Every party now and again feels the need to trump the wishes of their local riding association and appoint a candidate to run in a general election. But, with the British Columbia general election just a few months away, the Liberal Party of British Columbia (which should definitely not be confused with the Liberal Party of Canada) seems to be making it more of a normal practice of trumping its local riding association.
In fact, in the riding of Boundary-Simalkameen, the party not only trumped the local riding association but it trumped one of its own sitting MLAs, refusing to let John Slater run for re-election. In a press release, the BC Liberals mumbled something about “personal issues”, then someone suggested to a reporter that it’s because Slater drinks too much (to which Slater, on The Bill Good Show, responded: “Since when did the BC Liberals ever turf an MLA for having one beer too many?”), and the next thing you know there’s a brand new shiny Liberal candidate in Boundary-Simalkameen. Her name is Linda Larson and she’s a long-time municipal councillor in Oliver. And she’ll get to run against Slater who vows he’ll stand for re-election as an independent. Slater, by the way, blames Rich Coleman, one of the heavyweights in Premier Christy Clark’s cabinet, and Mike McDonald, the party’s campaign director, for, as he said on Good’s show, “knifing him in the back.”
Meanwhile, in Richmond Centre last week, the party announced that Teresa Wat will be the candidate. Wat’s resumé sounds impressive — former journalist and now CEO of Mainstream Broadcasting Corp. and once named by the local paper as one of the most influential women in the province – and so, (as is often the case) that impressive resumé means you can skip right past a nomination run-off. So the party just appointed here. Today, though, the Vancouver Sun reports Gary Law thought he’d have a chance to run for that BC Liberal nomination and he learned 20 minutes before Wat’s appointment was announced that he was out of luck in Richmond Centre. He was serious enough — and apparently led to believe by some in the party that he ought to be serious — that he took leave of his duties as an RCMP officer to get ready for the election. Now, it looks like the BC Liberals could face another independent who, like Slater, is animated by shoddy treatment received by the BC Libs.
Gary Law is disappointed and “extremely frustrated” at how he’s been treated by the BC Liberal Party and is planning to cancel his membership to the organization. However, he’s not planning to bow out of the upcoming provincial election. [Read the rest here]
You’ll also find some disgruntled B.C. Liberals in Abbotsford South after the party, last October, overrode the wishes of the local riding association:
The head and entire board of directors of the B.C. Liberal riding association for Abbotsford South have resigned in protest of an “unfair and not democratic” appointment of prominent criminologist Darryl Plecas to be the party’s candidate in next spring’s provincial election.
Now, to be fair to the party, they’ve got some high-profile nomination fights on their hands where potential star candidates are going to have to duke it out — see upcoming nomination battles in Vancouver-False Creek and Vancouver-Quilchena and recently concluded nomination fights in Shuswap and Penticton. Still, with John Cummins’ B.C. Conservative Party still active and still threatening to fracture the anti-NDP “free enterprise coalition”, why wouldn’t B.C. Liberal head office do a little more to avoid annoying the locals who will be running their ground game in May?
Categories: BC Politics