Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, who defeated Roman armies at Asculum, 280 B.C.E., but at such cost to his own troops that he was unable to follow up and defeat Rome itself, is said to have remarked, “one more such victory and we are lost.”
This past weekend in Richmond, the BC Conservative Party achieved ‘one more such victory and now is lost‘. This time quite possibly permanently and without the resources to ever rebuild.
It is hard to imagine that individuals who belong to a political party can be so intransigent and so short-sighted that they lost the war for the sake of ‘winning’ a battle. That is essentially the synoptic from the 2015 AGM for the BCCP (that had to be held in 2016 for reasons that only an unelected previous Board of Directors can explain).
The results from the BCCP AGM allow me to predict, with very little chance for intelligent rebuttal, that the BC Conservative Party will not be a relevant factor in the 2017 BC provincial election or any election thereafter under its present guidance.
Diminishing membership that will continue to erode at an increasing rate once one time 4 year memberships expire later this year. Some calculations indicate a 33% drop in membership since 2013. This membership decline will accelerate to an unrecoverable attrition level once the ‘losers‘ of the AGM start resigning or declining to renew, ‘en masse’.
A negative net worth with declining monthly donations and contributions. You cannot fund a provincial election campaign on bombast and self-aggrandization.
A resigned leader that led the BCCP – backwards. Almost two years of virtually no media coverage and no public engagement. ‘Dan Who?’ as the Georgia Strait so aptly described.
No understanding of ‘hot button’ issues that resonate with BC voters who are justifiably concerned about the state of the economy – and the future of the province. Policy is self-serving, out of touch with the mainstream of the BC population and ‘unarticulated’ – to be overly generous.
A widening and unbridgeable ‘chasm’ between two distinct and unreconciled factions within the BCCP. The ‘winners’ clearly have no political sense or focus as they were willing to watch more than half of the BCCP’s support base walk away from the AGM, unrecognized and unsatisfied. There was no attempt to compromise before the AGM or during the AGM – and there has not been an attempt at compromise since. How can a political party ever hope to govern and manage the myriad of factions and challenges that are the political realities when in power – when the BCCP cannot even find a way to compromise and negotiate successful ‘win win’ solutions internally?
The interest in the BCCP’s affairs and status is so diminished that most executive positions were filled by acclamation. In short, no interested and dedicated parties outside of the core intransigent group even wanted to challenge for a Board position.
If ever there was a formula for political failure and ineptitude, the BCCP is the poster boy.
While any savvy political leadership would have found a way to immediately reach out to the ‘losing’ side in order to at least make an offer to ‘rebuild bridges’ and unite in a common interest to fight a common foe, the BCCP remains closed, silent and isolated – just as it will be before, during and after the 2017 BC provincial election.
There was a reported case of an individual rising from the grave and inspiring his followers with ethics, values and principles that resonated to multitudes and over centuries. That, of course, was over two millenia in the past.
If I was a betting man, I would be prepared to risk almost all that the BCCP will not provide a further miraculous resurrection. For a starter, there are grave questions concerning ethics, values and principles. Further to that, I hardly can see any prospects for divine intervention – and there appears to be little else that may restore respectability to this once great political force in the province of BC.
It is not appropriate to wish that the BCCP ‘rest in peace’. Instead, it is more appropriate to wish that the BCCP continues to operate in its own self-serving and self-destructive manner, so that forward thinking and resolute small ‘c’ conservatives can ultimately find or create a viable and credible conservative alternative for the voters of BC.
The BCCP has edged one step closer to becoming a postscript in the annals of BC politics. Will the final determination be made before, or after, the 2017 provincial election?