BC Liberal race is starting to shape up with now four candidates having entered. Below are my initial thoughts on each. Obviously I want to see what type of policies each rolls out and to be fair with vaccinations, there are a lot of unknowns in the next year. Will inflation become a problem, does housing affordability get worse or improve, how is transportation as do people continue working remotely or return to office? What are details of the federal childcare plan and its costs? Does vaccine lead to an L shape, V shape, or K shaped recovery and on debt and deficit does it fall dramatically or become a problem? Lots of unknowns but as more get vaccinated and life starts to return to normal, we will get answers to many of those and thus can idea of what policies best to tackle them. Below are more initial thoughts on each
Until recently I knew little about him, but wanting to get known, he contacted me directly and even set up a zoom meeting. As a millennial husband and father, he in many ways represents the new generation of BC Liberals. Party is very much an over 40, mostly white and losing ground each election cycle in the Lower Mainland. As an entrepreneurial millennial, he is one that can help re-establish party with younger generations who don’t remember the disaster of the NDP in 90s thus being anti-NDP won’t work and BC Liberals aren’t connecting with. He seemed to know his stuff well, which was encouraging. At same time lack of political experience is a bit of a worry and this might be a good time to get himself known so he can run next time around. Still want to see more on him before judging.
If Dew is new, Kevin Falcon is exact opposite. He has loads of experience and was one of the more competent cabinet ministers in the Campbell government. He is a strong fighter and won’t take NDP attacks lying down. Also being from suburbs and wanting to re-build pro free enterprise coalition while deal with new issues facing Lower Mainland families is a plus. At same time, I worry being a member of past government could be a liability. When parties get defeated, they rarely comeback with a leader connected to past administration. Both Harper and Trudeau were not part of the government the last time their party formed government so I think there is something to be said about wanting a leader not connected to past administration. Add to the fact he endorsed Maxime Bernier and clearly comes from the right of the party which no doubt NDP will play up hoping to ensure federal Liberal voters stay in NDP column and don’t drift back to BC Liberals. While I would have no problem supporting him in a general election, I do worry he is too much of yesterday’s man and his time may have passed. Still if he can have good solutions to current problems he may be right choice. Chretien in 1993 was in similar predicament yet governed quite differently than Trudeau sr, government so possible as an experienced seasoned politician he can adjust to changes since last time BC Liberals were in power.
I supported him last time around and he did surprisingly well and came very close to winning. Had BC Liberals chosen him instead of Andrew Wilkinson, I highly doubt party would be in as bad a shape as they are now. He is from Vancouver, a visible minority which are both groups party has fallen with. Also his last campaign was about broadening the tent and having good ideas as well as not being tied to past administration are all assets. With three other strong candidates, he still may get my endorsement this time, but definitely will have to see what his plans are.
As a former leader of the Haisla Nation he is quite articulate and would be very tough for NDP to attack. I also think having a First Nation’s premier would be a real asset and may even inspire many First Nations the sky is the limit. Likewise as youngest demographic and fast growing yet often neglected, I feel he would pay more attention to their issues. Also not being connected to past administration is another asset. At some time being from Interior and a lot of focus on resource industry may be one liability. Party is still strong in Interior, its Lower Mainland it needs to improve in, so interested on what his policies will be for key issues in Lower Mainland.
After the drubbing the party took, that has not prevented them from attracting top tier candidates which is definitely a good sign. When you compare quality of candidates to last Tory leadership race, that says a lot in party feel confident about chances in 2024. Still NDP to date has avoided a lot of the mistakes that got them into trouble in 90s so defeating the NDP is a lot harder than it was in past. So having a strong capable leader may help party rebound, but that alone won’t be enough to return them to office. But at least with a strong set of candidates, I feel good about party’s chances of regaining ground.