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Many do not understand BC Liberal party history

She thought it seemed silly for a true Tory to call themselves a Liberal

Many do not understand BC Liberal party history

What a breath of fresh air Perry Foster’s letter was in “Conservatives are alive and well in British Columbia” on Nov. 12. He spoke respectfully and embraced the need to support political diversity in all its differences.

Growing up in a family of what has, at times, been called Red Tories, those that lean towards fiscal conservatism and good government with a nod towards the inclusiveness of society, I appreciated his comments. I and my siblings were raised to respect the political differences of those in the Conservative Party as well as those of other parties, and that it was to the betterment of our country in which to do.

While I am just old enough to remember the Socreds in British Columbia, I do know the history of the party and how the make-up of the current BC Liberal Party is a hybrid of those middle of the road and those to the right of centre in their party.

If there was one part of Mr Foster’s most excellent letter that I feel deserves more comment, is his statement in the third paragraph regarding the public’s perceived knowledge of the make-up of our current BC Liberal Party. He states, “The public is aware of this and understands that a vote for the Liberals will not be a vote for the left side of the political spectrum.”

With all proper and due respect to Mr Foster, I might suggest that unless one is a provincial political wonk, fewer people here know that and will know that as the years go by. Two cases in point add credence to my thoughts on this.

Recently, here in Mill Bay, I had the pleasure of meeting new neighbours from Ontario. One of them shared that she and her husband were ‘small c conservatives’ and voted for the Tories in Ontario. She said that she and her husband sat out the last election here as they did not see a home for them with their usual party in our B.C. riding. When I tried to explain the history, she thought it seemed silly for a true Tory to call themselves a Liberal and then expect her vote. Also, as the years go by, fewer B.C. voters born after year 2000 will know our strange BC Liberal history and any perceived manipulation in its name.

There is also a former Alberta family near me that knows the history of the BC Liberal Party and remains dumbfounded that the federal Liberals do not sue the BC Liberals for copyright infringement. I have to admit, I can see their point.

In 2018 I watched the Ontario provincial debates on the CBC. There were three candidates debating: the Liberal Wynne, the NDP Horwath, and the Conservative Ford. All three provincial candidates’ parties had a link to the federal party. Watching this I became envious of Ontario. Later I thought that British Columbia should surely be as important as Ontario in clarity of party. More’s the pity that the BC Liberals cannot be that transparent with the voters.

Michael King St. Clair

Mill Bay

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