Earlier, we broke the news of a push by Organizing for Change - a coalition of environmental groups - to sway the results of the provincial Liberal leadership race. And now the Dogwood Initiative, a member of that coalition, is encouraging its supporters to also "temporarily join" the party so they can cast a vote in that race. In an email sent today, Dogwood's No Tankers director Eric Swanson states the initiative can't endorse a particular candidate because it's a "non-partisan organization. Our goal is to get as many leadership candidates as possible to support a federal legislated tanker ban on BC's north coast. Other organizations like Conservation Voters of BC will be endorsing specific candidates." The following is a complete copy of that email.
From: Eric Swanson, No Tankers Campaign
Sent: Thu Feb 03 09:41:59 2011
Subject: Probably the most important thing you'll read today
There's a provincial leadership race happening and after Feb 26th British Columbia will have a new premier. Enbridge and their corporate backers in China and the tar sands are watching. If the new premier supports Enbridge and their oil supertanker plans, the company will have scored a major victory against British Columbians trying to protect our rivers and coast from oil spills. We need to keep this from happening!
I want the new premier of BC to support a federal law that would forever ban oil supertankers from our north coast.
This is where you come in. Based on the postal code we have on file, you live in the provincial riding of Victoria-Swan Lake, which given the circumstances of this leadership race means you have the opportunity to cast an influential vote - we're calling it a mega-vote. Because of how this election is operating, we've calculated that your mega-vote is about 801 times more powerful than during a normal provincial election.
We have an ambitious plan to activate your mega-vote to help get the next premier of BC to commit to stopping Enbridge's oil tankers. Here's how it works:
1. The candidate elected in the current Liberal Party race will, by default, become the next premier of BC.
2. Unlike normal elections, only Liberal Party members can vote for the incoming premier.
3. You live in Victoria-Swan Lake, which according to the latest information, has approximately 110 Liberal Party members. Yet, our records show there are more than 1646 other No Tankers supporters in your riding. Combined, your mega-votes have a lot of power.
4. If you temporarily join the BC Liberal Party, you'll activate your mega vote and I'll be able to use it as leverage when I ask leadership candidates to go on the record supporting a federal law to ban tankers.
You may have concerns about joining the Liberal Party of BC because of its spotty environmental record, among other issues. I also recognize that many of you support the NDP or Green Party on voting day. But, I fully believe that this is the single most strategic action we can currently take to keep Enbridge's oil tankers off BC's north coast.
The deadline to sign up and activate your mega-vote is Friday, February 4th at 5:00pm.
Click here to temporarily join the BC Liberal Party
This is politics, - let's make it work for us!
For the coast,
No Tankers Director
250 370-9930 ext. 27
P.S. Here's answers to questions I've received so far:
Are enough people signing up? Should I bother to do this? Yes! The initial response has been very positive and the number of No Tankers supporters within the Liberal Party is growing. Signing up will provide crucial leverage needed to demand support for a federal legislated tanker ban from leadership candidates.
Can I be a member of more than one party at once? No. BC Liberal Party members cannot hold other party memberships. Some people have temporarily renounced memberships in other parties to take part in this action.
How long will I have to remain a member of the Liberal Party? To make your membership as effective as possible, I suggest you remain a member until the leadership vote on February 26th, 2011.
Will you tell me which candidate to vote for on February 26th? No. The Dogwood Initiative is a non-partisan organization. Our goal is to get as many leadership candidates as possible to support a federal legislated tanker ban on BC's north coast. Other organizations like Conservation Voters of BC will be endorsing specific candidates.
Can't candidates say one thing and then flip-flop later? Yes, but every time a politician flip-flops they are making a strategic calculation that the pros will outweigh the cons. The No Tankers movement is more than 70,000 strong. Combined, we can make flip-flopping next to impossible.
I support another party. Why should I join the Liberals? Liberal membership is temporary. You can remain a member for as long as you choose. Should the NDP re-open their membership drive, we'll be engaging in a similar strategy to secure support for a legislated tanker ban from leadership hopefuls.