Thursday, May 19, 2011

Did Christy Clark Actually Say Something Of Substance Amongst The Name Change Chatter?



Now that the BC Liberal Party has successfully changed the channel with all that name change codswallop, it would appear that it's back to business as usual in Lotuslandia.

Which is great news for a government whose shiny new leader was very nearly flung onto the talk show scrap heap just a week ago.

Especially when you've got a $5 million PR campaign to mount that is designed to get the peasants to vote for a "heads we win, tails they lose" style referendum.

Interestingly, however, Paul Willcocks noticed that the leader of the now self-admitted LINO's* actually said something potentially interesting at their Gord-Free Convention last weekend:

"...(M)uch more significant (than the call for a name change) was Premier Christy Clark's pledge to end the party's practice of preventing nomination challenges for incumbent MLAs. That's been an unwritten, but strictly enforced, rule...."

Mr. W. then went on to describe how open nominations can be a good thing for grass roots democracy.

And, in principle, I agree.

But then Paul threw in a wee word of warning:

"...There are risks to allowing open nomination contests. A well-funded, ambitious would-be candidate could hijack a constituency association, sign up a bunch of instant party members and take over without real support from party members..."

Which got me to thinking about another piece that Mr. Willcocks wrote about Ms. Clark's now former husband, Mr. Mark Marissen.

I've always found the following passage from that piece, which was published in BC Business in 2007, particularly interesting:

"...There is no denying the Marissen team played rough. The most infamous episode saw the (Paul) Martin forces take over the riding association of (Federal Liberal) MP and Chr├ętien supporter Herb Dhaliwal in 2002, while Dhaliwal was out of the country and his wife was dying of cancer. The takeover not only locked up delegate support for Martin; it killed Dhaliwal’s chances of running again. He blames (David) Basi and others on Marissen’s team, complaining of questionable mass sign-ups of instant Liberals. The riding association swelled from 250 to almost 3,400 members during the campaign to get rid of Dhaliwal..."

Which has to make at least some enquiring minds wonder what the real intent was behind Ms. Clark's call that was hidden in the middle of all the moniker-mongering last weekend.

But never mind all that.

Instead, did you catch the name of the third man that flew by, almost in passing, in the short passage above.


That one.

The one who once worked with former LINO Finance Minister Gary Collins back in the days when Ms. Clark was the Deputy Premier to his Gordness who much later went on to become one of the recipients of the $6 Million Dollar LINO-Man-assisted pay-off package not so long ago.

What was that all about, you may be asking?

Well, for a little deep background let's go to the following, from a piece from Charlie Smith in the GStraight from way back in ancient times (ie. Jan 15th, 2004) when the LINO's were still riding relatively high in the saddle and no one knew anything about a dinner at the Villa of the Wolf a few weeks earlier:

"On two separate occasions, Finance Minister Gary Collins welcomed to the B.C. legislature's visitors' gallery a Young Liberal who was later linked to the takeover of Herb Dhaliwal's federal riding association.

Despite this, Collins told reporters on January 2 (2004) that he "honestly" did not know why supporters of then MP Paul Martin took over Dhaliwal's riding association in 2002 while Dhaliwal was out of the country.

On April 29, 1999, Collins welcomed Amar Bajwa, then president-elect of the B.C. Young Liberals, to the visitors' gallery. According to Hansard, Collins also introduced Bajwa's mother, Jaswant Bajwa, president of the India-Canada Cultural Association of British Columbia, and his brother Pawan.

Several media outlets have reported that Amar Bajwa is a friend of Collins's fired ministerial aide, David Basi, and that Bajwa was the Vancouver Burnaby South federal Liberal riding membership chairman who helped replace Dhaliwal's supporters with a pro Paul Martin slate.

On May 27, 2001, Collins again welcomed Bajwa and 11 other young B.C. Liberals to the legislature's visitors' gallery: Aneal Basi, Naveen Bains (a former B.C. Young Liberals president), Jag Bains, Perry Bhaniwal, Keleim Manji, Savik Sidhu, Nab Gill, T. J. Parhar, Bikrum Gill, Reet Bains, and Jonathan Chau..."

Whole lotta 'Boyz' there, eh?

Of course, at least one name is notably absent.

After all, way back then Mr. Virk was still apparently known to the general public only as 'Bob from Burnaby'.


*LINO = Liberal In Name Only
Now, imagine you are an MLA from the Fed-Con wing of the soon to be newly-named B.C. Conservative Liberal Alliance Party (aka "The CLAP!")...Would this open nomination policy business have you a little concerned that the FedLib wing of the party might have their eyes on your riding?...Well, if you if you were such a red-meater you would probably be fully in agreement with the following statement from Kevin "Call-Me-On-My-Cell-If-You-Need-A-Roof" Krueger who, according to Mr. Willcocks, responded to Ms. Clark's call by saying that '...he (Krueger) enforced the ban on nomination challenges as caucus whip. People who wanted to challenge an incumbent were "encouraged" to look elsewhere, he said. "It was not 'open season' and it won't be 'open season' this time,"...' ....Gosh....Is that the sound of the fly atop the big tent I hear ripping?


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