As we noted last week, Mike Farnworth is the only provincial New Democrat leadership candidate to have so far recruited both loyalist and dissident MLAs to his campaign. Why is that and what will it mean if that trend continues?
Mr. Farnworth has attempted to reach out to the dissidents by appointing Baker's Dozen member Norm Macdonald as campaign co-chair and stating that everyone shared responsibility for the recent internal strife within the party. The dissidents will likely continue flocking to his banner as a result of concern over what an Adrian Dix or John Horgan victory would mean for their political future. Mr. Farnworth's campaign will likely use those endorsements to frame their candidate as the only one who can unify the party. But such a scenario also increases the possibility Messrs. Dix and Horgan will punish the dissidents should they win the leadership - having no personal reason not to. And that could potentially be very disruptive for the New Democrats.
What effect has Falcon 20/20 had on provincial Liberal leadership candidate Kevin Falcon's campaign?
The third party business group has won Mr. Falcon the endorsement of 143 business leaders, placed a newspaper advertisement in support of his candidacy and signed-up an undetermined number of party members. But the group has also prompted questions about whether the former health services minister would be beholden to the business community should he become premier. And Falcon 20/20 participants have used impolitic tactics to sign-up Liberals for Mr. Falcon - such as an aborted offer to provide Joeys Restaurants managers with an IPad if they recruited 25 or more party members. Indeed, were in not for the group, the Surrey-Cloverdale MLA's campaign would have had a relatively spotless record. So, on balance, it's possible Falcon 20/20 has done more harm to Mr. Falcon than good.
Will the provincial Liberals remain united even if Christy Clark doesn't win the party's leadership?
Much ink has been spilled reporting on the possibility of federal Conservatives leaving British Columbia's governing party should Ms. Clark succeed Gordon Campbell. But what will happen if Mr. Falcon wins the leadership race? Seen by some as the premier's mini-me, a win by the former health services minister could preserve part of the hostility that existed toward the Campbell administration and, by extension, the desire for a more moderate alternative to the Liberals.