No elected MLA’s (elected under the BCCP banner) since 1975.  Forty two (42) years.  None.  Zero.  No MLA’s.

Popular support?  There are many who actually want to see a small ‘c’ conservative alternative to the unaffordable and economic train wreck that is sure to follow an NDP majority and even more importantly, an alternative to an increasingly evident corrupt and entitled sitting Liberal government that puts patronage and self-interest ahead of the public good – and far ahead of the responsible, transparent and accountable governance of BC.

The BC Greens emergence as the third ‘viable’ option for BC voters in 2017 is partially a result of the incredible and continuing mindless ineptitude of the misdirected and dysfunctional leadership (or lack thereof) of the BC Conservative Party.

Only this morning a televised debate was made available to all BC voters – with three participants.  The incumbent, Premier Christy Clark obstinately ignored all references to her party’s ongoing ethical shortcomings and backtracked on campaign commitments already made.  John Horgan made political promises and promoted social welfare programs that he has absolutely no way to fund without crippling the BC economy.  Andrew Weaver proudly announced that he has six candidates with PhD’s (meaning that they have virtually no real world experience where it really matters in a political sense) and that he is going to find some magic elixir to turn emerging technologies in environmental  areas and climate change (biased) modelling into credible job growth and economic viability.

In the meantime, the tattered remains of the BC Conservative Party managed to scrape together ten (10) individuals (cannon fodder?) who, for better or worse, have put their own reputations and credibility on the line in order to perpetuate the myth that the BC Conservatives are actually an electable, viable alternative in their respective ridings.

The fact of the matter is that they are not all good, properly vetted conservative candidates – but then, they are running for a political party that is virtually clueless concerning real, debatable and concerning issues that will affect all BC voters and residents after the results of the 2017 election are announced.

Without a leader, and without any announced policies that makes any sense as a campaign platform to entice voters, these ten individuals will be attempting to present a case for small ‘c’ conservative voters to forego the business oriented Liberals, the only statistically viable alternative for a majority government in the NDP, and the emerging BC Greens – who may well poll a surprisingly high percentage of the popular vote and a few elected MLA’s, as a consequence.

Much of the Greens support will result from the despair of the family minded, job minded, budget minded and accountability minded BC voter who is seeking a place to put his or her vote rather than spoil a ballot.  There are, of course, a sprinkling of Libertarians, an interesting and emerging group of Your Political Party (YPP) candidates able to attract local voters who demand local accountability and transparency, as well as the usual handful of ‘fringe parties’, a group which now, to the dismay of many, now includes the BC Conservative Party.

For voters in certain ridings, there are strong and supportable independent candidates who may well be able to attract enough votes, both because of the vacuum created by viable alternatives and also because of the growing public demand for accountable government, transparent government and non-partisan government that represents associated communities and constituents, instead of political party dogma.

Some of that independent candidate support will inevitably migrate from small ‘c’ conservative voters who are increasingly dumbfounded that the BCCP has fallen so far in four short years.

Fifty Six (56) candidates campaigned under the BC Conservative Party banner in 2013.

Ten (10) candidates will represent the BC Conservative Party in 2017.

Only last year, the dysfunctional leadership of the BCCP proclaimed that the ‘North’ and the ‘Rural’ constituencies were the ‘strength’ of the party and that these would be the ridings in which the BCCP would make significant gains in 2017.

In 2017, there is One (1) candidate nominated from Northern BC.

In 2017, there is One (1) candidate nominated from the interior of BC.

In 2017, Two (2) candidates nominated from Vancouver Island -where the a BC Conservative candidate doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell.

So what policy vision is the BC Conservative Party proclaiming in order to gain the trust and support of the BC electorate (even in those few constituencies where the BCCP has scrounged up some bodies to run as candidates)?

  1.  Another ferry service from Vancouver to Vancouver Island, using a convoluted, uneconomic and bizarre model that has already been offered, assessed and rejected in prior years.

2.  A ‘raging grannies’ campaign to prevent visitors at hospitals from having to feed Loonies and Toonies into parking meters.

3.  An even more wacky proposal introduced today to give people making charitable donations a $54 rebate for a $500 charitable donation.  The BCCP’s own website clearly states that the BCCP has no clue what this latest bizarre policy initiative would even cost the BC taxpayer.  “We will figure that out after we are elected and before we implement our plan”.

Has anyone with common sense even thought of the prospect that those truly suffering under economic and social hardships won’t have $500 to give to a charity in the first place? 

Some folks may choose instead to say, feed their family, or pay their rent, or enroll their children in initiatives that may actually give their loved ones prospects for a better future.

No discussion on the meaningful issues that are resonating in this 2017 campaign.  No policy relating to job creation.  No policy concerning government ethics and accountability.  No policy concerning infrastructure projects and their viability (excepting, of course, the ‘pie in the sky’ additional ferry option to Vancouver Island where, coincidentally, almost all of the current BCCP directors now reside).

No policy on housing affordability issues.  No policy on energy and the impact of the Carbon Tax.  No policy on education and improving the prospects for permanent full-time, self-supporting jobs for the youth of the province.  No policy concerning the affordability of Health Care – and ways and means to fix the system, in a supportable, and affordable, way.

No vision for the province.  No leadership.  No leader, in fact.

No indication that the remnants of the BC Conservative Party can even see the ‘big picture’, much less provide reasonable and wise solutions to the many challenges that face BC voters and residents.

The BCCP’s own website can’t even stay updated and current concerning the number of candidates nominated.  As at today’s date, there is not a single event announced for the BCCP – or its candidates.  There is not even a name or a picture of all of the candidates nominated on the BCCP’s own website.

It is almost hard for the thousands of conservatives in BC to accept that the BC Conservative Party has joined the Social Credit Party of British Columbia as a fading memory – that must remain an afterthought and a reminder that a fall from grace comes to all who do not move successfully forward in changing times.

This election?  My partner and I are still assessing the barren ground on which we hope to plant the seeds of good government in 2017 and beyond.

This election, it is hoped that most BC voters will have real alternatives to the two political parties who have taken turns in mismanaging the BC economy and dominating the legislature since the demise of the SoCreds.

For some of us, perhaps some highly respected and supportable independent candidates will prove a viable option – and start rebuilding the process of accountability to constituents and consultative government.  For others, perhaps the BC Greens will prove a supportable option.  For still others, perhaps the candidates of the YPP will have something legitimate to offer.  And, who knows, perhaps there are fringe party candidates worthy of your support.  The next 3 weeks will tell the story.  Just ensure that you ask questions and demand answers – and accountability.

All we know as at this date, now that all candidates have been announced, is that BC is fertile ground for an updated and contemporary political alternative that can resonate with voters who are rightfully demanding  and expecting more from politicians – and aspiring politicians.

Do not shed unnecessary tears for political parties and politicians who have lost your respect, lost your trust and ultimately – lost your vote.

Do not waste your tears on barren ground.

Find the fertile soil – even if you have to explore new ground.