Fraser Valley/Vancouver/Vernon – 2017 will go down in BC political history as a rough year for the BC Liberal Party. Former Premier Christy Clark’s government won a thin minority, however, the Lt. Governor General felt that her party could not form the next government.
The NDP’s John Horgan is now Premier (in a coalition with Andrew Weaver’s Green Party) while the Liberals are looking into 2018 for a new leader.
The BC Conservatives placed a distant fourth in overall Provincial voting, but they are not giving up. In face, they want disheartened and disenfranchised Liberals to join them. Their platform is clear, the BC Conservatives feel the Liberal ship is sinking, similar to the now obliterated Social Credit Party (remember them?).
Interim BC Conservative Leader Scott Anderson has offered an olive branch with perhaps a hint of mistletoe with his media release:
Interim BC Conservative Leader Scott Anderson predicts the demise of the BC Liberal Party and extends an invitation to disenfranchised BC Liberal voters to join the BC Conservative Party in their natural home.
There are widespread rumours of deepening divisions between federal Liberal supporters and federal Conservative supporters within the BC Liberal Party in the wake of the recent federal by-election in South Surrey White Rock.
“When you have a federal Conservative MP (Dianne Watts) defecting to run as leader of the BC Liberal Party, and a former BC Liberal MLA (Gordie Hogg) running in her riding for the federal Liberal Party (in which he won the by-election), anyone with a passing interest in politics can see trouble coming,” said Anderson. “Compound that with the fact that Hogg actually won, taking a seat away from the federal Conservatives and strengthening the Trudeau Liberals, and I can see why conservatives who have held their noses and voted for the BC Liberals in the past have had enough.”
The divisions are not just within the former BC Liberal voter base, but apparently extend to the leadership as well.
“The Liberals claim to be a coalition of liberals and conservatives, but if the BC Liberal debates are any indication, the leadership is more like a coalition of angry polecats,” said Anderson, referencing fundamental philosophical disagreements between the front runners in the most recent debate. “Which is to say there is no coalition at all within the leadership and even less between former BC Liberal supporters. I don’t know which will be the death blow to the BC Liberals: the leadership imploding or conservative voters defecting en masse, but I am certain both of those dynamics are in play.”
“Small-c conservatives have been betrayed over and over again by the BC Liberals,” said Anderson, “first by the infamous clone speech that mimicked the BC NDP platform, and now by supporting a federal Liberal Party that has drifted to the far left under Trudeau. Even a heavily whipped party like the BC Liberals can’t hide the fact that a Liberal is a Liberal is a Liberal, and the BC Liberal Party is indistinguishable from Trudeau’s federal Liberal Party.”
“On behalf of the BC Conservative Party, I welcome former BC Liberal conservative voters to take another look at us. I have no doubt that our philosophy and platform reflects your values far better than those of the dying BC Liberal Party. Welcome home.”
The BC Conservative Party endorsed and actively supported Kerry-Lynne Findlay, the federal Conservative candidate in the federal South Surrey White Rock by-election, and under Anderson’s leadership will continue to support conservative causes in BC.