Thanks, BC Conservatives, for setting the record straight

Armchair Mayor
By Mel Rothenburger
May 16, 2017 - 11:00am

KAMLOOPS — If all the talk of coalitions and minority governments is confusing you, one bit of clarity was offered on Monday — the BC Conservatives will definitely not form a coalition with the BC Liberals.

This is good to know. Never mind that the Conservatives ran only 10 candidates, elected no one, and received a miniscule number of votes. The Conservatives thought it important to be clear anyway.

So they issued a press release headlined “BC Conservatives reject talk of coalition.”

In part, it said, “The BC Conservative Party rejects BC Liberal claims that they are part of a coalition, and accuse the Liberals of being decades behind the times.”

The need to make sure the public is aware that the Conservatives will maintain their independence is based on an obscure quote far down in a Globe British Columbia story about the election-night results in the Courtney-Comox riding.

That’s the one in which NDP candidate Ronna-Rae Leonard holds a nine-vote lead over the BC Liberal, and which is the subject of a recount, plus maybe some absentee ballots that could affect the final count.

The story is all about BC Conservative candidate Leah McCulloch, who placed fourth but pulled in a couple of thousand votes, enough to deny the Liberals outright victory. Presumably, her support came at the expense of Liberal candidate Jim Benninger.

Benninger, is quoted in the story as saying, “Conservatives are part of our coalition but for one reason or another they have decided they want to break off the coalition and stand on their own. … We know that the only time that the NDP gets elected is when they split the vote on the right.”

Benninger was almost certainly talking about the unofficial “coalition” of conservative-minded voters who have formed the BC Liberal Party’s base for many years. The BC Conservatives, though, want to make sure we all understand there will be no formal deals with the “tax and spend” Liberals.

No doubt Liberals everywhere are crushed at the news they won’t be joining hands with a leaderless, powerless, faceless party whose only success so far has been in finding new ways to go absolutely nowhere.

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