Monday, May 11, 2009


W.A.C. Bennett & Dave Barrett are the political giants of B.C. history. I think Bennett would be voting NDP tomorrow.


Can anyone imagine either Bennett or Barrett selling off BC Rail? Or pushing through sneak legislation for the crippling of BC Hydro? Then giving away our rivers? Or giving away those Tree Farm Licences to real estate developers? Dave Barrett was B.C.'s NDP premier 1972-1975, Opposition Leader 1975-1984. I wish we could've heard what he said about current B.C. affairs in his speech on April 22, 2009 ...


Not quite as planned

Globe and Mail Update
May 11, 2009

The campaign trail toward British Columbia's provincial election on May 10 is turning out to be surprisingly muddy going, not at all the high road to a newer, shinier mandate that B.C. Premier William Bennett expected or hoped it would be when he called the election early in April.

As the campaign enters its final week, most observers seem agreed that the Social Credit Party under Mr. Bennett has only a narrow lead, if any, over the New Democratic Party led by a refurbished, softer-spoken and even contrite David Barrett.

Very little about the campaign has gone as Mr. Bennett appeared to expect it would. No major issues have hardened, and the issues on which Mr. Bennett seemed determined to do battle have grown progressively softer, if they haven't evaporated entirely.…

In part, the election was to have been an endorsement of Mr. Bennett's pre-election budget. But the apparent consensus now is that the budget is just plain dull. Its major feature (a package of tax cuts worth $400-million) is viewed as a simple case of Mr. Bennett restoring to their previous level taxes that he himself had raised.…

Meanwhile, Mr. Barrett has been roaming the province, trying to smooth feathers still ruffled by the NDP government he led until 1975. He admits that his administration tried to accomplish too much too quickly, and he proffers his apologies. He maintains that his party's policies are misunderstood, and he pleads for a second chance.…. Instead of the brisk campaign fought along clear-cut lines that Mr. Bennett envisioned, the B.C. election has developed into a rather amorphous contest between big government and private enterprise.

If indeed the race is as close as many observers believe, the result may hang almost as much on the fate of the lesser combatants as on the performances of Messrs. Bennett and Barrett. The provincial Liberal Party, which won just one seat in the last election, is fielding only five candidates this time.…. At dissolution, the Conservatives held only one seat and in 1975 won less than 4 per cent of the popular vote. ….

With less than a week to go, there are more than enough variables left to occupy both Mr. Bennett and Mr. Barrett. But the outcome will largely depend on which of two versions of truth the electorate finds more convincing: Mr. Barrett's presentation of a new, moderate image, or Mr. Bennett's stern reminders of the David Barrett B.C. voters used to know.


Thirty years later on April 22, 2009, former BC Premier Dave Barrett's people had to find a larger hall for him when he wanted to give a speech in Gordo's Vancouver-Point Grey riding. He came out of retirement at almost 80 years of age to speak in support of Mel Lehan, the NDP candidate opposing Campbell. It was one famous old premier quietly explaining matters to an infamous recent premier. Not "news", I guess.

But the fact is: B.C. media is adversarial. Why does the modern, uber-corporate, going-bankrupt CanWest media do its best to promote cruel squabbling instead of informed debate. Is that all their chosen premier has to offer?

Why, for example, did CanWest choose to publish not a word about the gentler giant still among us, still participating constructively in a provincial election? It seems like a remarkable event to "forget".

Thanks to The Globe and Mail (published in Toronto) for this reminder today of good times past in British Columbia when two giants stood toe to toe, debating the issues.

- BC Mary.

See also the Cummins Conservative choice HERE.


....while on the other hand, they promoted (former Premier) Bill Bennett's grandstanding on the new bridge named after him in Kelowna the other day, boasting it as an endorsement of Campbell. It's quite comical to hear them refer to him, as they have at times, as an "elder statesman" while not giving Barrett the same, er, respect.

Anybody who remembers the unshaven, apparently drunken Bill Bennett staggering around the hustings in 1983 remembers him differently than as a "statesman".....
BTW it's encouraging to note that CanWest has only a tiny share of the Maritimes viewership, as a CTV commercial boasted this morning; didn't note the figures but the colour-bar was barely 1/10th the size of CTVs, with CBC only about 1/4s worth....not that CTV has done BC any favours lately.....
Hi Mary,

I wonder if you and your readers have ever discussed this part of the BC Rail scandal?

If the RCMP advised the transportation minister to halt the spur line sale because of alleged leaked information (corruption) and the RCMP were aware of the term “consolation prize” from their investigations.

Then, if there was an attempt to give a consolation prize wouldn’t the RCMP be asking this fundamental question… why is there a consolation prize?

If the RCMP asked this question then they would have logically look deeper into the bigger main line BC Rail deal…… right?

The thought that the prize was out there because bidders were fleeing, than does that not also push the investigation towards the main line deal?

The RCMP should have been fully aware that bid rigging was happening given the fact that a consolation prize was even being discussed.

Wouldn’t the RCMP be interviewing all the bidders in this deal?

And if the RCMP interviewed the bidders they certainly would have found that three out of the four bidders were complaining of exactly that “bid rigging”.

It seems the RCMP could/should have stopped the main line deal as well.

From the documents that have been released to the public to date, these documents alone should have pushed the investigation towards the main line BC Rail deal.

If bid rigging wasn’t apparent to the investigators before the raid on the legislature, the RCMP should have been aware of it by the documents seized in the raid or at least sent the investagation upwards toward bigger fish.

I feel that once all the information comes out there will be many questions to the RCMP about why they did not follow their investigation to it’s obvious conclusion.

One of the defence lawyers said that if one deal was tainted than both deals were tainted and I agree it seems that you can’t have one without the other.

What do you think?
Well, Anonymous Grumps, if you employ the Search Box at top left, type in "bid rigging", I think you'll find that BC Mary talked quite a bit about bid rigging ...

and we should keep right on talking about it, too.

It's so very clear that "somebody" doesn't want this kind of information being revealed.

My simple wish for Election 2009 is that Mel Lehan is elected as the new Member for Vancouver-Pt Grey. If that happens, I do believe that the BC Rail trial will begin to move much more rapidly.

"I feel that once all the information comes out there will be many questions to the RCMP about why they did not follow their investigation to it’s obvious conclusion."Could any of these obvious examples of "not following the path where the evidence leads" have anything to do with the relationship of the "Lead Investigator" of the "E-Squad/Division" by marriage to the capo of the cabal that engaged in the apparent conspiracy.

And could former Chief Battershill's current lack of involvement in law enforcement have anything to do with his desire, perhaps, to actually follow the evidence, where ever it might lead? Just suggesting some explanations for some otherwise inexplicably curious investigatory protocols!

Don't even get me started on the ongoing textbook demonstration of how to profit from obstruction of justice that irregularly, in fits and starts, occurs down by the Old Courthouse/New Art Museum!
"W.A.C. Bennett & Dave Barrett are the political giants of B.C. history. I think Bennett would be voting NDP tomorrow."AGREED, BC Mary.

Thumbs up to Dave for his support of a great man in Pt. Grey. I'm pulling for Mel all the way through relatives in the riding. He will save the treasure of the UBC farm from condos and he will save the desecration of another street and small business from another RAV in Pt. Grey. I admire Mel Lehan for his strength of character. Wow what a great replacement for Gordon Campbell's shameful reign.

I have a feeling that WAC will make his presense known in the Vote outcome tomorrow. He always had a vision/reach beyond most barriers & nothing will stop him this time, either!

Here's to the common bond that binds all decent, good people.

Thank you again, BC Mary for all you have done/will continue to share re: the power of truth with British Columians.

I am also pulling for Carole James. I believe in the power of people and I truly believe that good will prevail tomorrow.
I"m out here on the Atlantic, waiting for the other shoe to drop tomorrow. I'll be sitting up late watching the returns come in (starting at midnight ADT.....).

I hate to say this, but given the tension and emotion around all of what we know, and what we can assume about the Pacific Province's undemoratic polity, we should all prepare for the worst, that way we can't be disappointed.

Myself I don't have much faith in your joe-blow BC voter; not because they're stupid but because if they vote, they vote for their own pet concerns, and those that don't vote, or vote blindly or for stereotyping reasons, assume the system is crooked and so either don't participate or "grind their teeth and vote for the lesser of two evils", whatever they perceive that to be. And that invites equivocation and rationalization of reasons to vote for the guy who sounds good but whom you know is a schlemihl.

Let's hope I'm wrong, though, and there's an angel of the epiphany hanging over all the election booths tomorrow striking a blade of electoral satori in the hearts of voters, and the Campbellites are crushed the way they crushed the NDP. I'm not going to presume that might happen, given the parable of disappointment above, but it wouldn't be the first time in the province's history that a sea-change has occurred in the vote.

More than one emperor in BC has lost his clothes......

People in these times are angry, and scared of the global economic crisis; while the propagandists say people vote for security in those times, that's b.s. People toss out governments in times of economic collapse and deepening insecurity; they don't clutch bling-boy teddy bears to their breasts, thinking that the rich will save them and the government that got them into the mess is the way out. That's certainly CanWest's op-ed claim/cant, but it's not born out by history or current events here, in the rest of Canada, or beyond.

Sitting governments are usually cannon-fodder in times of dire economics; even popular governments, never mind hated and distrusted and known-to-be-corrupt ones.....

How can an party tainted with clear criminal wrongdoing on the large scale have any kind of moral probity in a war on crime?

How can a party which drove off bidders from a sale because of suspicious proceedings have any kind of credentials to be a party of business and economic development? How can a party claiming good fiscal management have been culpable for so many economic catastrophes and hornswogglings as we've seen going on, at all levels, how can that party claim to be good economic managers?

The BC media may have persuaded a lot of BC voters that that's the case. But international investors know a snake when the ysee one, and a skunk when they smell one. When the firesale is over and there's nothing left to buy, who would want to do business with such a government (other than those who already bought it out)?

Let's hope the oligopoly is nuked at the ballot box tomorrow......but I'm trying not to hold my breath.......
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