BC Liberals

Toward a certain end

My point to CKNW radio reporter Shane Woodford in the twitter exchange discussed in an earlier post was that too little attention has been paid to the reasons why public approval of BC Liberals has dropped from a high of 58% in 2001 to 31% in last night’s by-elections.

Liberals experienced this substantial drop despite unremitting support of British Columbia’s establishment, including its dominant economic forces and major media groups. The government also spent millions of public money and millions more in party funds promoting various policies and strategies. The Premier employs an unprecedented staff of minions, minders and media has-beens to supplement the Communications and Public Engagement staff placed throughout government ministries.

Liberals enlisted supports from think tanks and managers of public agencies, also from industry groups like the Chambers of Commerce, Vancouver Board of Trade, BC mining and forestry associations and, of course, the infamous ICBA of anti-NDP activist Phil Hochstein. The provincial government has had extraordinary support and cooperation from the Harper federal government and Conservative stalwarts.

So, despite near total control of the public agenda, almost unlimited financial resources and unfettered access to and sympathetic coverage from media, the Liberals have been unable to stem the ebbing tide of voter support.

Why? The answer I believe reflects exactly what John Cummins has been saying. In interviews with the CBC and The Tyee, BC’s Conservative leader says the Liberals have been abject failures in matters of both competence and integrity. He calls them a discredited organization and despite his own social and economic conservatism, selecting between Liberal or NDP in 2009, he chose to vote NDP. Faced with a choice of expedience or conscience, Cummins chose the latter. Bravo.

Independent online journalists have raised powerful questions of political larceny and fraud that remain unanswered and unresolved by the Liberals. Clark’s government, although claiming cooperation with the Auditor General, continues doing everything possible to avoid explanation or accountability over the Basi Virk settlement. They want the files destroyed and the records expunged – a self granted pardon before conviction.

Largely, the corporate media is prepared to excuse Liberal faults and ignore suspicions accounts of fraud. As CKNW’s Friday morning pundits say, BC Rail is an old story, unlike Adrian Dix’s backdated memo of a decade earlier. Voters think differently and, delivering an unmistakable verdict, agree with John Cummins that BC Liberals are discredited. The rot is so complete that a name and costume change won’t do. The trend is clear.

top photo credit: Bob Mackin

14 replies »

  1. Hi Norm,
    Thank you for keeping the compass pointing North–TRUE North. Your blog posts are so very insightful and succinct, not to mention clear and clever. It is so refreshing to have bloggers like you, Alex, and Harvey move us beyond corporate clichés and stinky group think.


  2. Every British Columbian who can afford it should have two bottles of champagne chilling. One for the resignation of Christy Clark and/or the defeat of the Liberals AND one for the first day of testimony in the BC Rail. Atwal, and or BC Hydro inquiries. A case of champagne could easily have post-Liberal celebrations attached to them. It's been a decade from hell!


  3. ” The rot is so complete that a name and costume change won't do. The trend is clear”.

    Couldn't agree more Norman. Every time I hear Premier ELECT Clark state that a name change will bring their ex supporters back I burst out laughing.
    Her misplaced logic would have the Hell's Angels become the Happy Wanderers…………

    Gary L.


  4. very true norm, with all their backing and resources including the publics money in their hands they still can't hang on.
    If they had shown integrity on one issue, thrown the dog one bone their fate may have changed
    This could have been removal of the HST immediately, cooperating with the auditor general, talking the smartmeters over with the public or any of a thousand more but no…
    Instead they chose to surround themselves with the likes of Phil Hocstein and call us all idiots and taliban.
    A real victory not only for the NDP but also for the public last night.


  5. Great point Don! I agree that if the Liberals had shown some integrity or feigned interest on one or two of the many files they're mishandling in favor of their friends, they might have been able to deceive more voters into supporting them but it's clear they've given up and are content to mismanage to the very obvious ideological end.


  6. HI Norm,

    Great results, at last a glimmer of light, and a great analysis.

    “Voters think differently and, delivering an unmistakable verdict, agree with John Cummins that BC Liberals are discredited.”

    The things that spring to my mind are:

    some voters thought differently, but the libs. still managed about 30% in each riding. Party loyalty is one thing but loyalty to the ongoing garbage that will be with us until May 2013 that no-one can claim ignorance of is beyond belief.
    Where have these people been for the last 11 years??

    Secondly, will John Cummings still believe that the libs. are discredited when inevitably some will be scurrying down the gangplank to find a new home with the conservatives.? It may have been a shiny photo op. when J.V. Dongen jumped ship, but in the great scheme of things, I don't think the conservatives were done any great favours. Or maybe he might find a few that aren't discredited, then try to convince the rest of us that it will all be different. Good luck on both counts John.


  7. John Cummins has demonstrated too much regard for ethical behaviour to be acceptable to the people aiming to plunder British Columbia's public resources. Kinsella, Hochstein, Winter, McLean, Beedie, Reynolds and many unprincipled characters value Christy Clark's government for its compliant service to their wants and needs. With 2 out 3 voters now expressing distaste for the Liberals, the unelected backroom boys are restive and they will make a change. This doesn't come from the grass roots of the BC Liberal Party, it's from the boardrooms and private clubs of downtown Vancouver.

    And Cummins is not their choice. He's been incorruptible and willing to carve his own path accordingly. What the manipulators want is an unprincipled character who aims to serve the masters in return for a piece of ill-gotten gains.

    Their goal is to remove Christy Clark AND John Cummins and announce formation of a renamed free enterprise coalition. I'm sure their marketing consultants are already working on the look and name. Good, Palmer, Baldrey, Fletcher, Leyne and the other reliable media people will fall in line and repeat claims that a new coalition party is exactly what BC needs.


  8. True enough Norm.

    I saw first hand the unlimited influence the $backers had in Campbells ( and now cristy's office) and I'm sure they would like to get rid of Cummings and start a new gift that keeps on giving. The difference now is enough people are now aware of the games these leeches have been playing and although the party puppets might change, the people pulling the strings haven't. Assuming that the voters don't return to the traditional position of indifference and apathy of course. Although the NDP have been keeping quite watching this circus run it's course, hopefully their ducks are being lined up as they will need them come next May.

    And if push comes to shove I'm not sure how much weight the conservative backroom characters, Randy White, Brian Peckford et.al. could summon up trying to keep the conservative identity.


  9. Norm, I think you are correct and they will be looking to be rid of Christy Clarke asap. She was a real mistake for them, a total waste of time and a lot of money.
    I wouldn't be surprised she has already received the news. They simply can't move forward with her and expect the people of the province to accept that.
    I don't think there is enough time for them to turn this around? There stradegy may be to let the NDP struggle with the mess they have created and come back in four years as saviors. Then they risk that the tide may change.


  10. We will need a forensic audit done on BC's books as soon as the Libs are gone as the public needs to know the damage they alone have done. This past 11 years of opening the taxpayer trough to the provinces elite has put a huge burden on our future and will no doubt affect our standard of living. The NDP will not be able to fix a mess this huge in four short years.


  11. Snooki is living in La..La land if she thinks she has a chance in the up coming BC Liberal decimation…(read election).
    My money is on the BC rail scandal, BC Hydro and other sordid messes, created by this Kleptocacy, as leading to some of the best trials and lawsuits in the history of the province…bring it on and pass the popcorn!


  12. Liberals experienced this substantial drop despite unremitting support of British Columbia's establishment, including its dominant economic forces and major media groups…..
    Hmmmm…. all they seem to be lacking are a provincial police force and some
    kind of civil guard to complete their dominance. Next step should be a fear and loathing campaign, combined with a contrived economic crisis to outmaneuver the Leninists. While that's going on they can slip the pipelines through, crush the ALR, impose wage freezes across the board,
    free up some TFL lands, sell off some more rivers. jack up ICBC and hydro rates, import some more Harper-clones, give the girls another make-over, pump out some casino licences………


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