Coalition building

CKNW host Christy Clark hasn't yet said whether she'll be entering the provincial Liberal leadership race. But one of leadership candidate Kevin Falcon's well-known supporters is already floating one reason why politicos should think twice before supporting her. In a private email obtained by Public Eye, Ray Castelli writes Mr. Falcon is "the only candidate that has a hope of keeping the provincial Liberal coalition together and beating the NDP. I like and respect Christy Clark but I know far too many Conservatives who have either left to join the provincial conservatives, or have told me they'd bolt the next day, if she wins."

Asked for comment, Mr. Castelli explained, "I have enormous respect for Christy. I have known her almost as long as Kevin...But I'm a strong believer, (the Liberals) have got to be a coalition, it has to stay a coalition and I honestly believe Kevin has a better chance of keeping a coalition together and keeping people from leaving" for the BC Conservatives.

"I think Christy's got a mountain to climb to do that," he continued. "She's been very outspoken and negative about the federal ministers and you've never heard Kevin say a bad thing about Ignatieff. So if you're going to run a coalition, you've got to be respectful to both sides. And I think Kevin's reached out to all parts of the coalition."

But, that being said, Mr. Castelli said, "If Christy were to win, I'd have no problems supporting her. I'd work my ass off to help her - to keep the coalition together. But I just think Kevin has a better chance of it."

The following is a complete copy of that email.

***

Sent: Wednesday
To: Ray Castelli
Subject: Kevin Falcon

Hi,

Just writing to see if you're interested in getting involved in the provincial leadership race.

If you are, would love you to consider supporting Kevin Falcon.

We've known Kevin since University and he's always been a strong supporter of our federal party.

I also think he's the only candidate that has a hope of keeping the provincial Liberal coalition together and beating the NDP.

I like and respect Christy Clark, but I know far too many Conservatives who have either left to join the provincial conservatives, or have told me they'd bolt the next day, if she wins

More importantly, I think Kevin's got the energy, the drive and a record of accomplishment (both in Transport and at Health).

If you're interested in getting involved, let me know.

Regards,

Ray

4 Comments

Proof please?

Just because Her Maryesty sang pretty much the same carol when she decided to join the Falcon chorus... when Mr. Falcon himself has pledged to fix autism with Her Maryesty all gung-ho for him... doesn't make it true. Just ask any autistic kiddo in B.C.

Meanwhile, the Christy Clark Draft has hard polling data showing she's the right choice to beat the BCNDP. Yup, Mr. Second Best can do amazing, classy stuff; but just wait. Timing IS everything... and I will personally put in a good word for Her Maryesty when the time's right and the Avro Arrow (aka EIBI) soars again... or that autism centre gets built.

While I have a lot of respect for Ray, I'm not sure that he's backing the right horse on this one.

Falcon has done a great job as a Minister but his attack-dog reputation won't serve him well as Leader, no matter how hard his team tries to gloss it over with ads of him as a new Dad.

Ray does know a lot about Conservatives bolting from a bad leadership choice. If you remember he supported Kim Campbell to follow another once-great leader who had overstayed his welcome. And we all know how that turned out...

I don't get what the big deal is. Surely a citizen is entitled to his own opinions what with us having free speech and all. The tone of Castelli's email is respectful, diplomatic and simply expresses the facts as he sees them. By drawing further attention to this, the people around Christy are only continuing to harm her chances. Similar to when they ran her a ground in the NPA nomination a few years ago. She is a good person and deserves far better.

Ray Castelli may well be right. The difficulty is that the argument he makes is more true when applied to Kevin Falcon vis-à-vis Liberals. True Liberals simply can't stomach the thought of Kevin Falcon as Leader, and would want the Liberal name given to a true progressive party in the event he were to win.

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