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Wishing Won’t Make Third Party Appear In BC

May 11, 2010

A subject that seems to be in the BC media narrative as of late is the theoretical emergence of a significant third party that is not BC Liberal or New Democrat. Heck, even a poll was published by Angus Reid has declared that a theoretical centre-left third party would win government and a centre-right one would win official opposition.

However, pining by columnists and polls does not a third party make. In reality, significant third parties don’t come out of nowhere; they come from years of organizing, fundraising, and outright hard work, most of which is ignored by the vast majority. So, keeping that in mind, let’s look the organizations in BC that are most likely to germinate a significant third party.

Let’s start with the centre-left, you know, where the theoretical third party that’s supposed to win government in the next election.

First of all, we have the BC Greens, which are at present, currently are the third party, though arguably not significant. The funny thing is, the polls have them nowhere near government. Why? My opinion (which one can take with a grain of salt): because the Greens have terrible branding (Green parties are known all over the world for environmental policy, and that’s all, even if that is untrue) and terrible messaging discipline (My experience: get two Green candidates into a roon, get three visions of a province lead by the Greens).

Also mentioned is the possible resurrection of the Progressive Democratic Alliance, a political party that was lead by former BC Liberal leader Gordon Wilson until he crossed the floor to the New Democrats. However, the problem with that is that has already been tried by a group of people, who finding financial obstacles resuscitating the PDA name, formed the Democratic Alliance, which merged to become Democratic Reform BC, which then died off.

On the centre-right, we have the BC Conservatives, which, at present, doesn’t have much of an organization, but is to a degree using the anti-HST petition to try to establish one. Which is rather ironic, considering that the BC Conservatives were for the HST in the last election. Oh, and the BC Conservatives also don’t have a leader (and the frontrunner for the position, from my limited view, seems to be Chris Delaney, yesterday’s news as the former leader of the Unity Party).

Personally, with my current information, I have a hard time seeing these political parties getting seats, let alone becoming official opposition or government.

In the end, despite all of this talk about third parties, out of the two major political parties, the one that has its partisans go into a panic first will lose the chance to be government in the 2013 election.

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