Tuesday, August 24, 2010

BC Conservative Party rocked by executive resignation and allegations it will support HST

The BC Conservative Party has been rocked by the resignation of a key longtime executive member and his allegations that the Party will accept the hated Harmonized Sales Tax because of the influence of federal Conservative party supporters.

Below is the complete letter of resignation from the executive and party of Blake MacKenzie, a 12-year member of the BC Conservatives.

Ironically, because they are increasingly seen as an anti-HST right of centre alternative to the unpopular BC Liberal Party that imposed the new tax, the BC Conservatives have been rising in the polls.

A July poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion put the BC Conservatives at 8% province wide, compared to the BC Liberals at just 23%, the BC NDP at 46% and the Green Party at 14%.

More astonishingly if MacKenzie's predictions prove true, 75% of British Columbians want the HST abolished and 67% of voters in BC Liberal ridings would sign a recall petition to remove their MLA.

But a news release dated August 22 from BC Conservative Party President Wayne McGrath seems to validate MacKenzie's charges, as it states in part that:

"British Columbians need relief now in the form of increased exemptions from the HST. The government needs to lessen the load for British Columbians now by removing more items from the tax," McGrath said.

Here is MacKenzie's letter, which I obtained. I welcome a response from the BC Conservatives.

* * * * *

August 23, 2010

Dear BC Conservative Party Members, the president, and Board,

It is with deep regret that I wish to inform you that I am resigning effective immediately from the Provincial Board of Directors as Director at Large, and cancelling my membership in the party.

I have lost confidence in the leadership of the party and the direction it has chosen to follow.

I have been deeply concerned by the backroom dealings and the amount of power that has transferred into the hands of an unelected group of self ordained political brokers to guide the party. Those of us who were actually elected back in September are being trampled and moved out of the way in favour of appointed, unelected people who are now controlling the party.

I would have thought the party would have learned its lesson from 2004 where operatives working for both the BC Liberals and the federal Conservatives came in and caused maximum disruption and prevented BC Unity from merging with the BC Conservative Party.

The Party is now dominated with mostly political appointments by the TAG group and their leader Randy White. The Provincial board has been taken over by those closely allied to the federal Conservative Party and their members currently involved in the BC Liberal Party.

I cannot and will not support this type of activity in the party. Some of our finest talent in the party is being marginalized because of their opposition to the HST.

Chris Delaney is the most public figure in our party and the leadership regards him as though he is a liability to the party. His treatment by the TAG leader Randy White, President Wayne McGrath, and Conservative MP John Cummins can only be described as disrespectful and disingenuous.

The one person who could point thousands of people to our party and has, with his involvement as a leader in the Fight HST organization, helped to demolish the BC Liberals, is considered by these unelected newcomers as not good enough to side with or mention his name in conjunction with the BC Conservative Party name. Shame!

I can no longer support a party that sides with the BC Liberals and the federal Conservative Party over the HST and over the people of BC. The people of BC have spoken and the party leadership in the BC Conservative Party will not listen. Pretending to listen is not listening.

We all know where the HST policy is going to come from; it will be developed by federal Conservatives as a watered down version that still accepts the HST to make sure their political masters in Ottawa are satisfied. I know the people of BC will not approve.

The party is now in the hands of outside, unelected interests which contradicts one of our most important constitutional philosophies - representing the interests of British Columbians first above all others.

The party leadership considers working with failed BC Liberal politicians and federal Conservatives who supported the HST, over attracting the hundreds of thousands of people in BC who oppose the HST, and oppose those who gave it to us. I for one will not be part of watching the party be taken over by a group of people, only to see them bring forth the same type of top down, backroom, undemocratic politics we were trying to replace in the BC Liberal Party.

I believe the choices made by the leadership of the party, including the TAG leader Randy White and the Fed Cons will fail, and the BC Conservative Party will collapse into obscurity.

I will continue to work together with all others of good faith for the betterment of British Columbia to ensure BC stays in the hands of the people of BC, and out of the clutches of those who would use her for their own ends.


Blake MacKenzie
Former elected Director at Large and member of the BC Conservative Party since 1998.



Stan Mortensen said...

Well, I guess we should not be terribly surprised but I am wondering if we are not seeing a stage being set here.

This seems to be an almost parallel situation to 60 years ago with the old Liberal-Conservative Coalition government and of course those of us who know or have been a part of BC History remember what happened in the 1952 election (I know ancient history by some accounts).

One thing you have to admit about BC politics, there is never a dull moment and you must always expect the unexpected.

SB said...

This should surprise nobody the BC Liberals are a definite far righ conservative acting party simply using a Liberal name and they have used it up most certainly aiding the Fed Conservative agenda of Harper and making anything Liberal look bad in BC , Campbell being with him in Europe not long ago may not be a coincidence at all.
The people who showed they could possibly kick start an honest BC Conservative party have been taken over by a group of ex BC Libs and the TAG group someone may want to look back to the same thing happening with the BC Liberals back in the 1990s ask Gordon Wilson about who was behind the curtains see if any similar names show up.
One thing is sure it appears they should not be trusted anymore than our Campbell led BC Libs something is afoot there .

Anonymous said...

"1990s ask Gordon Wilson about who was behind the curtains see if any similar names show up."

Gordon Wilson was between the sheets with Judy and in the late 1990's opened the door to his new NDP Minister's Office.

SB said...

TO answer anonymous -
Gordon Wilson was between the sheets with Judy and in the late 1990's opened the door to his new NDP Minister's Office.

But Campbell has no such issue - paid on satff if politics are allowed to pry that deep how do you not talk Mr Campbell and an impaired conviction.
This can be played forever too bad i dont get paid like PAB hacks do though.

sheanmacdonald said...

If what Mr. Mackenzie says is further proved by the actions of the conservativees at the AGM i will be really pissed, we know BC needs a party that listens to and acts for the people/voters. i joined the bcconsevative party believing this to be the case if the BCconservatives don't listen, they will fade back into obscurity.

how are we to Take a Stand?
How the hell are to believe would be politicians we have to vote for someone, so tell me, who?
me, myself, and I???

Anonymous said...

What is the "TAG group"?


Blake MacKenzie writes: "I would have thought the party would have learned its lesson from 2004 where operatives working for both the BC Liberals and the federal Conservatives came in" and "The Provincial board has been taken over by those closely allied to the federal Conservative Party and their members currently involved in the BC Liberal Party."

And that is why we will see no 'Wild Roses' here: BC Conservative success means splitting the right and that can't be allowed.

Mike Summers said...

The BC Refederation Party is struggling for media acknowledgment.
We were 5th largest going in to 2009.
We expect to do better in 2013.

Anonymous said...

It's simple all. Vote NDP. Jack Layton has a strong track record of working for the people. Olivia Chow, his wife, matches him and maybe exceeds him in her work for a better Canada. I am from Toronto and have seen their work first hand. It seems that we like to vote in psychopaths because during the election the manipulate and charm us. Next election think. Do you want a Jack Layton who will work for you or a Stephen Harper who is being manipulated by backroom interests? Your choice!!!

Anonymous said...

It sure looks like a stage being set Stan. For Chris Delaney to start his new party, "BC First". Course, he has his right-hand man, Sal Vetro as the public face, just in case it doesn't work out (again, think BC Unity). See Vaughn Palmer's column today.

Stan Mortensen said...

I hope it is not BC First and its' backers many of whom were a part of the centre-right wars of the late 90's. I had to sit through many agonizing meetings involving some pretty far right nut bars (Enterprise League, Unity, Reform BC, BC First - not their first incarnation)
Not a comfortable position for a centre aligned, gay individual such as myself - did a lot of tongue biting especially with the likes of Kathleen Toth and Heather Stillwell at my table.
Thankfully that is ancient history in politics.


Anonymous said...

Fighting against taxes is about the lowest form of vote chasing that there is. It is easy to do of course much as Fight HST has proven but let’s see the likes of Delany put his name on yet another ballot for who knows what party and once again we will watch this frosted flake go down in flames.

Anonymous said...

A person has to notice, Campbell is stomping The Liberal party name, right down into the mud. It is also obvious, Campbell is working hand in hand with Harper. They have made sure, the BC people have no doubt, of their very close partnership.

Ignatieff, also supports the HST. He first said no, and then did an about face, he now supports the HST. That makes him, a snake in the grass, and so is Harper.

Right now, the future for Canada, and especially BC's future, looks very grim.