BC Liberals

Georgia Straight, no longer underground

Usually devoid of meaningful arguments and information, most articles on British Columbia politics take but a moment to read. This Martyn Brown piece is entirely different. It is superior to a month’s worth of commissioned articles and press release rewrites from members of the Legislative Press Gallery.

It is written by a man who spent years at the heart of Gordon Campbell’s Liberal Governments and he knows the current players well. Follow the link below and read the entire article. Then consider how amazed even the founders, McLeod, Acorn, Persky et al, would have been four decades ago had anyone predicted the underground newspaper would one day produce Vancouver’s smartest political writing.


Martyn Brown: Looking for a leader and in search of John Horgan, Georgia Straight, June 11, 2016: (LINKED HERE)

…Here in British Columbia, many disaffected voters are also looking for a new leader. Someone who will stand tall for all that Christy Clark does not, is not, and never will.

Count me among them.

We are looking for a leader who is ethically worthy of our confidence and who is bent on tackling the problems and challenges that have so often been created and aggravated by the Clark government’s failures of leadership.

We are looking for a leader who is, in many ways, the antithesis of Premier Clark…

And yes, we are looking for a leader who is supported by a capable cast of diversely talented candidates, advisors, and thinkers. A leader of a viably competitive party that is attuned to populist concerns and dedicated to delivering responsive, effective, responsible government.

That is, we are searching for a team leader…

…driven more by values and principles than by the latest opinion polls or by a rigid adherence to any ideology.

In short, we are looking for a leader who might positively redefine our future with forward-looking, proactive government that is responsible in all respects—socially, environmentally, economically, fiscally, and democratically.

…”Sunny ways”, movie-star looks, and charismatic appeal are all great qualities in leaders that too often carry their parties into government in the absence of other overriding vote-defining issues.

But they are ultimately empty attributes in telling us who we should trust the most—or if you prefer, distrust the least—to follow and reward at the ballot box.

They are hallmarks of celebrity, not leadership.

…Over and over again, we knowingly allow ourselves to be played like chumps. We discount so much of what we claim to value in leaders and let our votes ride on the charlatans who beguile us with their humour, wit, and optical delusions.

Ethics go out the window. Issues get buried under the carpet. Good sense gets abandoned.

We rush to surrender to the scams that scream “sucker!”, as we quietly reassure ourselves that dishonesty is not so bad if it’s couched as hyperbole.

Like the LNG fraud that promised us all $1 trillion of economic activity, 100,000 jobs, a $100-billion “prosperity fund” and a “debt free BC.” Gotcha.

We will ever learn? Will we next time, in 2017?

Ian Jessop had Martyn Brown on-air June 13 at CFAX1070:

Categories: BC Liberals, NDP BC

Tagged as: ,

7 replies »

  1. Thanks for this link Norm. Like your posts Norm, Mr Brown’s are brilliant.

    You are absolutely ‘right on’ about the Georgia Straight and the excellent analysis of Martyn Brown’s informed pieces. Like your They are so far above the milk and toast puff pieces churned out by the captured MSM Nabobs. For deeper understanding and more ‘insightful’ perspective of timely issues reading the columns of Mr Brown (and back columns) is very informative. The piece before this latest on Mr Hogan dealt with the BC real estate issue and was very thoughtful and refreshing. I do not think he gets enough credit or exposure for his writing. It would be useful and wise for his future topical columns to be linked thru progressive blogs like you have done Norm.

    It is clear he is not a Christy fan and for many good reasons. More BCers need to read his thoughts (before the next election).


    • Thanks Bill. I agree, Mr. Brown is providing insightful and articulate commentary. Writing only occasionally, he adds more to our understanding of BC politics than any of the the regular pundits who’ve grown old and complacent and have too many loyalties to government officers.


  2. As articulalate and eloquent as Mr. Brown is I just can’t get past his relationship with the Campbell Liberals: Campbell of course, Clark, de Jong, Coleman, Polak, Yap, Hawes, Bond, Heed, Dobell off the top of my head. And don’t even get me started on what Brown’s involvement may have been regarding BCR, the HST, the 2010 Owelympics, and who knows what other covert and nefarious goings on while he was on the inside. Sure he can wax poetic, but can he be trusted? And what does he stand to gain ripping the party and it’s players and it’s sycophants? I can’t help but think he has ulterior motives up his sleeve.


    • It took me a while to think of Martyn Brown as a voice of reason. However, every time he has entered the public debate in recent years, his words have been sensible, informed and accurate. You may question his past loyalties and keeping of confidences from the days he was a senior political operator in government. But, examine his current work.

      Long ago, I too was a Liberal Party member and activist. While I changed, the Party changed even more. Read the 2001 Liberal Platform (A New Era for British Columbia) and compare Liberals of that day to Liberals of today. Brown was a key contributor to those early policies; Clark, DeJong, Coleman, Bennett are the guiding agents in today’s corruption. Brown can write about the current state of affairs because he is an independent observer.

      One might argue that yesterday’s insiders should spill all they know about business they observed or in which they participated. However, there are written and unwritten prescriptions about using information you were given under privilege. Journalists face the same issue. If one makes a pledge to keep secrets, you can’t simply ignore the promise after time passes.


      • He is writing about all the good that should be, full well knowing that the current state is the obvious. In a way he is taking away the ability for Clark to run on leadership and innovation.


  3. My wife just read your post Norm and Mr Brown’s analysis. I asked her about what she thought and she too was impressed. I was curious as to what she thought about the loosing the beard advise. I was surprised by her quick and clear response. “Yes he should get rid of the beard – there was a reason Justin Trudeau decided to have his hair cut shorter for the election. It worked for him”. Mr Horgan has many moves to consider and then campaign decisively.


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