Wednesday, March 11, 2009

So what is happening on the right wing in BC Politics?

In the last two elections there has not really been any significant right wing parties running in the BC Elections.

In 2001 there was an attempt to create the Unity Party out of the ashes of Social Credit and BC Reform, but they did not manage to do much. Their leader was in the debate but they only managed to run 56 candidates and averaging only a bit above 4% of the vote where they ran. BC Reform ran 9 candidates, the Conservatives ran 6, and Social Credit 2 achieving a combined vote of almost nothing.

In 2005 the right wing did even worse. The Conservatives ran 7 candidates of which their candidate Beryl Ludwig in Shuswap actually managed to come third. Another 25 candidates ran for 10 different right wing parties and managed a total of just over 4000 votes.

Now we are at 2009 and suddenly there seems to be one right wing party emerging, the BC Refederation Party. We are just three months before election day and the party seems to have found 40 candidates already. The BC Conservatives only have 8 at the moment. BC ReFed is ahead of the Greens in selecting candidates.

The issues ReFed may get some traction on are the carbon tax in rural BC and the anti-aboriginal vote.

Their policy statements on their website are 'amusing' at best, in general they point to someone that does not seem to understand how our system of governance works. As examples, we have a constitution for BC. They also do not understand the underpinnings of our whole system of law and governance and show this when they suggest removing the powers of the Lieutant Govenor.

Now that said, their primary concern that the federal government has too much power and there needs to be more powers in the hands of the provinces is a fundamentally sound idea. Canada would be better off as a country if the provinces had more powers, this is in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity. As an example, there is no useful benefit in having the federal government have any role in healthcare. Fisheries would be better managed by the provinces so that it could be done a more whollistic manner than in bizzare world we have now where some fish are federal and some are provincial.

Is Refederation BC the party to accomplish this? Highly unlikely because they look and sound like the cranky end of the federal Reform Party. They want an official langauge in BC, we seem to have managed well enough provincially not regulating what languages people can use.

I suspect the upper limit of BC ReFed is about 10% of the vote in this election if they manage to run a full slate of candidates, the media pays any attention to them and no one says anything too crazy. Their impact on the election will be zero this time around, the cranky right wing sat out the 2005 election so the Liberals should not lose too much vote to BC ReFed. If Mike Summers manages to get the party to do anything, it will be to bring people back to the polls that sat out the last election.
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