It’s always difficult to lose a friend even, perhaps especially when it is mostly a friend of convenience. Friendship covers a lot of ground, all the way from that which leads consenting adults into the sack through the Arab expression “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Political friendship is cynical, temporary, and, far from loving, practical.
I leave it to you to decide how close the Liberal party of BC and the Green party were as friends but you’ll remember earlier this year the Liberals fell all over themselves allowing the Green leader, Andrew Weaver, to bring in a bill protecting women on the campus from sexual assaults. To say this was a cooked up deal scarcely needs any verification, if you know anything at all about politics. Things like this don’t happen by accident.
The Liberals know that every vote cast for the Greens would otherwise be NDP, and this coziness did more for the Liberals than the Greens as Premier Clark was able to vouchsafe unto all of us the terrible story of how she was once followed by a man and she was so brave she didn’t tell a soul.
But Dr. Weaver has become unpopular on the Mainland as an absentee leader who has cast aside constituencies like West Vancouver-Sea-to-Sky, where I live, which is virtually a single-issue constituency as are a great many, with that issue an environmental one. Even though what’s left of the tattered media will always conjure up issues such as taxes, health, education, transit and so on, almost all ridings have a central issue and these days it’s often environmental. Ours is the proposed LNG facility in Squamish.
Greens have real chance in West Van
In the last Federal campaign, the Green candidate, Ken Melamed, was very popular and in mid-campaign I’d have wagered my Green pullover that he would win as the only candidate to stand foursquare against Woodfibre LNG (eventually joined by lesser known NDP candidate Larry Koopman). Then the “strategic voting” wave went across the country as the fear that Harper and his lickspittles might win hit voters. He was sandbagged by fear and could do nothing.
The former mayor of West Vancouver, Pamela Goldsmith -Jones, assured the voters that unlike the incumbent Tory, John Weston, she would heed the wishes of her constituents. There being but one big issue, this was taken to mean she would oppose WLNG.
She won by a landslide. Then, as so often happens in politics, she immediately let the side down and supported Trudeau when he hastily approved WLNG.
The Greens are still here and they had great hopes that with a good candidate, perhaps Mr. Melamed, they could best the Liberal MLA, Jordan Sturdy, who loyally supports Premier Photo Op and WLNG. While a great many voters want him out, there must be an alternative. Until Dr. Weaver became damaged goods, it was assumed that the Green party would run a good candidate and, although no riding is a slam dunk for the Greens, this came as close as it gets.
But, what about money? That’s well nigh impossible to raise without a viable leader and the Liberals have, in a strange irony, the most viable of the lot. Moreover, WLNG can be expected to duplicate their past generosity – in 2015 they cut a generous cheque and paid for a huge fundraising bun toss at, no less, the Capilano Golf Club & Country Club.
What’s happened to the good Dr. Weaver?
Weaver supports private river power
It’s a sad cautionary tale, summed up years ago when Harry Belafonte said “Don’t turn your back on the masses, mon!”
Dr. Weaver’s most egregious sin was supporting Gordon Campbell’s private “run of river” legislation which, in the event you have been vacationing on the moon for the last few years, has given private companies a beautiful sweetheart deal whereby they can destroy hundreds of rivers, then sell the electricity to BC Hydro at 2 to 3 times its value, on a take-or-pay basis. As predicted by many in these pages numerous times, this was bound to ruin the rivers and eventually bankrupt BC Hydro. In fact, the results are far worse than anyone predicted.
What did Weaver have to do with this?
Well, in 2008, before he was an MLA, he supported this Liberal party energy “policy” and declared that the power created by “run of river” was “clean, green energy” (listen here to his robo-call on behalf of the Campbell energy policy).
It was anything but and that’s not the end of the story for Dr. Weaver who, in order not to lose face, still supports this environmental and fiscal disaster in spite of the evidence. Now he’s the leader of an environmental party!
I have learned that when Dr. Weaver made his “clean and green” pronouncement in 2008 he didn’t even bother to take a look at the easily accessed Ashlu River, near Squamish, which was one of the first, finished “run of river” projects. If he had done that, as I and a number of others did, he would have seen the truth – a beautiful salmon river destroyed.
Greens know why they are Green, and following someone who supports destruction of rivers is not on. This act of generosity to the Campbell/Clark regime no doubt has a lot to do with their kindness to wards Dr. Weaver in the Legislature.
A golden opportunity missed
Back to West Vancouver – Sea-To-Sky. As mentioned, the Greens are still here but I doubt that they will run a candidate as long as Weaver leads the party, which is excellent news for premier Clark, who ranks up there with Ujjal Dosanjh as the worst premier this province has ever seen.
It’s also good news for John Horgan, the inept leader of the NDP, who may already have blown his chances simply by not showing up. Moreover, he lacks the aura of leadership required to look like a premier in waiting.
It’s also good news for Sukanto Tanoto, the Indonesian crook and jungle destroyer who owns Woodfibre LNG.
What’s going to happen in 2017?
Unless the public is so fed up with Clark they throw her out and the NDP tumble into office by default, it will be the same inept lot again. I can only remember one accidental election as opposed to a mere upset, that in 1952 when the Coalition was so unpopular that a hardware merchant from Kelowna, William Andrew Cecil Bennett, was suddenly the premier of British Columbia and remained so for 20 years. There was a wrinkle in 1952 however – the Coalition broke up before the election and the Conservatives and Liberals ran individually.
It’s said that “if you can’t be good, be lucky”.
Well it would take a pretty devout Liberal, half in the bag to boot, to call Christy Clark good, yet the signs are she will still be premier after May 7, 2017.