Doubt emerges over claims green groups sank Kevin Falcon’s B.C. Liberal leadership bid

An SFU public policy professor is skeptical of claims by some environmental groups that they helped to thwart Kevin Falcon’s B.C. Liberal leadership bid.

“I think that’s pretty unlikely,” Doug McArthur told the Straight by phone today (March 3).

“I would be very, very surprised if they could document in any way that they were the factor that made the difference between Falcon winning and losing.”

Falcon narrowly lost to Christy Clark in the February 26 party vote.

McArthur said the environment played only a “minor role” in the leadership contest and added there were “relatively minor distinctions” between the candidates on green issues.

Prior to the leadership vote, groups called the Conservation Voters of B.C. and the B.C. Green Liberals encouraged party members to leave Falcon off of the preferential ballots. They also recommended how to rank the remaining three candidates.

The Conservation Voters of B.C., which bills itself as non-partisan, had singled out Falcon as the worst candidate in terms of environmental leadership.

The group has claimed the Falcon campaign was almost silent on the environment while the other leadership candidates on the ballot took at least some encouraging positions.

“I would say that we had the effect of helping to keep Falcon from becoming the premier of B.C.,” Conservation Voters of B.C. director Kevin Washbrook told the Straight recently.




Mar 4, 2011 at 9:10am

I was wondering how long it would take Dana to stop talking about all that other non-sense like health care, education and social services (i.e. provincial matters) and get the conversation back to where it really belongs ... pot.

Way to go champ.


Mar 4, 2011 at 12:27pm

He lost because Liberal insiders realized he is incredibly unlikable and has far too much baggage.


Mar 4, 2011 at 6:20pm

Surely you aren't trying to say that Christy Clark either cares or knows anything about the environment? She has gone on record as saying she is strong support of the Fish Lake mine which was one of the most regressive mine plans in modern times. What a disaster she will be for the environment. and education. and healthcare. and the economy. and provincial unity.

Brock O

Mar 5, 2011 at 5:02am

Stephen, it's as if you didn't read the details of Charlie Smith's article. Of course nobody gets to parse the exact ballots, or attribute each vote one by one, but all evidence is consistant with the Greenie impact. That's as close as you can get.

Horter and Washbrook tracked their joinups very well and then compared the results, especially in low turnout ridings. It's pretty simple. You get 50 or 100 recruited joinups in an NDP riding that only casts 150 Liberal ballots, and you have trackable influence.

Clark won by around 2500 votes. Known joinups from the enviro camp exceeded 4000 participants. The participants were asked to vote with Clark last, and no Falcon. Abbott's 2nd choice votes broke unexpectedly for Clark, against Abbott's direction.

In general, Douglas McArthur appears to have not parsed the data readily available from the BCLiberals website and elsewhere.