Sunday, September 16, 2012

John Cummins for better or worse is the only option the BC Conservatives have

I am not convinced in the least that John Cummins is a good leader of the BC Conservatives.   I also do not think he has the skills or team to be premier but that is not less likely than Jane Sterk forming the next government.   Though the reality is that he is the leader of the party and it is fewer than eight months till the election.   It is height of political stupidity to change leaders when you should be preparing for your first election.

I have not been a fan of John Cummins for a long time now because he and I are more or less on completely opposite side on aboriginal issues   I can not conceive of a reason why would I vote for the BC Conservatives lead by John Cummins, as much as I do not trust Adrian Dix, I would vote for a Dix lead NDP long before the Conservatives.   This does not mean I think there is anything good that could come out of deposing the leader for the BCCP.

For all his faults John Cummins was the only serious person interested in the job when it was available, not that the position was one to covet then or even now.   John Cummins was an MP for 18 years, five of those in the government.  Whatever you think of this man, he has the background and experience to be a serious leader and make the BC Conservatives a relevant factor in BC politics.  

In 2010 the BC Conservatives made more or less no serious media coverage - blog postings from people like myself were more or less the best they were getting.  It is only with John Cummins saying he was going to run for the leadership of the party that the mainstream media started to take the Conservatives seriously.   Before the Cummins the party was polling in the single digits, since he has been leader the party has been in the teens to low 20s, though if you read this blog you know skepticism with some of the polling and I do not thing Conservative support has ever been that high.   The very fact the party gets mainstream media coverage means it can get these improved polling numbers.

If the party were to get rid of John Cummins next weekend, what do they think is going to happen?  

First off there is not a single serious candidate that is even rumoured to be interested to take on the leadership.    Replacing Cummins means you need someone better than him as the next leader.    The only person I can think of that has any connections of any sort to the BC Conservatives or is to the right of the BC Liberals that could potentially replace Cummins is Brian Peckford.   When I spoke with him about the BC Conservative leadership in December 2010 he made it clear he was firmly retired from being elected.

Secondly a leadership process would take months.  I can not see a process that is seen as fair and reasonable being completed before late January.   When you are less than eight months from election day you need to campaigning full time as a leader   You also need to raising money like crazy.  Finally you need to be getting your candidates into place and preparing all the logistics of the campaign.  All of this comes to a grinding halt during a leadership process which means the BC Conservatives, who are less prepared than the Greens for the next election, will go into the 2013 election with nothing in place, no money and a leader with less stature and credibility than John Cummins.

The revolt against John Cummins has already seriously harmed the party not only in the media but also by reducing the fundraising capacity of the party and driving off serious people that were considering running for the party.   The smartest thing the people who are opposed to John Cummins as BC Conservative leader could do at this time is to shut up and accept he will lead the party into the election.   Opposing him now in any sort of public way will only serve to seriously harm the Conservative party.

As a BC Liberal supporter you would think I would welcome members of the BC Conservatives doing something truly politically moronic but that is not what I want to see in politics.  I want all the political parties to try their best and to offer people their options in a serious and thought out way.  I abhor political stupidity.
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