Energy Minister Bill Bennett grumbles about Gordon Campbell's lack of consultation

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      Finally, a B.C. Liberal cabinet minister has told the truth about Premier Gordon Campbell's management style.

      In an interview with the Vancouver Sun, Energy Minister Bill Bennett declared that Campbell did not consult key members of the caucus before changing cabinet ministers' responsibilities yesterday.

      “It seems to me we ought to be involving every last one of our elected people in major decisions, because you always make smarter decisions when everybody’s involved," Bennett told the Sun.

      As the only B.C. Liberal MLA from the Kootenays, Bennett can afford to make these comments because nobody else from the southeastern B.C. region is available to join the cabinet.

      His comments echo some of the same criticism that MLA Bob Simpson levelled at NDP Leader Carole James after he was abruptly kicked out of caucus for issuing mild criticism of one of her speeches.

      In B.C.'s parliamentary system, a leader with a majority has supreme authority to do almost anything he or she likes, including firing cabinet ministers, rearranging their responsibilities without consultation, and, it appears, throwing MLAs out of caucus without holding a caucus meeting.

      Former NDP MLA David Chudnovsky summed up the situation in his final speech to the legislature in 2009.

      "They sent us here to govern, and we don't," he said. "Everybody who works here knows that the real governing takes place in the premier's office with a few handpicked friends and advisers. That's not just this government. I'm not talking about just this government."

      Chudnovsky added that MLAs in the chamber were part of a "sideshow".

      "We're part of the show that results in the choice of the next premier in whose office the small group of advisers will again make the important decisions," he stated.

      On October 27, Campbell will give a provincewide television address. He has been a one-man band for much of his nine years in power in Victoria, perhaps most notably during the last election campaign and in the leadup to the Vancouver Olympics.

      It appears that this act is not only wearing thin on the public, it's also creating dissension within cabinet.




      Oct 26, 2010 at 10:33am

      Gordo gotta go-oh


      Oct 26, 2010 at 10:35am

      Another crack in the 'armour' appears!


      Oct 26, 2010 at 1:26pm

      The BC Liberals need a leadership convention. No, wait, they just need to evaporate!


      Oct 26, 2010 at 2:23pm

      "To oppose corruption in government, is the highest obligation of patriotism." G. Edward Griffin

      Recall begins Nov 15th... let's unite and get rid of them all.

      knowing nuclear

      Oct 26, 2010 at 2:50pm

      there is no such a thing as a "one man band" when referring to a Premier or Prime Minister.

      These people have direction from other people, even if the other people are not employed by the government. This could be industry, lobby groups etc.

      But make no mistake they are being led by others and not for our interests.

      End lobbying and end political contributions.

      Its tax payer funds that pay the bills and taxpayer funds that pay their wages.

      If we in the future DO NOT have to pay taxes on products or income then let the lobby groups and industry tell us what to do. Until then block them from our institutions and our tax dollars.

      knowing nuclear

      Oct 26, 2010 at 3:20pm

      all levels of government are about to get a house cleaning the public is fed up with this "ram it down their throats" attitude we are receiving
      in the near future the politicians who come out against this and mean it will be the ones who run our government institutions

      glen p robbins

      Oct 26, 2010 at 4:57pm

      This sorry saga is an example of BC politics at its most gruesome point.

      Is Campbell really trying to look like a consensus builder? He is criticized over a Cabinet shuffle, and if in fact its deeper than this - and forms part of Mr. Bennett's concern over the nature of his appointment - this means that Mr. Bennett is de facto in charge - Gordon Campbell the leader-autocrat is so weak - he won't challenge a minister who applied very strong criticism at a time WHEN the premier ought to have had room to be more unilateral - its his Cabinet afterall - why would he consult with one or two or three ministers - when this is his decision?

      This event makes Carole James look STRONG for whipping her dissident.

      The BC Liberal Party cannot go on like this -- its gone past sick.

      David L.

      Oct 26, 2010 at 5:08pm

      Unfortunately I have to agree, our current system is clearly a near Dictatorship and again clearly has to be changed.
      Again unfortunately I don't see the NDP as having a different outlook, just look at what happened to Bob Simpson !


      Oct 26, 2010 at 6:29pm

      Hey Bennett, where were you when HST was brought in? Where were you when BC Rail was sold? Where were you when the Basi/Verk group were paid 6 mil of public funds? Where were you when the fudget budgets were brought in? Where were you when all the cost overruns for the Convention Center were hidden? Where were you when all the election promises from 2001 to 2009 were all, and I mean all, were broken or lies?

      All you're doing is the CYA maneouver. You know, cover your ass! I hear the recall volunteer recruitment is going well in your area.

      glen p robbins

      Oct 26, 2010 at 8:09pm

      Camero - your point certainly reinforces my allegations under this stream. If Mr. Bennett is motivated to cover his behind, when he is lower on the Recall lists (his riding is actually quite difficult because of large territory and the difficulty with lists)---or if the public perceives this rationale - then this, combined with former Energy minister Lekstrom leaving the BC Liberal caucus - AND also saying Gordon Campbell must go (CKNW) then how can Gordon Campbell make it past November?

      You can't promise to leave in 6 or 9 months-------how can you speak to the economy with the HST hangover lingering (CanWest Global ads for television address)----and no credibility with the public?

      Politics is about tru/st and tru/th - British Columbians don't expect perfection on either of these accounts from politicians - but they expect a reasonable amount -- and the premier has offered none---or close to that --

      the public wants him to make his peace and announce his retirement - Campbell should have a good nights rest and let the premiership go - so the province can move on. It doesn't need to be this difficult - just do it.