Brooks resignation follows his thumping in the previous provincial election, several resignations on the provincial board, lack of funds raised by his team and most notably the recent lawsuit launched against him and certain member’s of his leadership contest team for smear letters written against candidate Rick Peterson.
The allegations have yet to be proven in court and come up for trial in November of 2016.
The board in the announcement of his resignation applauds Brooks for staying on at least until the Party`s February AGM.
There are a lot of us who think he should leave now and the harder the door hits him in the rear on the way out the better.
The party is not dead. Brooks resignation opens the doors for some exciting candidates to step forward.
I have heard a lot of chatter about new leaders in the last 24 hours.
After reading the column in the Toronto Star relating Cheri DiNovo rant on her own party ( She’s right, leadership blew the last election and has to look in the mirror) I was taken for a loop at the following paragraph ” Although she applauds Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for accepting Syrian refugees, ending airstrikes in the Middle East, and legalizing marijuana, she nevertheless warns that the new administration “will be an austerity government, with better hair.”
Last time I looked the air strikes were still happening, the refugees (were always accepted) haven’t got here yet and Marijuana has not been legalized.
But if you’d been sleeping or hiding under a rock and read the Toronto Star you would have thought it all fait accompli.
The pot law alone will take time to change, let alone require the house to be in session.
There is a total vacuum at the top of the BC Conservative Party.
The Leader, Dan Brooks, is AWOL. No media presence. No visits to Party members. No profile.
Only two news releases in the past six months.
Almost every director elected to the Party board last November, including the president, resigned only weeks into their mandate.
There is no fundraising, no money, no momentum. What’s up?
Here’s maybe a clue as to why Brooks has walked away from the Party.
One year from now, in November of 2016, he’s scheduled to be in BC Supreme Court along with his former leadership campaign manager, Barry Sikora. Sikora is listed on the Party website as a regional director from Surrey.
In the 2014 BC Conservative leadership campaign, two anonymous smear letters against Brook’s leadership rival, Rick Peterson, were sent out to all 4,000 members of the BC Conservative Party across the province.
Following a Vancouver Police Department investigation and an internal Party report, Peterson filed a defamation claim against Brooks, Sikora and Sikora’s printing company, Classic Impressions Inc., alleging that the three parties were responsible for the production and dissemination of the anonymous letters, which attacked Peterson’s personal, political and professional reputation.
A November 2016 court date before a judge and 12-member jury is locked into place. Sources tell me that Kristy Fredericks, elected Party president in November of last year, abruptly resigned her post weeks after assuming her duties, along with every member of the board that she brought with her on the “Dan Brooks youth slate” at the November AGM, when she learned about the extent of the allegations.
Nothing has been proven yet, and it is only in court that the full details will be released.
It could get ugly. How ugly? Check out the current political defamation case playing out right now in BC Supreme Court, involving former Liberal MP Blair Wilson, who claims that anonymous claims against him amounted to “character assassination” . Here’s the link:
And here’s a quote from that story – bold italics are mine:
“The named defendants in the case include Bill Lougheed, former MLA Judi Tyabji, political strategist Mark Marissen, who is the former husband of Premier Christy Clark and political blogger Steve Janke, who published an anonymous letter detailing allegations against Wilson and forwarded to Elections Canada. Tyabji, who had conversations with Lougheed and O’Connor and was allegedly motivated by an ambition to remove Wilson from his MP’s job, was in court Wednesday representing herself.”
Sound familiar? I’m no legal expert, but part of this Blair Wilson case seems very similar to charges currently levied against Brooks and Sikora.
It’s clear to me that the fortunes of the BC Conservative Party under Dan Brooks’ leadership are on hold until this gets cleared up. If Brooks or his campaign manager were found to have a role in the anonymous smear letters against Peterson, it’s lights out for the Party in 2017.
And maybe this is why the Party Leader has decided to hide under a rock, hoping this all blows over.
Leadership races are always interesting no matter what party you belong to. They present themselves as a time for renewal and a time to attract new people into the process that maybe haven’t been involved before or awhile.
Additionally, the goal should (and must be) to attract the best and the brightest to get involved not only to lead the party from backbenches, or no benches, but to also attract the best and brightest people into a leadership role in their community.
To get the best and brightest fundraising should be in place as should a good set of policies. Then a leadership race can begin with the best person hopefully chosen as Leader.
It seems common sense, but then nothing should ever be taken for grant, and so I also say that a leaders job is to undertake to increase fundraising, further develop policy, and no matter what the party standing is in the house, hold the current government accountable.
If the party has seats in the house ,questions should be asked, and scrums should be held, with the media ensuring that all the people are represented. Should the party not be in the house, they can hold the government accountable by press releases, social media releases,radio interviews, or even traveling to the House and arranging media meetings outside house when a relevant issue arises etc.
The success of this all revolves around leadership, and that means as I said earlier, having the right leader and the right policies in place to get the job done. This is easier said than done.
A recent review the the BC Conservative constitution ( provincial party) shows this:
Section 11.02 The Leader can only be removed from office by resignation, death, incapacitation, or the
vote of sixty percent (60%) of the Party Members in good standing who vote in a
universal mail-in ballot.
Another way of saying this is that once a leader is elected he or she only needs 40 % of the current members to vote in favor of his or her leadership role to stay in the job. That seems to me to be setting the bar awfully low. It means that a leader would only have to get a few people to vote to save his or her job especially if the party or it’s members is disillusioned.
The question to ask my readers is what do you think the correct percentage is in order to attract talent and correct mistakes in the leadership process?
If you are part of the so called parliamentary caucus and your reading this, do the right thing and ensure that Michelle Rempel becomes interim leader.
If you are a volunteer or party member persuade or turn the screws to your “parliamentary caucus rep” to get behind Michelle.
If you just said what’s a parliamentary caucus rep. its your newly elected Conservative MP or sitting Conservative Senator.
SHE is young ( younger than Trudeau in fact) and that will ensure the new electorate will take notice.
SHE is highly energetic and will hit the ground running. The party can’t afford to sit around and wait to get things going,it gotta happen now and that includes fundraising and area that Michelle will be of great help.
SHE has sharp elbows and will not be afraid to hold the new government accountable.
SHE is a team builder and more than ever we need that skill now.
Did I mention she is a female? That will send an amazing message to another part of the electorate that needs to hear our message.
Michelle is the right choice, Make her the interim leader now and without delay.
This was the election that was the referendum on Stephen Harper.
It was dubbed as the Anybody but Harper campaign.
It ended badly for Mr.Harper we know that now.
The Conservatives, on the other hand will live another day.
The NDP might not be so fortunate.
Before the election was dubbed the “Anybody but Harper Campaign” the discussion centered around whether the left could exist as two bodies and defeat the Conservatives without splitting the vote.
That was put to the test in this election and from where I sat and watched only one survived.
As soon as Tom Mulcair said the NDP stood for balanced budgets they became Harper lite.
Justin Trudeau and the Liberals pounced and said they would run deficits creating a clear choice in the voting public’s mind. Would they vote for Harper and the Conservatives ( Which the NDP was now lumped) or would they vote for Liberal deficits and spending.
While the voters where mulling that over, Thomas Mulcair put what I think was the final nail in his and the NDP coffin.
It wasn’t the niqab ( although that didn’t help him ).
At the September 28 debate Thomes Mulcair shot him and his party squarely in the foot.
Mulcair invoked the death of Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre Elliot Trudeau.
Trudeau made a passionate defense of his father as would I of mine.
Trudeau took full control from that moment on and made the voters choice easy, a compassionate party with a left leaning economic vision versus two balanced budget parties that were mean.
In my mind the election was over that night.
At the same time the Trudeau Liberals swallowed up the NDP and gave those progressive voters a home they could win on.
And win they did.
Next election the economy will still be the topic ( It always is) but the NDP wont have much to say in the outcome.
It will be tax and spend of the Liberals versus the Conservatives fiscal economic planning.
The Conservatives will have a new leader who will have gotten the message from last night.
There will be no Anybody But Harper Campaign. The fight will be for those new voters who came out this time.
The NDP? There is no longer room for them, they had their chance.