And finally, here is Mike Farnworth, candidate for leader of the BC NDP, discussing how the political landscape may have changed with the selection of Christy Clark as the new leader of the BC Liberal party;
Mike de Jong on BC Liberal solidarity following Christy Clark’s win;
George Abbott on BC Liberal solidarity; not surprisingly, his response is strikingly similar to Mike de Jong’s
Abbott on the chances of Bill Bennett and Blair Lekstrom rejoining the BC Liberal caucus;
I am now on the new Vancouver Convention Centre floor in the media section. Never mind the PIN debacle, trying to get a chair here was stressful. But I now have a seat and I’m ready to live-blog this thing.
The first visitors I had were Adrian Dix and Shane Simpson. The NDP are in here with me.
I waited my entire life to get to a leadership convention like one of the old day ones where you could see the masses of people moving across the floor. Now here I am and the media out number the BC Liberals about 5 to one.
I just visited the men’s room. Not so much news in itself other than the sign inside there telling you not to drink the toilet water because it is recycled water. Thanks for the reminder.
I’ve been out circulating, listening to conversations. The word is that Christy seems to have this one wrapped up. The word on the floor is that if she has over 40% on the first ballot she will have it. I’m still holding firm to the George Abbott second choice theory.
The odd thing is that people have to make their choices before they know how the first round went.
Had a nice visit with Adrian Dix, Shane Simpson, Kathy Corrigan and Jim Sinclair. They seem to be holding to the conventional wisdom that Christy Clark is going to win this thing. Mike Farnworth is now here. Mike echoes the thought that it seems like Christy has this one wrapped up.
Apparently only 60% of the eligible members have voted. That should make the counting process easier.
After seeing the PIN-delivery mess, I am more dubious than ever about electronic voting for the provincial scene. Electronic voting is something that Christy Clark had been promoting as something the province needs to get into play for the next provincial election. I remain unconvinced.
I just heard another prediction; the Canucks by two tonight.
Convention floor is filling up. Lots of sharp dressed people here. Some jeans and plaid shirts have arrived. You know it is a slow convention when I am slipping into the fashion side of the event.
Chatted with Phil Hochstein of the Independent Contractors group.
I asked him who he thought was going to win and he said he was not sure. He did add that he had voted for the winner. He also said all he wants is to keep the NDP out of government. I couldn’t get him to tell me who he voted for. That secret ballot thing can be so annoying at times.
Okay results are coming in…
Required to win 4251…
Clark has 3209
Falcon has 2411
Abbott has 2091
and de Jong has 789.
Now going to second choice.
On the second ballot
Clark remains in the lead but did not get the win.
Chatted with Peter Julian; he thinks that Kevin Falcon is going to win this one now. The ABC campaign at work? Interestingly I just saw Rich Coleman walk in. Remember the old ABC campaign? Anyone but Coleman. That campaign is long forgotten.
Gordon Campbell is in Washington DC this evening.
Stayed tuned for third ballot.
Christy Clark wins on the third ballot. The new Premier of BC is Christy Clark.
After countless conversations on the convention floor it is clear that all the BC Liberals now believe that Christy Clark was the right choice for their new leader.
I will head back to the office to begin processing the video and photos that I have taken so that I can post them.
Good night for now.
Late tomorrow afternoon, early evening I will be attending the BC Liberal Leadership Convention on your behalf. Although the polls are indicating a Christy Clark win, it is my firmly held belief that will not be the case.
My theory is that the people who support Christy Clark cannot stomach the thought of Kevin Falcon being the leader. Therefore, the second choice for the Christy Clark camp will be George Abbott. He is seen as a better alternative than Falcon, the federal Conservative.
The people who support Kevin Falcon feel the same way about Christy Clark as Clark’s people feel about Falcon. The Clark camp is far too close to the federal Liberals for the comfort of the Falconites, therefore, they will hold their noses and support Abbott as their ABC (anyone but Christy) strategy.
And seeing as it is more than likely that Mike de Jong will be the first candidate to drop off the ballot, well, where else can you put your second choice? And the fact that the delegates are forced to make a second choice, well, George Abbott is going to run right up the middle between the Clark and Falcon camps and snatch the reigns of the party away from the federal Liberals and Conservatives thus preserving the unholy alllinace of those two federal parties inside the BC Liberal party.
You read it here first. And if I am wrong, well what the hell.
Late yesterday afternoon I ventured out to the Socialist Republic of Burnaby to see three of the NDP leadership candidates and Dana Larsen speak to a very friendly crowd of followers at the New West and District Labour Council.
The room where the leadership all-candidates event was being held was chock-a-block full of NDP from the federal scene right down to the municipal scene. Fin Donnelly, Peter Julian, and Bill Siksay were in attendance. Raj Chouhan, Harry Bains, Kathy Corrigan, Bruce Ralston and Mable Elmore were on hand to represent the provincial arm of the party. Of course the reigning supreme-ruler of Burnaby, Mayor Derek Corrigan, Gary Wong and Sav Dahliwal were there on behalf of the local electoral scene.
The event began with each of the candidates giving a four minute hello and bio with a why they should be selected as leader pitch added in. Poor John Horgan struggled with the clock all night; at one point he quipped that he is from Irish heritage and he cannot even say hello in four minutes.
After the candidates had done their four minute intros, people from the crowd lined up at a microphone to pose questions to the candidates. Each candidate then had one minute to answer the question. At that point Horgan really began to struggle; he would spend fifteen seconds of every minute telling the crowd how the question is tough to answer in one minute. Never mind 45 seconds. Fortunately the chair of the meeting kept reminding all the speakers that she had a gavel and she was not afraid to use it.
The questions that were posed were like watching A-Rod playing t-ball. “What are you going to do about the cuts that have been made to the WCB?’ or this classic, “What are you going to do about the collective bargaining rights that the BC Liberals took away from us?” or “What are you going to do about the privatization of BC Hydro.” “Are you going to fully fund the public education system?” or “How are you going to re-engage union workers” or “How are you going to deal with caucus solidarity in the future” so on.
Every question produced a swing and a hit. The people in the hall would clap their hands together in approval when the candidates would talk about the disgraceful behaviour of the BC Liberals. The shouts of “shame” echoed around the room when the shameful acts of the BC Liberals were mentioned.
At one point I started to lose focus and I swear I heard the candidates all together promising more sunny days and apple pie for all union members. I could be mistaken though.
After the meeting had adjourned I had the opportunity to talk briefly with the three candidates. My first question to each of the candidates was about Harry Lali dropping out of the leadership race because of the costs that the NDP have put in place for the candidates. The final question I asked each candidate was which BC Liberal leadership candidate they would like to face off against in an election. The answers I got to that question was very informative. Watch and see what you think.
First up was Adrian Dix.
After Adrian I pulled Mike Farnworth aside and listened to him.
Finally I had a chance to chat with John Horgan. Excuse my blooper in the middle of this recording. I had a brain fart and started to cut off my interview. Horgan was a little taken aback but graciously agreed to continue talking to me even after my blooper.
So which candidate do you like? Care to comment?
Word on the street today is that Ed Mayne’s “significant announcement” tomorrow at 9:15am will be the news that he is withdrawing from the BC Liberal leadership race and adding his voice to the chorus of George Abbott supporters.
Apparently a sharp-eyed Jonathan Fowlie noticed that the announcement that Ed Mayne was going to give an announcement tomorrow had the name “kcook” at the bottom of the page. If suspicions prove to be true, that “kcook” is likely Karen Cook, a George Abbott campaign staffer.
Moira Stilwell confirmed this morning that she is dropping out of the BC Liberal party leadership race and that she will be encouraging her supporter(s) to transfer support to George Abbott.
Indications are that tomorrow, Moira Stilwell is going to pull the plug on her campaign and throw her support to George Abbott. At least that is the buzz on Twitter.
Stephen Smart, Jonathan Fowlie, and Keith Baldrey are all musing on Twitter about what Moira Stilwell’s “major announcement” will say tomorrow morning. The consensus seems to be that she is going to withdraw from the leadership race and throw her support to George Abbott. Stay tuned for updates tomorrow.
In case you were wondering what Christy Clark has in mind for BC’s education system, here are her priorities;
- Improving innovation in the classroom to offer students greater options in pursuing global economic opportunities;
- Giving parents more input and choice into K-12 education, such as increasing the number of schools offering language immersion programs in French, Mandarin and Punjabi;
- Creating more opportunities for schools to also serve as community learning centres, helping small rural schools continue as vital institutions;
- Reunite colleges with universities under one Ministry.
Hmmm….nothing on the class size and composition issue that most of BC’s school districts are grappling with due to the funding levels provided by the provincial government.
After the BC Liberals finished their extraordinary convention this afternoon I had a chance to chat with leadership contender George Abbott. The topic of discussion? What happens if Christy Clark becomes leader of the BC Liberal Party, considering that Harry Bloy is the only MLA who has come out to support Christy Clark.
Here is a little video of our conversation;