There is lots of talk among the general population about how they want the election process to be open, transparent and accountable.
People want there politicians to vote their ( constituents ) wishes and open the process to them so that they can see it at work.
Seems to have gone on deaf ears here in BC Liberal Surrey and the nomination process.
If rumors are true the recent nomination ( acclimation) of Stephanie Cadieux was an appointment, Marvin Hunt is being moved to another riding to run under an acclimation and tonight or soon newcomer and Sukh Dhaliwal crony, Puneet Sanhar, will be introduced/acclaimed in another riding.
The latter event apparently because Sukh was to be acclaimed but changed his mind in case he lost.
Given that these are fairly safe BC Liberal seats I am sure there would have been great nomination clashes should the process have been open.
Whatever happened to attracting good people to run in a nomination process and winning on their own merits?
This could be one of several factors in play by the time the election rolls around and they could conceivably lose these seats.
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?
In a little less than a year another federal election will have happened and the results will have been sliced and diced well before now.
I can almost guarantee the topic once again will be the lousy over all voter turnout .
At some point during the election someone in the media will be shocked at the size of the advance turnout suggesting that change is in the air. ( It’s convenient for people to vote at advanced polls rather than just one certain day, when will the pundits figure that out?)
This theory will once again be kneecapped after election day itself when the pundits will be once again gob-smacked by the low overall turnout.
Why aren’t people voting they will cry? What can we do about it ?
Nothing of course until they address the flaws in the political nomination process.
Perception is everything because in the eyes of the public not only is the process flawed but it might even be corrupt.
It’s a simple process really.
It start’s with a questionnaire the prospective candidate fills out.
It is then sent on to a committee for review. They look to make sure everything is answered etc.
It is either approved or rejected,sent back to redo and then an interview is arranged.
The candidate is interviewed and then ultimate approval is given.
Should be simple enough.
But it’s not.
During the nomination process the prospective candidate has to sell more memberships than the other potential candidates and get them out to vote.
The end result is that people are disgusted and want no part of the process including voting on voting day.
To get people involved where they care,volunteer and vote at the ballot box all parties must stop appointing candidates.
They must evaluate potential candidates early in the process and remove them then not mere days before the vote. At present I believe the parties wait to the last-minute to allow input of extra membership money from the soon to be disposed of candidate.
If they opt to remove them closer to the big day than provide a reason publicly. The candidate should not be in politics if they can’t handle rejection and the reviewers should not be reviewers if they don’t have the moxie to toss a candidate and say why.
Above all the process should be open,accountable and transparent.
Right now it’s not and it’s disgusting, don’t you think?