One of the crime scenes

Monday, June 08, 2009

A Day for

Winner and Loser
But not for these two!

It's not that we get to say "god damnit" any more than usual today, but today is the day that the recently elected crop of poseurs, pretenders, criminals and such get to swear to serve the party, the Queen and the people (and definitely in that order) during the upcoming session of the Playhouse of Pretend Debate held increasingly rarely in that beautiful Stonepile in James Bay. The oaths will be administered by clerk of the house, E. George MacMinn, in the Chambers. The BC liaR members will take the oath starting at noon and then the dippers have their turn starting at two this afternoon.

Interestingly, Vicki Huntington is the only recently elected MLA not participating in the ceremonies today - is this because she doesn't have a Party Leader to whom to swear allegiance. According to the paper (cough, cough) that one would be tempted to consider the authority on things around James Bay, the Times-Colonist:
Independent Vicki Huntington, who won an upset victory over Attorney General Wally Oppal in Delta South by just 32 votes, will be sworn in tomorrow morning in MacMinn's office.

What Should Vicki Do?

For those who aren't taking a welcome vacation from even giving much of a hoot for "politics as usual," there is lots of discussion about just what our new Independent MLA should try to do and how she will be treated by the "established" parties, particularly his highness, Gordo the Great. In the Georgia Straight, Pieta Wooley seeks out the opinion of Gordon Wilson (the Ceasar to Gordon Campbell's Brutus, when Gordo needed a new party) regarding the options for Ms. Huntington. He points out that there are many issues that both parties have tended to ignore, even during the election and provides just a short list of some of the ignored issues:
Neither the B.C. Liberal government nor the NDP, he said, is substantially addressing run-of-river projects; advocating for a bailout for forestry workers; challenging the hypocrisy of both branding as “green” and building the Gateway project; promoting funding for special-needs education; or protecting aboriginal kids in care.

Many have speculated on Ms. Huntington's treatment, including Gordon Wilson who thinks that "Having just defeated the attorney general, I doubt [Gordon] Campbell will have any sympathy for her." Anyone who remembers the treatment accorded Joy and Jenny when the two women were the only representatives for over 1/3 of the voters of BC, shouldn't expect great favors from Mr. Meaness himself. Women don't seem to get that much respect even when they are smart, talented and wearing the BC liaR badge and sitting in caucus. Women in the liaR caucus aren't expected to do much more than sit on the back bench and knit, or sit on the front bench for appearances sake, to be seen and not heard!

Cabinet Speculation

Also in the Straight, Charlie Smith speculates on what changes Gordo the Great may make to his inner circle, the cabinet. Obviously with the loss of the Great Stonewall changes are necessary, yet the options are limited by a paucity of actual talent. When Michael DeJong is the go-to guy for ministries and ministers in trouble, you know the depth chart is in poor shape. Of course Michael is one of the only MLAs on the liaR side of the House with the brains or perseverance to get a law degree and maybe even pass the bar exam. With Attorney-Generals going down to defeat and Solicitor-Generals constantly running into embarrassing legal difficulties or being investigated, someone like old Ding Dong DeJong becomes unaturally valuble, kinda like those mythical teeth belonging to hens.

Charlie figures that Colin Hansen may be skating on thin ice, thanks to repeated projections completely out of line with reality. Of course by that criteria, Mr. Flaherty in Ottawa would be testing the ease of actually getting an EI Claim going. None of these Neo-Cons, whether called BC Liberals or (non-Progressive) Conservatives actually ever do anything but create fiction that suits their agenda with numerical/financial data. Speaking of ministries, does BC even have an enviroment ministry, or is just having Gordon "Kermit" Campbell in charge enough?

Of course the Achilles Heel (other than the chief heel El Gordo) for the BC liaRs is women, women in general, women in caucus and especially women in cabinet. Carole Taylor could have guaranteed liaR rule for another decade, but for some reason couldn't swallow the liaR agenda, or was perceived as a threat to the master plan. The list of women who have left caucus and/or cabinet is long and will probably continue to grow as the upper echelons of the Cabal don't seem to treat women with any degree of respect. Point four of Charlie Smith's Five things to watch for in a new Campbell cabinet was concerned with this aspect of BC liaR Government.

Which women will receive bigger roles? When the writ was dropped, Campbell had only two full-fledged female cabinet ministers: Shirley Bond and Chong. The other three—Mary Polak, Linda Reid, and Joan McIntyre—were essentially junior ministers responsible for portions of larger cabinet portfolios. Several high-powered women were recently elected as B.C. Liberals: Moira Stillwell, Naomi Yamamoto, Donna Barnett, Jane Thornthwaite, Margaret MacDiarmid, Mary McNeil, and Stephanie Cadieux. McIntyre will probably get a promotion, which might leave Yamamoto and Thornthwaite sitting on the backbenches if Campbell doesn't want to put two North Shore MLAs in the cabinet. MacDiarmid, Stillwell, and McNeil might also have trouble getting into cabinet today if Campbell already has three Vancouver MLAs (himself, Hansen, and Heed) in cabinet. To improve the optics for female Vancouver voters, Campbell could give a post to one of his three new female Vancouver MLAs, but the premier has to be concerned about presenting a front bench that is too Vancouver-centric. The most likely female newcomer to get a cabinet post is Barnett, purely because of geography. She's the only one of the bunch from the B.C. Interior, and she barely defeated her NDP opponent in Cariboo-Chilcotin.

I think that Charlie makes some excellent points above. Also most polls I've seen show that El Gordo was quite un-popular with female voters generally. I think this is something that the NDP "brain trust," if there actually is such a thing, should be addressing. As a woman, Carole James perhaps should have been able to capitalize better on the poor record of the BC liaRs in dealing with women's issues and women themselves in their own party. Of course as leader of the only party with a prayer of de-railing the ongoing Campbell Crime Spree, there are many issues that Carole James and her "brain trust" seemed to prefer to leave UNSPOKEN for the entire twenty-eight days. The whole election came off as an embarrassing display of irrelevant People Magazine type non-issues and now the rest of British Columbia gets to live with the DAMAGE to DEMOCRACY!

3:00pm Update

Everyone knew that the so-called budget was an example of wishful thinking, only for use as a campaign postition for the BC liaRs. The budget was as honest as the statement back in 2001 that Gordo "would not sell BC Rail," and we still don't know exactly what he did with it and what we may still be on the hook for to improve the bottom line of that US subsidiary, Canadian National Rail. So now according to CBC radio Gordo has spoken and will....

1. Announce his new Stonewally free cabinet on
    Wednesday, June 10.

2. He will not convene the Ledge until August 25.

3. A new (and perhaps more realistic) budget will
   be introduced on September 1.

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond Gets It!

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, the legislature's representative for children and youth, shows that she understands how the Campbell excuse for government works and what the Public Affairs Bureau is for. According to Paul Willcock's column in that Lap/Watch Dog the Times-Colonist, she said that their refusal to actually deal with child poverty was typical as:
the focus seems to be on managing the way the public views issues rather than actually tackling the problems.

Mary Ellen should ask for royalties if the Mighty PAB adopts her words as their mission statement - they couldn't write a more appropriate one if they tried, even with almost all the journalists in British Columbia!

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