The defection of former Liberal MLA John van Dongen to the BC Conservatives won’t be the last, says Randy White.
The Conservative Party insider said he predicted a year ago that his party would achieve official party status in the legislature before the next election, and he’s sticking to that prediction.
“I have talked to John a number of times, but I have talked to other MLAs,” White said. “I don’t know what is going to happen or when it is going to happen, but this is not the last by any stretch of the imagination.”
White, who served as a Reform Party and then Conservative Party MP in Ottawa prior to his retirement, said he is confident his party will have at least the minimum requirement of four MLAs in the B.C. legislature before the next election — one of whom may be a currently sitting cabinet minister.
“We will see what will happen in the days to come, but things are going to change pretty significantly in this province,” he said.
“If you listen to what van Dongen said, he listed off problems he was having as a conservative with the Liberal policies of Christy Clark and others. What the conservatives are saying in that caucus is, listen, we as conservatives can’t live with what you are doing and we are moving on.”
White said Premier Clark’s talk about preserving the Liberal coalition comes too late, as that coalition no longer exists.
“How can you keep a coalition of oil and water together?” he asked. “They were a coalition, but now there is a viable Conservative party and all you are seeing is conservatives coming over to the Conservative party.”
White brushed off suggestions that the BC Conservatives will split the vote, allowing for an NDP victory, arguing the Liberals are a spent force, regardless of who is on the political horizon to replace them.
“The Liberals are the masters of their own fate,” he said. “They would have to be in complete denial if they think their actions over the past five or six years is going to get them re-elected. Even Liberals aren’t going to vote Liberal this time around. Without the Conservative party in there the NDP are going to form a government. That’s as obvious as anything can get.”