Something had been brewing it would seem between John Slater and the BC Liberals. He had announced in September that he intended to run again but the party took forever to tell him they did not want him as a candidate. I have no idea why the party did not want him as an MLA but the upshot of being told he could not run is that he is now sitting as an independent.
From a tweet of BC Province reporter Cassidy Olivier:
“Mr. Slater’s candidacy is not being approved due to personal issues that, in our view, impact his ability to represent the Party"
“The Party sought a cooperative solution through discussions ... This is not a decision taken lightly and is fully considered"
This leaves a lot of stuff up in the air as to what has gone on and why.
With John Slater as an independent, there will be four independents sitting in the legislature, that is a large enough caucus to be recognized as a party in the legislature. Standing in the legislature means they get positions on committees and get more money for staff. I have no idea if the four of them can work together or if they can get the speaker to recognize them as a party caucus in the legislature.
The electoral impact on the riding of Boundary Similkameen will be interesting and I need to reassess this riding in my formula with this change. I had it on the list as one to watch, but I think the loss of John Slater means the NDP's odds have risen enough to say they will win this riding. At the moment I am assuming John Slater will not running as an independent but with him gone the BC Liberals lose the advantage of incumbency in the riding.
In 2009 the BC Conservatives had their strongest campaign in this riding with Joe Cardoso. Joe was originally the BC Liberal candidate but dropped by the party over an opinion he had expressed some years before that was not favourable to the government.
Boundary Similkameen was a new riding in the 2009 election. Using the UBC ESM the 2005 election results transposed to the new 2009 riding indicated that it would be a close Liberal/NDP race. With Joe Cardoso running as a BC Conservative many people thought the NDP would win.
Party 2005 2009
Liberals 45.7% 37.45%
NDP 40.8% 32.92%
Greens 9.5% 9.48%
BCCP 0.0% 20.16%
Others 4.0% 0.00%
The Liberals still managed to win by 4.5 percentage points, almost the same as the transposed 2005 results. It is a good example of the idea of splitting the vote is often simply not what is going on.
We are not four months out from the election and only the NDP have a candidate in place, Marji Basso.
Even though the BC Conservatives did well here in 2009, I see little or nothing from the party to indicate they have any strong candidates wanting to run.
I hear current Oliver councilor Linda Larson may be the BC Liberal candidate. She was mayor of Oliver from 1997 to 2005
updated at 2:30 pm
BC Liberal riding association Zach Poturica has stepped down, here as his two tweets that came out just recently:
@zachpoturica Effective Immediately I'm stepping down as Riding President for the @bcliberals Boundary-Similkameen Riding #bcpoli
@zachpoturica I'm not alone, 3-4 other members of my Riding Exec. are stepping down too, I'm disappointed in the way this party mislead us #bcpoli