ome day, a political party will emerge that is focussed on the people and issues of British Columbia more than the upward mobility of its leaders — a party that makes news for policy reasons, not because of internal squabbling and the knives-in-the-back comments of dissidents, defectors and dimwits.
Call us naive, sure. We prefer to call it optimistic.
Clearly, the B.C. Conservatives are not that party we seek. And to be fair, we’re not sure there’s a political party out there that fits the harsh criteria we have presented.
However, the BC Conservatives can have a real effect on how this province is governed. By bleeding even 10 per cent of the vote away from their fellow right-of-centre BC Liberals, they can sway some ridings and effectively launch the NDP into government.
A visit to the BC Conservatives’ website reveals some sound policy, but nothing that couldn’t be written and followed by a member or MLA of the BC Liberals, provided the focus for more than a day wasn’t on personal political survival, polls and sound bytes.
“The BC Conservative Party is one with a clear common sense vision for our province,” states the website.
We would hope common sense would include unity amongst the ranks, an opportunity to present policy and vision with the back-room baloney left where it belongs, laundry aired somewhere other than the media.
No such luck. Should we look past the leadership shenanigans and tout the policies? In a perfect world, perhaps we could do that, but today we do not live in a perfect world and, frankly, conspiracy theories and angry comments from defectors as they leave the door are much more colourful and attention-grabbing. We can be fallible and shallow too, we’re afraid.
Unfortunately, the B.C. Conservatives cannot be ignored. If there was a left-of-centre party without any chance to govern that stole votes from the NDP, we would also be concerned.
Like the federal Reform and Progressive Conservatives before them, it’s time for the B.C. Conservatives and the B.C. Liberals to bury the hatchet. The stakes are too high.
Those who believe we need more than two parties, more than two clear choices on either side of the spectrum’s centre should consider this:
The world’s only remaining superpower seems to enjoy real, issue-focussed debate and it features only two relevant political parties.
– Editorial by John Harding