The Surrey flank of the B.C. Liberal Party appears to be mutinying.
Over the last couple of weeks, B.C. Liberals on the south side of the Fraser River have been lobbing shots at party leader and premier Christy Clark.
Were it not for the fact that the May 14 election is just a little over two months away, it would have been easy to dismiss these grumblings as manifestations of vibrant democracy in the party.
B.C. Liberal executives in at least four ridings in Surrey have resigned following the disclosure of a controversial document out of the premier’s office outlining a plan to woo the so-called ethnic vote.
And in a rather surprising move, ex-finance minister and outgoing Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Kevin Falcon made critical remarks about Clark in a story yesterday (March 10) in the Globe and Mail regarding a failed plan for a wood innovation and design centre in Prince George.
The Straight today (March 11) asked veteran Surrey politician Bob Bose what he makes of these developments.
Bose, who served as mayor for three terms and councillor as well, may no longer have a seat at city hall but he remains plugged into the Surrey’s political scene.
He has, of course, heard about talk that Conservative elements within the B.C. Liberal Party are supposedly quite prepared to see the party led by Clark, a federal Liberal, go down in flames in order to rebuild the provincial coalition of federal Conservatives and Liberals after the election. Falcon is a federal Conservative.
Bose, a New Democrat, prefers a more simple theory. “I think that’s rather giving too much credit to the level of strategic thinking,” he said in a phone interview.
“It’s too convenient,” he said of this idea. “I mean if you’re going to go that route then you better have a pretty clear idea of how you’re going to go about rebuilding the party and tear it down. But do they want to wait a decade to get back again?”
Bose acknowledged that Falcon, who placed second to Clark in the B.C. Liberal Party’s 2011 leadership contest, is a “pretty astute politician”.
If Falcon is up to something, Bose speculated that it’s not so much as preparing the ground to rebuild the right-wing coalition in the province after the May 14 election.
“The way I would read it is he’s trying to distance himself from Christy Clark and position himself for a federal run,” Bose said. “That would be my guess.”