Sunday, August 10, 2008

Soft-pedal

The BC Liberals have not been championing their carbon tax as much as one would expect, given it is their marquee policy of 2008.

Local MLAs Harry Bloy, Richard Lee and John Nuraney are not pushing the environmentally-friendly tax. Other than the rare exception, such as Nuraney's July 26 ad in the Burnaby Now, the Liberals have been downplaying the carbon tax in hopes that people will calm down over the highly visible tax. Finance Minister Colin Hansen has not been very visible while his predecessor Carole Taylor is leaving politics. Only Gordon Campbell seems to think his tax is a winning issue for the governing Liberals.

Thankfully for them, they have something to distract the public. The Liberals have spent the last week championing the fact that the NDP has lost five MLAs. Of those five, Corky Evans has served three non-consecutive terms, and Michael Sather and Gregor Robertson are shifting to the civic level for November's elections. Only two MLAs, David Cubberley and David Chudnovsky, are leaving electoral politics after just one term.

As luck would have it, very little counterattack is being launched by the NDP. Chris Gainor's comments on Public Eye Radio this morning was a rare exception. Gainor highlighted some opf the prominent departures on the government side. The BC Liberals are losing MLAs Dennis MacKay, Val Roddick, Claude Richmond, Katherine Whittred, Olga Ilich, Lorne Mayencourt, and Carole Taylor. Sindi Hawkins, Al Horning, Dan Jarvis and Rick Thorpe are also good bets to bow out before next May's election. Simple math shows that losing 11 out of 46 Liberals is a bigger drop than losing five out of 33 New Democrats.

With the public's mind off the carbon tax and limited mid-Olympic media coverage focusing on the NDP in disarray, the Liberals are in a stronger position than they should be. If the NDP can find a focus they might have a chance. Otherwise, Premier Campbell will have many fresh, new faces with him at the 2010 Olympics.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Carol James continues to shift to the centre, she will see more of these old styled NDP politicians leave the scene. Now that Carole James decides to compete against Gordon Campbell, the entire NDP is now very different from what they used to be in 2001. And if Kathy Corrigan thinks that she can defeat John Nuraney in a foreign riding based on her CUPE association, I suggest she better think again.

On the other hand, Gordon Campbell's attempt to appear centrist is certainly not going well with our MLA's in the city who are obviously more conservative than the premier. But Campbell's appeal to the centrist voters have already failed with the defeat of Danile Igali, Joyce Murray, and Patti Sahota against candidates with close associations with the unions. Imposing carbon tax is pretty much the last nail on the coffin for these centrist candidates. Speaking of that, is Oppal running for re-election, because I also think he will have to fight to stay alive. It also will not surprise me to see Gordon Campbell handing power over to Kevin Falcon.

Does Premier Gordon Campbell want to get re-elected? I certainly hope so. My suggestion now is to take a more hard line position as an incumbent, and that should apply to John Nuraney as well. The fastest way to lose is to try to play the populist card as it has sent many incumbents into defeat, most notably Patti Sahota. Let Carole James take the bait as the one perceived as having a hidden agenda as a centrist. Kathy Corrigan is not going to win the election if she is trying to rely on her husband or her association with CUPE.

8/10/2008 5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few wrong observations there.

First MLA's come and go, it's not
specific to any one party. Claude Richmond has been in office since 1981 (although not continuously).

As far as Kathi Corrigian goes, it would be unlikely that she would win the election solely relying on Derek, she will have to appeal to the majority of undecided voters (not those who vote BC Liberal and send them money (that's preaching to the choir)

Bby Deer Lake is hardly a 'foriegn riding'. She goes into it every day.

It's not the BC Liberal Membership that will win the riding, it's the undecided voter.

Daniel Igali was the wrong candidate for the wrong riding. He should have ran in a safer riding than Panaorama, and his is just a case of starry eyed organizers wanting a prize to impress the Premier, and the result was embarrassing to say the least.

Patti Sahota lost what should have been a win because of sloppy campaigning and she didn't take care of the riding. She even had warfare at one AGM because the BC Liberal organizers played creative politics and didn't send out a proper notice.

As for Falcon, he wants power, but unless Campbell resigns, leaving Falcon as interim Leader until a new one is chosen, handing power over to Falcon isn't going to happen without a leadership contest.

The earliest that could happen is
November 2009.

8/10/2008 5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As far as Kathi Corrigian goes, it would be unlikely that she would win the election solely relying on Derek, she will have to appeal to the majority of undecided voters (not those who vote BC Liberal and send them money (that's preaching to the choir)"
I guess you still do not see the point. Are people questioning Carole James' decision to advocate repealing carbon tax? If you have been reading the news lately you can just see how many have already questioned what kind of other taxes she will raise shall she form the government and repeal the tax. I certainly welcome Kathy Corrigan to play both sides saying one thing to her CUPE supporters and her husband whle trying to convince the general voters on the other. One wonders if Carole James would rather see Gabriel Yiu instead running against John Nuraney if running as a populist is what she wants to do.

"The earliest that could happen is
November 2009."
Well, that depends, as it will only happen if Gordon Campbell becomes an official opposition leader then. But Carole James now has a lose-lose dilemma on her hand. She can either play populist and BCLIB will simply have BCGRN take care of the rest, which Carole James is about to do, or risk striking up memories of the "lost decade" by going back to their core supporters. Unless Gordon Campbell goes overboard trying to appear as a centrist, he should be ready to govern again. With Carole Taylor and the rest of the left-leaning politicians leaving Gordon, the line of succession is already obvious.

8/10/2008 5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess you still do not see the point. Are people questioning Carole James' decision to advocate repealing carbon tax? If you have been reading the news lately you can just see how many have already questioned what kind of other taxes she will raise shall she form the government and repeal the tax."

People are resigned to paying this silly carbon tax. There was no real purpose other than politics for it being there sicne that $100 one time cheque does not do much to reduce one's carbon footprint. In addition, how does Campbell justify this tax when in fact his government sends $300 million (approx.) to the oil and gas industry in terms of financial support? The tax does not affect more heavier polluters. A well tuned engine does not expel as much pollution as a poorly tuned engine does.

"I certainly welcome Kathy Corrigan to play both sides saying one thing to her CUPE supporters and her husband whle trying to convince the general voters on the other."

She no doubt will. It's really no different except for mirrored polarity in support when Campbell plays more to Big Business and expects Joe and Mary Sixpack who work in blue collar jobs to suppport him. CUPE is only one aspect of votes. Many CUPE members do not live in Burnaby and therefore would not be able to vote for Kathy, and it's not a given that all union people vote NDP, just as not all pro-business people will always vote BC Liberal.

"One wonders if Carole James would rather see Gabriel Yiu instead running against John Nuraney if running as a populist is what she wants to do. "

Gabriel Yu is out of the picture politically as he has ran once and lost and it wouldn't be good for the NDP to try him again.

"The earliest that could happen is
November 2009."

Well, that depends, as it will only happen if Gordon Campbell becomes an official opposition leader then.

Anything is possible. It's not a given that Campbell will be re-elected. The NDP almost won the 1983 election but didn't because of a bad move by Dave Barrett.

"But Carole James now has a lose-lose dilemma on her hand. She can either play populist and BCLIB will simply have BCGRN take care of the rest, which Carole James is about to do, or risk striking up memories of the "lost decade" by going back to their core supporters."

Possible, but one has to look at the broader picture rather than from the BC Liberal side of the equation.


Unless Gordon Campbell goes overboard trying to appear as a centrist, he should be ready to govern again. With Carole Taylor and the rest of the left-leaning politicians leaving Gordon, the line of succession is already obvious.

Depends on if the voters are tired of Campbell and his government.

Really doesn't matter if there is a "line of succession", It is up to the attending membership at a leadership vote to decide who the next leader is, not one who is handpicked or 'groomed' by Campbell.

Falcon is not the best choice for the next leader. He is power hungry and that is not a good trait for a good leader.

8/10/2008 7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would be an interesting scenario..

What if the BC Liberals lost the 2009 election? That would mean no privileges for seats at the Opening Ceremonies.

8/10/2008 7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"She no doubt will. It's really no different except for mirrored polarity in support when Campbell plays more to Big Business and expects Joe and Mary Sixpack who work in blue collar jobs to suppport him. CUPE is only one aspect of votes. Many CUPE members do not live in Burnaby and therefore would not be able to vote for Kathy, and it's not a given that all union people vote NDP, just as not all pro-business people will always vote BC Liberal."

I just find it funny to see union endorsed candidates following Carole James' every chess move. Yes, carbon tax does give Carole James more chips to play with, but she cannot be more predictable the way she plays them and there is no need to comment on that.

Is Kathy Corrigan a populist candidate? You say so, and it is not easy to see which side of the equation you are on. But the majority of people see right through her running in a foreign riding. The nature of her support is no different from that of Raj Choujan, and Raj is pretty much least populist of the four NDP candidates in the city in 2005. And there is no need trying to say otherwise and for Kathy Corrigan to think she can play both sides, that will easily be the kiss of death because the fact is simple, she is not a populist candidate.


""But Carole James now has a lose-lose dilemma on her hand. She can either play populist and BCLIB will simply have BCGRN take care of the rest, which Carole James is about to do, or risk striking up memories of the "lost decade" by going back to their core supporters."
Possible, but one has to look at the broader picture rather than from the BC Liberal side of the equation."

Do you have to be a BCLIB supporter to see what she is doing will not work? Carole James cannot form a populist government and that cannot be more obvious. Only if Gordon Campbell decides to compete against her for the centrist votes, which evidently is not what he plans to do. Why the carbon tax? That I do not know, maybe because it will transfer some of the centrist votes to BCGRN. But this certainly hurts the government support, no question. But even so, Carole James has no chance becoming a "popular" premier if that is what she plans to do.

What about Gordon Campbell and his big business connections? Some question if pro-business folks will vote for BCLIB by nature. That I am certain and I am even more certain Carole James will have no chance winning them over. And again, other than the two star candidates in 2005, many centrist BCLIB candidates have already lost. With BCGRN working as an unlikely ally, it is only wise to come back home to force out victories and I believe that is what Gordon Campbell is planning to do given his political calculation skills.

8/10/2008 8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I just find it funny to see union endorsed candidates following Carole James' every chess move. "

Is this no different than the Howe Street Boys following Campbell's every move?

Does the general public (not influenced by business nor union) really care?


"Yes, carbon tax does give Carole James more chips to play with, but she cannot be more predictable the way she plays them and there is no need to comment on that. "


Is Kathy Corrigan a populist candidate? You say so, and it is not easy to see which side of the equation you are on. But the majority of people see right through her running in a foreign riding."

How so? Has there been a large public backlash against Kathy Corrigan running in Bby Deer Lake? Aside from BC Liberal members, the answer is no.


"The nature of her support is no different from that of Raj Choujan, and Raj is pretty much least populist of the four NDP candidates in the city in 2005."

True, but he wouldn't be there if it were not for the incompetence of Patti Sahota and the people supporting her campaign. She should have won since she was an incumbent.


"And there is no need trying to say otherwise and for Kathy Corrigan to think she can play both sides, that will easily be the kiss of death because the fact is simple, she is not a populist candidate. "

Techncially she's not a candidate yet. She has not been officially nominated.



""But Carole James now has a lose-lose dilemma on her hand. She can either play populist and BCLIB will simply have BCGRN take care of the rest, which Carole James is about to do, or risk striking up memories of the "lost decade" by going back to their core supporters."
Possible, but one has to look at the broader picture rather than from the BC Liberal side of the equation."

Do you have to be a BCLIB supporter to see what she is doing will not work?

No, but one has to see a broader picture other than that conveyed by BC Liberal members. There is the aspect of her changing direction (Campbell did that infamously in 1996).


"Carole James cannot form a populist government and that cannot be more obvious."

It may not be a populist government that the voters want. They may want something different, but that does not mean a return to the bad days of the NDP during the 1990's.


Only if Gordon Campbell decides to compete against her for the centrist votes, which evidently is not what he plans to do. Why the carbon tax? That I do not know, maybe because it will transfer some of the centrist votes to BCGRN."

The carbon tax is there to appease environmentalists, there is no other useful purpose for it other than taking more money out of taxpayer's pockets.


"But this certainly hurts the government support, no question. But even so, Carole James has no chance becoming a "popular" premier if that is what she plans to do.

The goal for the NDP is to win on the basis of what the voters will want. If the voters find the NDP delivers what the voters want, they will win government.



What about Gordon Campbell and his big business connections? Some question if pro-business folks will vote for BCLIB by nature. That I am certain and I am even more certain Carole James will have no chance winning them over.

Partially true, given the NDP's background, but the business folks do not form the majority of voters.


And again, other than the two star candidates in 2005, many centrist BCLIB candidates have already lost. With BCGRN working as an unlikely ally, it is only wise to come back home to force out victories and I believe that is what Gordon Campbell is planning to do given his political calculation skills.

He should sharpen his political skills.

The carbon tax was not a good move.

8/10/2008 8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It may not be a populist government that the voters want. They may want something different, but that does not mean a return to the bad days of the NDP during the 1990's."

Carbon taxes advocated by the federal liberals in BCLIB proved to be a huge failure, and we are supposed to continue supporting it? Certainly moving to the left on that issue will only damage BCLIB's base and Gordon Campbell I am certain already knows that and it also will be hard to defend thus as our resident blogger has suggested, our Burnaby MLA's have been very cool to that idea.

However, it will be interesting to see where Kathy Corrigan will go with that. If she has decided to align herself entirely with the party position, I suggest she better be ready, but those people voting for her in the local elections are not the same people that will vote for her in the general election. She does not have to say a thing to get her base voters out to vote her in to chair the board, but she will have to say a lot of things to get enough people to vote against incumbent John Nuraney, and I certainly do not see that happening if she decides to suddenly become a populist candidate.

8/16/2008 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Carbon taxes advocated by the federal liberals in BCLIB proved to be a huge failure, and we are supposed to continue supporting it?"

Well guess what. If you support Campbell, you're supporting his dumb idea of this Carbon tax.



Certainly moving to the left on that issue will only damage BCLIB's base and Gordon Campbell I am certain already knows that and it also will be hard to defend thus as our resident blogger has suggested, our Burnaby MLA's have been very cool to that idea.

Gee wonder why. None of them (especially Harry Bloy who usually snorts about everything else he doesn't like or tries to manipulate things to his liking) have, because they want cabinet posts.


However, it will be interesting to see where Kathy Corrigan will go with that. If she has decided to align herself entirely with the party position,

If it's the NDP, their position is to simply take the carbon tax out.

Good thing, as it isn't really essential.


I suggest she better be ready, but those people voting for her in the local elections are not the same people that will vote for her in the general election.

They are to a degree. The civic elections have a much lower turnout so there isn't much of an equation between the two.




She does not have to say a thing to get her base voters out to vote her in to chair the board, but she will have to say a lot of things to get enough people to vote against incumbent John Nuraney, and I certainly do not see that happening if she decides to suddenly become a populist candidate.

She will, and not only her, the NDP will as well. If she wins the nomination she will be considered a party favourite and since John is vulnerable, the NDP may decide to target Bby Deer Lake and do what they can to defeat him (much like the BC Liberals do to NDP candidates in BC Liberal targeted ridings).

Be around when that happens and enjoy the show.

8/16/2008 6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"
She will, and not only her, the NDP will as well. If she wins the nomination she will be considered a party favourite and since John is vulnerable, the NDP may decide to target Bby Deer Lake and do what they can to defeat him (much like the BC Liberals do to NDP candidates in BC Liberal targeted ridings).

Be around when that happens and enjoy the show."

How is she a party favourite? Because she has an important endorsement from the city's mayor? Or because of his deep connection with CUPE? Ideologue maybe, but certainly not "favourite". Carole James seems to think that Kathy will act as Carole wishes as she forces out other ideologues out of the party leadership and contiues to adjust the party platform, but does it matter? Kathy's union connection is the reason she is the party favourite or the most of the reason she chairs the board. But as you have mentioned, she is not even a candidate yet but if she is to become one in a foreign riding, John Nuraney is ready to jump on her anytime.

But you are definitely right that it will be hard to have the three BCLIB MLA's taking on the risk of becoming a populist and it did Patti Sahota in. They are more likely going to stay true to their core support. But Kathy Corrigan is the only BCA incumbent to leave local politics and go for Victoria, it will be interesting to see other prominent NDP figures come into being as Raj Choujan made himself out to be.

8/17/2008 1:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She will, and not only her, the NDP will as well. If she wins the nomination she will be considered a party favourite and since John is vulnerable, the NDP may decide to target Bby Deer Lake and do what they can to defeat him (much like the BC Liberals do to NDP candidates in BC Liberal targeted ridings).

Be around when that happens and enjoy the show."

How is she a party favourite? Because she has an important endorsement from the city's mayor? Or because of his deep connection with CUPE? Ideologue maybe, but certainly not "favourite".

She is a 'star candidate' just as BC Liberals have 'star candidates'. No different. Has nothing to do with the endorsement from Derek or CUPE, although alot of CUPE members are members of the NDP.


Carole James seems to think that Kathy will act as Carole wishes as she forces out other ideologues out of the party leadership and contiues to adjust the party platform, but does it matter?

Does it matter that BC Liberal MLAs act as Gordon Campbell wishes?
That happens all the time in that party.



"Kathy's union connection is the reason she is the party favourite or the most of the reason she chairs the board."

Not much different from a BC Liberal candidate having small business connections or being a friend of one of the cabinet Ministers.



But as you have mentioned, she is not even a candidate yet but if she is to become one in a foreign riding, John Nuraney is ready to jump on her anytime.

Why this "foriegn riding"? She lives less than 1 km from the nearest limitation of it and crosses into the riding almost every day. This 'foriegn riding' is getting to be nonsense.


But you are definitely right that it will be hard to have the three BCLIB MLA's taking on the risk of becoming a populist and it did Patti Sahota in.

Patti Sahota did herself in. She didn't take care of the riding and
got a last minute cabinet post to something that didn't really need to exist, created for her, and she had bad campaign management. If there was one person who should have been made into a Cabinet Minister, it would be Richard.



They are more likely going to stay true to their core support. But Kathy Corrigan is the only BCA incumbent to leave local politics and go for Victoria, it will be interesting to see other prominent NDP figures come into being as Raj Choujan made himself out to be.

Kind of a silly statement since there is no 'succession' from a civic party to provincial ones. Campbell and Harcourt went from Mayor to Premier.

8/17/2008 3:18 PM  

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