Friday, June 11, 2010
Is Ida Chong the next Blair Lekstrom project resignation?
Former BC Liberal Energy Minister Blair Lekstrom quit both the cabinet and BC Liberal caucus on Friday June 11 over his riding's opposition to the HST to sit as an independent - will BC Liberal cabinet minister Ida Chong be the next to go?
One thing is abundantly clear from Chong's interview with Victoria CFAX radio host Adam Sterling on Friday - the Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA is not making any commitment to stay on the sinking ship captained by BC Premier Gordon Campbell after Lekstrom's stunning resignation.
The new Small Business Minister Chong - promoted courtesy of Lekstrom's departure - repeatedly refused to rule out quitting the caucus under intense questioning from Sterling.
The question is - why wouldn't she answer the question? Answer it plainly, that is.
Chong knows her very slim win in the 2009 election and overwhelming opposition to the Harmonized Sales Tax in her riding mean she is on the slippery slope to Recall come November.
Here is CFAX Radio AM 1070's news report of the interview - judge for yourself Chong's commitment to staying in the shell-shocked BC Liberal caucus.
And don't forget to vote in this blog's new poll on which BC Liberal MLA is most likely to quit next - it's on the upper right hand side of this web page.
Adam Stirling: "The question on everybody's minds right now is: do you, or do you ever see yourself resigning over opposition to the HST as another BC cabinet member?"
Ida Chong: "You know I got elected because I was worried about this province and I joined a party that I believe had all the fundamentals to keep our economy strong and moving forward. And as long as we can continue to do that, I will do that, and I realize that at times there will be tough decisions and tough decisions require courage and require leadership and that's what I'm prepared to provide.
Stirling: "So, that's a NO?"
Chong: "It means I'm going to continue to work hard to make sure our constituents get the best economy and the best quality of life that we can"
Stirling: "So is that not a NO?"
Chong: "You know, I think it's really clear that when you talk about standing for office you have to stand on the basis for which you were first elected and those are the principles that I have."
Apparently Chong is considering which priniciples those are - blind loyalty to Gordon Campbell or her responsibility to the voters who elected her as their representative - and who don't want the HST imposed on them.