorsing him or, God forbid, campaigning for him. This rule doesn’t apply to the NDP because no one thinks the NDP will ever be the federal government.

These polls show two things for sure – the Liberals better get rid of Campbell before 2011 has passed and the NDP must either support Ms James or find someone they can all support and soon.

7 Responses to “Looking ahead to the 2013 provincial election”

  1. Norm Farrell says:

    I suspect the most important thing the NDP can do right now is to put together a program that changes the Liberal approach to government by 180 degrees. Instead of a top-down, centralized management of everything by the Premier’s office, they need design greater collaboration, an empowered legislature and certainty that power will be exercised by elected representatives, not lobbyists and pals and business partners of the Premier. We need certain guarantees that important matters will be removed from the political arena. I refer to strengthening the officers of the legislature and adding a Justice Commissioner to review policing and prosecution to ensure that partisan manipulation of the CJB stops. The Comptroller General too should be an officer of the legislature. That office has been used for political purposes by the Liberals.

    We need a promise now by the NDP that a public inquiry with wide powers will examine the entire BCR sale. The opposition parties should develop platforms that provide the basis of their activities over the next two and one half years.

    I could go on but obviously, it is time to recognize that politics must change in BC to restore public confidence. It is a warning sign to the NDP that only 46% of the electorate supports them during a time when the government is coming apart and the Premier is in denial.

  2. Philip Hicks says:

    Rafe you have quoted Harold Wilson yourself in the past, “A week is a long time in politics.” Three years from now, or sooner if an opportunity presents itself, everything we’re upset about now will be ancient history.

    HST and Vander Zalms attempt to rehabilitate his own legacy will be sooo three years ago.

    Something else will be top-of-mind for the media and electorate.

    It may favour Campbell and put him in the light of a Stable Elder Statesman. Or it may make him look like an opportunistic sellout weasel. That’s more a matter of timing and who controls the spin.

    Much as Zhou Enlai said in 1949(?) about the impact of the French Revolution “It’s too soon to say.” (of course, pundits lose their audience quoting that kind of tripe.)

  3. Jack Masterman says:

    The Liberals the NDP and the Green Parties are not the only ones out there. There are other viable parties that are alternatives. Perhaps its time for a complete shift to another party. Its unfortunate that most vote for the devil they know rather than looking at all platforms and making a decision based on what party MIGHT do a better job.

    For example, one party I see that might be an alternative is the BC Conservative Party – check out their web site.

  4. Norm Farrell says:

    Conservative Party of BC needs to convince people that it is not more of the same stuff we get from the (small c) conservative (large L) Liberal party or the national party led by Harper. The people who fund the Fraser Institute already have enough representation in government.

    To appeal to the mainstream, an alternative party must also exclude the nutbar elements aiming to legitimize western separatism, white dominance and antisemitism.

  5. Trailblazer says:

    Mr Farrel is correct ; we are over subscribed to the so called “right wing” within our politics & very much so in our media.
    However as much as I dislike the Liberals,in name only, they have just as much an opportunity as the NDP to take the next Provincial election.
    The NDP is not without talent but under Carole James you would not guess it!
    For the good of the Province she must resign & make way for a new breed of New democrat.
    It will take a decade or more to shake off the financial & social mess the Liberals have made for us ;voting for Carole James will just prolong the agony.
    Do not underestimate the cunning of the Liberals .
    Many years ago, Mr Mair ,when speaking of USA politics, spoke of Slick Sam The American Trader!!
    The Liberals are just as slick!

  6. cherylb says:

    Angus Reid is doing another poll using the same questions as the one referenced above. It closes July 22. I’m very, very interested to see the results of this one. I have a feeling it will be very, very bad news for Gordo and gang, irregardless of Huggie Hansen’s cheery attempt to assure us that voters are cooling down and not so angry as they were prior to July 1.

  7. Jo says:

    Sorry Huggie Hansen, where there was once anger, there is now fury. The HST, is a 35 page instruction manual nightmare, even for the big chains. However, the big chains squealed for the HST, so I find a lot of glee, when irate customers, yell at the department managers. Citizens, are also angry over, the supermarkets raising food costs sky high, before the HST even came in. Doesn’t matter where you are, the grocery store, the doctors office, or coffee shop. The cup of anger, runneth over, every time people get stung with the HST. There is too much doo doo sticking to the Liberals, provincially and federally. Especially, in BC and Ontario. I doubt, the Conservatives will make much headway. Harper and Campbell, have a very close relationship, and any buddy of Campbell’s, is under too much suspicion, to be trusted by the, the BC citizens. So, it’s wait and see, what the other party’s mandates are.

Leave a Reply