Tuesday, December 7, 2010

BC Politics always bizarre

Never a dull day here. Our Premier Gordon Campbell staggering under a 9% approval rating, tried to sell himself on TV and giving a 15% tax break, shortly afterwards the knives were out and so was he.
Good news for the Loyal Opposition? Not so much really, the Premier who just left was their only hope of getting in with their own lackluster leader Carole James. In fact there was a symbiotic relationship between the two. Gordon’s only hope was that the voters would hold their noses and vote for him, knowing she would be a disaster. Carole’s only hope was that the voters might think she could not be possibly worse than Gordon. Once Gordon left, she was on borrowed time and it just ran out with her own caucus in revolt.

I don’t follow local politics closely enough to tell you who will be successful in replacing both of them, but I can tell you this. Politics has never been dull here.

1871 First general election in province of British Columbia for Legislative Assembly.
1874 Chinese and native Indians disenfranchised
1878 School teachers prohibited from voting or campaigning
1895 Japanese disenfranchised
1899 Provincial civil servants disenfranchised
1907 Hindus disenfranchised
1917 Franchise extended to women
1924 Both Premier (John Oliver) and Leader of the Opposition (William John Bowser) defeated in general election.
1931 Doukhobors disenfranchised
1945 Members of prohibited groups, if otherwise qualified, allowed to vote if they served in either World War (SBC 1945 c.26).
1949 Indians and Japanese prohibition removed
1977 Liquor sales allowed on election day

Colourful Premiers we had aplenty

De Cosmos, Amor 1872-74
De Cosmos' attempt to alter the terms of union in order to obtain monetary guarantees from the federal government to complete a dry dock at Esquimalt that eventually led to accusations of impropriety, and ended his provincial political career. He speculated heavily in land and in Texada Island Iron mines, which brought further criticism, as he was a public official. Thus he ended his tenure as Premier on February 11, 1874.

W.A.C. (Wacky) Bennett 1952-1972
He was a capitalist that nationalized the Provincial electric utilities and railway, some of the smartest moves made by a politician in this Province.
· Quotes "Just say that I smiled and I smiled and I smiled!" -- signature riposte when asked to respond to criticism from opposition party or media
· "The finest sound in the land is the ringing of cash registers."
· "The Socialist Hordes are at the gates of British Columbia!"
· "I couldn't give it away, so we decided to build it and run it." - On the British Columbia Railway.
· "We are a young country; we must build on the solid rock of sound economic policies and balanced budgets. But, we must be prepared, as a nation, to step from the solid rock onto new ground. The path of ease, the path of tradition alone, is not the path of a greater Canada." - Addressing the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in 1962.
· "I'm plugged into God" - On the reason for his political successes
· "It's the smell of money." - To residents complaining of the smell of a local pulp mill
· "They couldn't run a peanut stand." - On the New Democratic Party
· "You may not be my friend, but I'll be your friend, even if I'm the last friend you ever have." - On his frequent application of "my friend" to everyone, including political opponents.
· "The answer is 'No'." - How Wacky Bennett would emphasize his stubborn opposition
The above borrowed from Wiki

The voters here can also be quite vengeful, they wiped out the Social Credit party and mopped the floor with the NDP. They might decide to punish the current Liberals for the HST that they imposed on us, after promising not to. Which lead to a successful referendum run by another colourful ex-premier called Bill Vanderzalm.

Oh did I mention we had our own navy made up of 2 submarines?

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