Reflected light

It looks like Virginia Greene, Premier Gordon Campbell's star provincial Liberal nomination candidate in Vancouver-Fairview, is surrounding herself with a small constellation of shining supporters. In an interview this morning, Brewers of Canada western vice-president Greg D'Avignon told Public Eye he is managing Ms. Greene's nomination/coronation campaign. Mr. D'Avignon previously worked as executive director of the British Columbia Salmon Farmers Association and was a special assistant to former Prime Minister Kim Campbell.

Norman Stowe, managing partner of powerhouse Vancouver public relations firm The Pace Group, also confirmed he's volunteering for Ms. Greene's nomination campaign. The firm's higher-profile clients have included Star of Fortune Gaming Management (BC) Corp., Molson Indy Vancouver and the Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion Project Ltd. Mr. Stowe, who was a senior advisor during Jennifer Clarke's unsuccessful 2002 Vancouver mayoral campaign, was an aide to Socred cabinet minister Grace McCarthy. He is also a longtime federal Conservative operative.

6 Comments

What makes this green politician a star?Can you imagine the uproar if Carol James endorsed a candidate for nomination, instead of letting the local members choose democratically? Campbell should not stick his nose in this local process, by endorsing his favourite. He might as well do a Martin, and appoint the one he wants. Campbell has a history of being a bit heavy-handed, like firing David Bond for budget criticism and giving an Olympic boost to Furlong.

What makes this green politician a star?Can you imagine the uproar if Carol James endorsed a candidate for nomination, instead of letting the local members choose democratically? Campbell should not stick his nose in this local process, by endorsing his favourite. He might as well do a Martin, and appoint the one he wants. Campbell has a history of being a bit heavy-handed, like firing David Bond for budget criticism and giving an Olympic boost to Furlong.

Why hasn't someone done a full-blown analysis of how federal Liberal candidates and riding associations were changed -- well, OK, Martinized -- in the run-up to the 2004 federal election.

If voters could see a full account of those changes, it would do a lot to correct the democratic deficit, eh?

She is a great candidate - and there is nothing wrong with the Premier recruiting her.

There was nothing wrong with Paul Martin recruiting -- and, in special circumstances -- naming candidates as well.

Sometimes the best candidates come from direct recruitment, and the worst candidates come from a stacked meeting full of bloc voters. If you call a nomination meeting full of thousands of illiterate non-citizen instant members "democracy", I've got some good swampland in Florida to sell you.

As it turns out, the voters reaction to Martin's candidates had very little to do with the appointment process -- the two high-profile ones, Ujjal Dosanjh and David Emerson, won their seats, and are getting good reviews.

You just wait - if the NDP is in government for a long time, and a nomination is seen as a ticket to the election, the NDP Leader (if he/she is worth his/her salt) will be making darn sure that their nominations can't be hijacked by single interest groups only interested in power.

"If you call a nomination meeting full of thousands of illiterate non-citizen instant members "democracy", I've got some good swampland in Florida to sell you."


Hmmn... I don't know about anyone else, but doesn't this comment rub you just the wrong way? I guess in our politically correct world, its not right to say things like the above, but then again, I'm not all that politically correct.

As a member of a left leaning political party, I've spoken out against the practice of mass sign ups for nominations, for a number of reasons. I think that the only benefit to mass signups is a quick hit of cash during nomination races for the respective parties. It has nothing to do with people who are actively interested in the party, more so friends, family, compatriots, and others who basically sign up to vote once in the nomination and then at least 90 percent of the time are neither seen nor heard from again.

Should their nominee not win, alot of times, they have no interest whatsoever in assisting the efforts of the winning nominee in winning the election. And in some cases will go and join another political party. The thing that rubs me the wrong way, is the way that some of the cultural societies allow themselves to be used during these nomination races, by block voting and the like, and even during the election as well.

It has suddenly nothing to do with being the best candidate for office, having the best credentials, being the most active within the community, and the like. When it comes to nominations, it has to do with how many "rent a members" you can sign up... period end of story. And that's where you run into problems such as the one almost encountered in Vancouver Kingsway, where you had a candidate for nomination who pretty much runs the constituency totally contrary to the direction in which the party directions and beliefs are.

And the BC Liberals are as susceptible to it as is the NDP. To me, it's simple. The nomination should be decided by those who have been party members for over a year minimum. People who put the time in, should have the right to decide what person is best suited to represent their vision in a nomination race, not some "rent a member" who you'll never see once the nomination is determined.

This is always an old chestnut that keeps being dragged up - usually by sore losers.

As a former candidate and an individual very active in the political process, I am always frustrated by the number of people who are willing to sit on their hands and let other people do all the "dirty work" of paying for annual party memberships, attending nomination meetings, assisting in policy discussion forums, helping recruit new members, etc ...

Then, when things don't go the way they want - they complain loudly and pompously about how "undemocratic" the process is.

The hard, cold reality is, that if BC citizens don't get off their collective butts and get involved, then they leave control of their province/country to others who do care enough to participate.


Moral of the story? If you don't like the way things are going - get involved and work to change things.


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