Saturday, May 14, 2011

Has the party changed?

I did not go to the BC Liberal convention in Penticton, the timing simply did not work for me.  If I could have, I would have gone.

Not being there, it is hard to assess what happened and how it is all going.   The media reports I managed to catch leave me hopefully that the party is changing and there will be something more to the BC Liberals other and vehicle to elect a set of MLAs that will be the government and stop an NDP government from occurring.  For more than a decade I have felt the Liberals were not enough of party, and by that I mean a social organization of people that get together because of their love of politics.   The federal Conservatives are good at doing this and have thriving riding associations in locations where they are in no danger of winning.

The Liberal leadership race showed how thin the connection between the party members and the MLAs was.   This is not healthy for the party and has to change.

I like the idea of going back to annual conventions, it will give us more time to get together and really know each other.   I also like the idea that Christy Clark seems to be open to an open debate of issues at a convention.   Of course the danger of that is that it will be used against the party because of what some people may say in a debate.

I think it is interesting that the idea of changing the party name has been raised.   I personally have never been comfortable with the Liberal name, I am one of those BC people that sees the federal Liberal party as one of the primary reasons why Canada is not thriving and does not have better social programs.   I have dreamed of the day when national politics were a clear left/right choice like in most countries.

If not Liberal, then what?   It is a brand name that people know, but as Bill Bennett said, in rural BC it is a serious handicap.   I remember when joined the Liberals in 1999 everyone that was a Liberal before 1993 was viewed with suspicions.   The old Socreds were more comfortable with me, a former Green that worked for First Nations, than anyone who might be a federal Liberal.

The BC party, borrowing on what the Conservatives have done in Yukon and Saskatchewan, would not be an option here as we already have had a party by that name.  It was a fringe right wing party that amounted to nothing.  It also clashed with the BC First Party, though as we saw in the Vancouver Point Grey by-election they do not seem to be a serious factor in BC politics.

Call it the Free Enterprise Coalition?   This would be the best and most accurate description of the party, but honestly the name does not trip off of the tongue and the abbreviations, FEC, has issues.

1 comment:

Christopher Trottier said...

I have dreamed of the day when national politics were a clear left/right choice like in most countries.

Why? The right/left dichotomy is artificial and does nothing more than divide people. Do we really want the histrionics of American-style politics?

In a perfect world, there'd be a room for more nuance in politics and less division based on artificial dichotomies.