Wednesday, September 25, 2013

BC Conservative Leadership Race - a few thoughts

Rick Peterson has entered, so now there is a race.  Everything people on the right tell me about Rick Peterson is that he is a major serious political force.  I am not convinced because I have not seen the evidence yet but I will keep my mind open because of their opinions.

Based on what I have seen so far, there is little saying to me that Rick Peterson has come out of the gate strongly.   I do think his launch was a better organized event than Dan Brooks' launch but on the other hand it seems to have garnered less media coverage.

How can I judge the relative strengths of the campaigns?   I thought I would start with which of the former candidates has endorsed a leadership contestant.  I have listed how well the candidates did in the 2013 election and how much money they raised and spent.

Four or Five Former Candidates Endorsing Rick Peterson

Seven Former Candidates Endorsing Dan Brooks

  • Michael Beauclair - BCCP candidate in Fraser-Nicola and only managed 6.6% of the vote which is not great in a region the BCCP is in theory stronger.  He raised $2,425.59 and spent $2,303.19
  • Bob Bray - BCCP candidate in North Island and managed 7.1% of the vote.   He raised $7,120.11 and spend $7,380.38 - $2,000 came from himself or his wife.   The North Island BC Conservative Constituency Association gave him $2,750
  • Nathan Giede - BCCP candidate in Prince George-Valemount - raised $7,000.00 and spent $7,644.76 of which all the money donated was from Johannes Giede's medical practice in Prince George
  • Dianne Hoffmann - BCCP candidate in Comox Valley and only managed 5.4% of the vote.  She raised $5,871.46 and spent the same.  $1,108.09 came from her own pocket
  • Ed Klop - BCCP candidate in Kamloops-North Thompson though only managed 7.0% of the vote.  He raised $2,609 and spent $8,910.37 - he should have a deficit for the campaign that should be noted as a loan but I can not find those details on his form.
  • Mike Pratas - BCCP candidate in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows  though without the party name on the ballot and achieved 2.5% of the vote.  He raised $300 and spent $1,320
  • Barry Sikora - BCCP candidate in Surrey-Tynehead and did decent for a Conservative in Metro Vancouver with 10.7% of the vote.  He raised $48,799.90 and spent $48,767.08 of which $27,463.70 was from his own business and at least $9,000 from his immediate family 
When I look at the lists above, there is nothing in them that says to me to that Rick Peterson is much better organized or prepared than Dan Brooks.   Rick Peterson had four of the five on the stage for his announcement from Metro Vancouver.  Dan Brooks has a better geographic distribution among the ones endorsing him.

There were 56 candidates run with BC Conservative on the ballot and five more that did not have that endorsement on the ballot.  The above list, together with Dan Brooks, represents 12 of 61 candidates.  We have yet to have a big name from outside of the existing BC Conservatives to come forward and endorse either candidate.

I am surprised that the Rick Peterson campaign does not look stronger.  My assessment of Dan Brooks is that he is a nice guy who is very new to political campaigning.   If Rick Peterson is such a serious political force why is the outward image of his campaign not markedly better or stronger than Dan Brooks' campaign?

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