BC Liberals

We are owed an honest explanation

Omnia causa fiunt – everything happens for a reason.

When the captain who carefully plots his own course suddenly and radically alters direction, I ask why. What changed for Premier Gordon Campbell and when did it change? A week ago, he shuffled the Cabinet, overhauled important ministries and imposed a new resource management system still ill-defined.

He hired a new Chief of Staff and a replacement Press Secretary. Campbell acted without consulting colleagues outside his immediate circle. He did the reshaping and redesigning, in great detail. One pundit wrote:

The cabinet order incorporating all of the changes — signed by Campbell and Campbell alone on Sunday — runs to some 44 pages, which is to say, 16 pages longer than the one needed to implement the reorganization of government when Campbell took office.

A week ago, Campbell spent $250,000 of public funds for a televised message to the Province in which he promised to consult broadly before changing future government policies. Then, he immediately broke the commitment by announcing a $568 million income tax reduction that had surprised everyone including Liberal backbenchers. He hit the friendly airwaves of CKNW the next morning and reveled in another softball interview. It was business as usual. Thursday, the Premier planned to go nowhere.

Days later, he announced his departure saying that he had become a lightning rod for anger directed at the BC Liberal government and would resign for the good of the province. I’m not buying that. He has been a lightning rod attracting anger for considerable time. Campbell’s supporters began reporting that sustained disapproval of HST by voters was the defining issue.

But, what happened in the past few days? Imposition of HST was announced in July 2009, over 15 months ago. Public opposition has been strong from the beginning and Vander Zalm delivered the 700,000 name petition last June. No, HST is the same issue it was a week ago or months ago.

Paul Taylor has been skulking in the shadows for some time but, when they moved Martyn Brown to a landing spot in Tourism and announced Taylor as the new Chief of Staff, Campbell’s departure was not contemplated. Not on the radar, so to speak.

Publicly, Campbell’s private sector sponsors were not pressing him to go. Only a week ago, the Fraser Institute, tool of the wealthiest citizens, declared him the finest politician known to humanity. The party has no significant money problems; big business takes care of those who take care of big business.

The mainstream media was not making life difficult for Campbell, they were as supportive and compliant as ever. The Times Colonist and The Province had been critical but, on balance, supportive of the Premier. Private broadcasters have always been ready to serve and, because of intimidation by the right wing crowd, even the CBC now treads carefully in political areas.

We have not heard the full story yet about Campbell’s retirement announcement. Despite his long standing policy of treating caucus members as mushrooms and his continuous meddling with ministerial authorities, no Liberal colleague had been courageous enough to bell the cat, before now. Perhaps what changed is that new evidence of political mischief surfaced, connecting Gordon Campbell and close associates to misconduct that will not be easily explained.

Wingnuts and nincompoops of the blog world have been on the right track.

15 replies »

  1. Dead right!

    On another blog I opined that something big had happened to Gordo in the last 24 hours before his resignation.

    I closed his eyes and listened too his speech on the telly, a trick a blind friend of mine taught me to do – listen to the voice.

    What I heard was disturbing, the speech was a rush job, his voice was a voice of fear and loathing – the great Gordo was afraid.

    It was all too obvious that the premier was being forced out a la Julius Caesar, sans the knife. Et tu who?

    The “Eye” surmises that a cabal of back bencher's, abetted by their corporatist handlers told the premier he must go or else.

    What else?

    Laura? Maybe a not so subtle hint that his affair would be made public and an investigation into her employment in Victoria would be in order.

    Obviously the BC Liberal Party had bribes with the Basi & Virk and the $6 million payoff fresh on its minds.

    Or, just maybe his coveted P-3 projects were unraveling with Ms. Yuile's exposure of shadow tolls on the Sea to Sky.

    Just what is the payment to the consortium running RAV is anyones guess!

    Gordo was facing too many indiscretions, on too many fronts to survive, but what I understand he will be well taken care of with 6 figure pensions.

    Gordo's legacy will be one of corruption and deceit, where he oversaw the sale of BC assets to corporatist friends at rock bottom prices and I do think the RCMP should investigate his entire tenure in office. Not in BC, the most corrupt place on earth!


  2. Norman – several members of the BC Liberal MLA caucus were signing a letter demanding Campbell resign – that was going to blow up at the emergency caucus meeting today. They could no longer stomach his disastrous polling and pesonal approval numbers, which were going to destroy them all.

    I don't think there's any more to it than that and it's what changed.


  3. sorry, but I don't understand what is up with your pants at the end.
    but I agree that there is something monumental to make 360degree change or course in Campbell. I too just heard the tv broadcast on radio and there was something amiss in Campbell's voice —
    there is big time news to hit the fan soon. bloggers continue with fortitude!


  4. Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer is one traditional journalists who pretends the abject blog world should be ignored. His words on CKNW, “Nincompoops ranting in their underpants is the term for people blogging, for me.”

    Recently he and friends Keith Baldrey and Bill Good added the sobriquet “wingnuts” to describe bloggers.


  5. I think you are spot on – there is something more to this sudden resignation!!!
    On another note, I see California didn't pass Proposition 23 (Big Oil loss this one which would have set back California's stringent environmental rules). Remember too that power from BC's run-of-river projects were not allowed by California because their size and scope didn't meet with Calif's environmental standards — defeat of Prop 23 ensures nixing of power import from BC IPP's.


  6. Bill Good, Keith Baldrey and Vaughn Palmer live in a very small, uninformed, genuinely ignorant world of self-congratulatory grandiose pomposity. They do nothing meaningful than drink their shared dirty bath water. They are good for a laugh or two, but that is all.


  7. I disagree with Bill T totally. There is much, much more to gordo's resignation. (he will still be around, in the back of the bushes for awhile yet, don't be fooled) There is much to expose. Everyone keep up the good work.


  8. What I noticed. Campbell was breathless, he was drawing spastic gulps for air. I thought he was stressed right out. I too think, he is deathly afraid of something. As for the media, newspapers, radio and TV, I quit believing anything they said, a very long time back.


  9. And now, here is the real story.

    The “Eye” has been told that the dissenting Liberal caucus were going to come clean on Lara Daphene, if Gordo refused to step down.

    Just think the “Beaver Cleaver” family in BC was about to implode with mistress's and mainstream media propaganda!

    Gordo's handlers just could not stomach suck an expose.

    Now for a treat – has anyone researched Bill Good's recent divorce? I think there are many stories to tell!


  10. One way or another, Campbell will continue to be in the media. Partly because of his condition (phsycopathic tendencies) and mostly because he has stuck himself with his dagger weilding !

    There will be a lot previuosly unknown info ssurfacing in the near future – you can depend on that.



  11. “nincompoops” Thats what vp calls the only voices of truth,dignity and intelligence in this pathetic banana republic created by a culture of sleaze that is unsurpassed in living memory.I caught vaughn palmer on tv yesterday,he was very uncomfortably mumbling that the downfall of our dictator was all about a disastrous presentation and sales job of the hst and only the hst.It`s true that palmer baldrey and good can be dimissed as meaningless however they do shape opinions for a great many people who dutifully turn to corporate media day in and day out.Compare their pathetic sycophantic brown nosing of campbell with what Norman has written. Vaughn palmer probably knows how ashamed he should be. baldrey and good wouldn`t know truth if it bit them on the carse.


  12. I think Bill Tieleman is correct, the caucus made it clear he should leave. That does not conflict with my information that certain things became more broadly known by caucus members and their discomfort led to action. Had Campbell not chosen the course he did, a confrontation would have resulted that would have left the party even more unhealthy. Campbell departed because he had no choice, the caucus acted to protect the party and personal interests. No one amongst them has had the good of the province in mind.


  13. Campbell isn't going anywhere. I heard him say, he would be around for some months, to make the transfer go as smoothly as possible. He also said, he was going to continue on with his work. This is just another, Campbell stall. When you resign that means, you step back and have no voice, in any decisions. There should have been a temporary appointment to act as premier, until a new leader is chosen, at their convention. Campbell's corrupt sale of the BCR trials ending, should have told us something. Campbell is cleared, to stay on til the next election. It isn't Campbell's character to just quit. He is too spiteful and vindictive to do so.


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