Politics in BC is making for strange bedfellows right about now
In what is the wacky world of BC coalition politics, even the slightest shift in the tectonic plates can result in massive tremors miles from the epicentre. That's because at the provincial and municipal level, politics is never quite as we see it.
For example, if you are a card carrying Federal Conservative you may actually vote for the ruling BC Liberal party. For the last decade or so, the BC Liberals have become a coalition of the non-NDP forces in the province who are trying to keep the "socialists" out of power in Victoria.
It's also not uncommon for a Federal Liberal to vote NDP provincially, rather than for the BC Liberals. Once again, that has to do with how "far right" the BC Liberals are perceived to be by some Federal Liberals. On any given day when it comes to provincial politics, it can often be a challenge to keep your eye on the bouncing ball.
In relation to civic politics in Vancouver, it is no less complicated. With the leadership races well underway for both the NDP and BC Liberals, we're now starting to see some interesting dynamics develop.
In the case of Mayor Gregor Robertson and his Vision Vancouver party, some of their senior operatives are working in different camps battling it out against each other. This is despite the fact Mayor Gregor has quietly pleaded with his caucus to keep their heads low and not get too involved in any of the races.
Robertson has already indicated he won't be endorsing any of the NDP candidates. Probably a smart move given that Gregor got in trouble for his last minute endorsement of Jenn McGinn, the NDP candidate who succeeded him in Vancouver Fairview. I should also note that Robertson got in hot water with his own party for openly promoting a Gordon Campbell three-peat.
It's interesting to watch people like NDP stalwart Marcella Munro who is a behind-the-scenes person with Vision Vancouver. She's come out and said she's supporting the NDP's Mike Farnworth as party leader. Meanwhile civic politicos like Vision councillor Kerry Jang, Raymond Louie and Geoff Meggs have been very open about their support for Adrian Dix.
To add even more confusion to the situation, a number of key Vision Vancouver operatives like former NPA board member and Federal Liberal Greg Wilson are endorsing and working on BC Liberal Christy Clark's campaign. It's also worth noting that Vision Vancouver founder, former COPE mayor and now Liberal Senator Larry Campbell is endorsing the BC Liberal's small "c" conservative Kevin Falcon. Are you following all of this? There's more.
It's not just Vision Vancouver that have to deal with their supporters battling it out in different camps. The NPA is in a similar position. Marcella Munro's business colleague and Federal Liberal/NPA senior campaign worker Bruce Young is working for Kevin Falcon alongside Doug Leung (nephew of former Liberal MP Sophia Leung).
Norman Stowe, former NPA mayoral candidate Jennifer Clark's communications guy, is playing a senior role in the Falcon campaign. Meanwhile, former NPA president Michael Davis as well as Anna Lilly, former Director of Communications for NPA Mayor Sam Sullivan (the guy who ran against Christy Clark for the NPA nomination) are actively working for Christy Clark. As far as I can tell, no NPA supporters are actively working on NDP leadership campaigns. If there is anyone, please let me know.
I recently attended a Christy Clark function whereby former CTV news anchor Pamela Martin and condo king Bob Rennie announced their endorsements. The room was filled with Vision/NPA apparatchiks whom at the municipal scene are at each other throats. It likely makes for interesting dynamics and discussion in the Clark war room.
While I'm at it, did I mention that Vision Vancouver operative and NDP backroom guy Bill Tieleman is working arm-in-arm with former Socred Premier Bill Vander Zalm and former BC Conservative leader Chris Delaney to unseat BC Liberal Ida Chong? This couldn't get any stranger as the lines of who support whom are getting really fuzzy. Needless to say, BC politics is making for strange bedfellows right about now.
So its obvious Vision Vancouver campaign workers and politicians are being pulled in several different directions with some of them supporting both NDP and BC Liberal candidates. Meanwhile, most NPA supporters appear to be splitting their allegiances between Clark, Falcon and Abbott. What's unclear at the moment is if any of this battling at the provincial front will leave behind any political hangovers once the new leaders have been selected. My guess is it likely will.
As they say, it's just another day of wacky coalition politics in Beautiful British Columbia!
- Post by Daniel