Monday, October 21, 2013

BC Conservative AGM on the weekend and some leadership race update

part of the 2013 BC Conservative AGM crowd
Over the weekend the BC Conservatives held their 2013 AGM at the Best Western in Vernon.  Based on what I could see on twitter, 70 people registered to go to the AGM and 55 showed up.   This is one of several tweets that had attendance numbers:

70 registered but only 55 showed

Other reports have attendance as high as 80 people with about 65 members. Either way it is only a small variation and still not a very high turnout.

This is lower than the fall 2012 AGM in Langley, which should be of concern, but the AGMs in 2012 and 2011 did not have have large attendance either. The numbers are still in the same ballpark of average wedding guest list. This is not nearly enough to be a serious political threat in BC.  

There seems to have been no media coverage of the event that I can find. I found a couple of small local newspaper pieces on the results of the board election. I saw nothing at CHBC and a tiny mention at CFJC.

The party did not manage to get anything onto their website about the AGM after they announced it in July. There was nothing about who was running for what positions on the board. They did not manage to get an agenda onto the website either.

The voting for the new board had competitive races for all the positions other than secretary. I have no idea what the votes were for any position. Tom Birch defeated John Friesen for President. Yvonne Darcel was running for director at large before the AGM but at the AGM ran for VP and lost to Paul Redekop. She then ran against Mike McLoughlin for Treasurer and won.

From the tweets, eight people were on the ballot for Director at Large. Before the weekend I knew of Andy Irvine, Gary Grewal, Yvonne Darcel, David Wilder and Wayne Marklund running. Yvonne Darcel I assume was dropped from the ballot because of her election as Treasurer which means I am one name short given who was elected. (update - the last name on the ballot was John Friesen)

The new board that was elected is a clear break from the 2012/2013 John Cummins era board
  • Tom Birch President
  • Paul Redekopp Vice-president
  • Yvonne Darcel Treasurer
  • Nathan Giede Secretary
  • Daivd Wilder Director at Large
  • Janet Green Director at Large
  • Mike McLoughlin Director at Large
  • Scott Anderson Director at Large
This is a complete change from the 2012/13 board
  • Brian Wilson Vice President
  • Dan Denis President
  • Al Siebring Secretary
  • Lambert Leung Treasurer
  • Dennis Belliveau Director at Large
  • Doug Machan Director at Large
  • Dan Brooks Director at Large
  • Frankie Fenton Director at Large
This is not the first wholesale or close to wholesale change the BC Conservative board has seen in the last decade. It is not great for building to have all new people come in, but it seems like none of the 2012/13 board members were willing to continue. It certainly sets up the party to be a very new organization.

One thing to note about the new board is that four of the eight come from the Okanagan. That is a strong shift away from other parts of the province. I do not know if this is because the AGM was in Vernon or a reflection of the fact the party is by far the strongest in the Okanagan. Given the relative strengths of the two leadership campaigns, this new board on first glance is more in tune with Dan Brooks than Rick Peterson it would seem.

The Leadership Race
Dan Brooks speaking at the AGM
Meanwhile in the leadership race there has been little of excitement happening between the two candidates. Neither one managed to make much of their websites. Neither one has a video of their speech to the AGM online. At least Dan Brooks has a text copy of his online.

Rick Peterson did offer part of his website as a place for people running for the board to post some information. It was a good thing that he did because the party itself had nothing online about who was running for what positions.

It has been a month since this race started and neither one has any big name endorsements:

Rick Peterson has the endorsement of 15 people , nine that ran for the BC Conservatives in 2013, two other people that ran in the 2013 election and four more BC Conservative individuals of some standing

Rick Peterson speaking at the AGM
Dan Brooks has the endorsement of 14 people - 11 that ran for the BC Conservatives in 2013 and three more BC Conservatives of some standing

In social media land
Rick Peterson 290 followers, following 664 and 569 tweets
Dan Brooks 99 followers, following 423 and 112 tweets

The state of the leadership campaign should scare any BC Conservatives out there. There is no indication of a strong robust race going on.  

Based on what I have seen so far, someone could join the race February 10th, sign up 300 to 400 new members in a handful of ridings by March 22nd and win the race.

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