B.C.’s political landscape may be changing.
Two fledgling parties — B.C. First and B.C. Conservative — hope to capture the imagination of British Columbians in the next election; the latter of which is holding a leadership convention May 28 and the former is running a candidate against Christy Clark in Gordon Campbell’s recently vacated seat of Vancouver-Point Grey.
The B.C. First party has achieved some legitimacy on the ground creating its first-ever constituency association in the Cariboo-Chilcotin riding. That will be followed by an association in Cariboo North and then, hopes Gary Young, regional director for the party, in 83 other ridings across the province in time for the next election.
Young is enthusiastic about the future despite the challenges that lie ahead in creating a viable party and breaking through on the provincial stage.
He passionately promotes his party’s ideas that take a little from the left and a little from the right and follows a centrist line.
“We want someone in the middle who’s taking care of small business and the taxpayer. There’s a lot of people who vote left or right who are really centrists and they don’t have a choice of something they can believe in and feel good about,” he says.
Young admits some of the party’s policy is still in formation. But his political talking points include: B.C. Hydro’s focus should be on lower rates for business and the taxpayer, more green power generation, a private sector that is regulated and pays its “fair share,” no HST, incremental increases for the minimum wage, a focus on value added and the cessation of raw-log exports.
Young says public trust and belief is one of the challenges in creating a new party nevertheless he makes the hopeful pitch, “Every person that didn’t vote we would like you to vote for us once. Vote for us this time and we’ll form a majority government.”