I've begun to change my mind.
First was Abbott's early proposal to add a question to the HST referendum about the continuation of carbon tax hikes following the hikes already scheduled. Abbott says he will abide by the people's decision on both the HST and carbon tax.
The latter puts me in conflict with two of the three priority issues that guide my voting preference, which I've listed elsewhere and repeat here:
Regarding Abbott's carbon tax referendum question, I worry about its result, that British Columbians will turn down future hikes. But I worry more about lack of democratic process and meaningful consultation with the public. Since the latter is dominant for me, I support Abbott's carbon tax referendum proposal.
In like theme, I support Abbott's proposal to have the people - through a meaningful process of dialogue among non-profits, aboriginal communities, business, the immigrant services sector and the BC Government - create a child poverty policy with legislated reduction targets five years and ten years out.
"The participants themselves would be tasked to define the problem and design a set of solutions together through ongoing dialogue, and also submit to taking action as partners to support the solution in recognition that no single group alone can solve the problem," says Abbott's news release.
With this and other concrete proposals that combine meaningful public consultation with policy creation, George Abbott comes across as a solid candidate for the BC Liberal leadership. It doesn't hurt that
- he has 16 MLAs who support his candidacy;
- he stands second in public opinion only to Christy Clark - who has the support of one MLA;
- another frontrunner, Kevin Falcon, has dropped like a stone in those same public opinion polls (could it be all those business endorsements?); and
- the BC NDP prefers anyone but Abbott as leader of the BC Liberals.
More and more George Abbott looks like the candidate to beat.
ETA Jan 30: Dirty tricks may beat Abbott's otherwise excellent odds. Despite all leadership candidates declaring support for the weighted vote - each riding's constituency association would get 100 points -, word is that the Christy Clark, Mike de Jong and Kevin Falcon campaigns have all been working to ensure enough delegates to vote in their chosen one's favour; i.e., against the measure. And all three campaigns have been signing up 1000s of new memberships in four key ridings in the lower mainland. Those four ridings could alone determine who becomes leader of the BC Liberals; in effect, making the BC Liberal Party even more a regional, not a provincial, party.
Recommend this post