BC Liberal Party’s Executive Director Emile Scheffel’s message to fellow Liberals:
THE time to celebrate the victory for First Past the Post in the recent referendum will soon have passed – because every victory is temporary, momentum requires constant effort to sustain, and winning takes work.
But we should take a moment to note just how decisively BC voters rejected the signature initiative of [Premier] John Horgan’s NDP to date – and the fact that Horgan chose to be on a faraway vacation instead of stepping up to own the consequences of his choices.
Nor should we forget that this sham of a referendum process came at a cost to taxpayers of around $15 million – money that could have been invested in child care spaces, school improvements, and health services. And we won’t let voters forget it, either.
As we turn our gaze from the year past to the one ahead of us, I thought I’d share with you BC Liberal HQ’s resolutions for 2019.
Focus on what matters. Under Andrew Wilkinson’s leadership, our team has put a lot of thought and energy into figuring out how we fell short in the 2017 campaign – and it’s become clear that our message and platform weren’t responsive enough to the real needs, concerns, and aspirations of British Columbians.
So we need to focus relentlessly on the ways that we can make a tangible positive difference in people’s lives – especially as families, working people, and small businesses struggle with a rising tide of taxes, fees, and living costs under the NDP.
British Columbians expect to be rewarded, not punished, for working hard. They want to keep most of their pay or pension cheque, be able to afford a place to live, and have fast, convenient ways to travel between their home and workplace. In all these areas, the NDP are failing to meet the needs of the majority of British Columbians – focused instead on inventing new taxes, placating Andrew Weaver, and policies like the union benefits agreement for public-sector projects that rewards political allies to the detriment of construction workers and taxpayers.
We can do better – much better – when it comes to making BC a better and easier place to live, work, and raise a family. Our challenge in 2019 will be sharing that message with British Columbians, and getting their feedback on how the provincial government can serve them better. That’s what Opportunity for all of BC is all about.
Stay humble and hungry. As Kipling wrote, “if you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same…” Complacency and arrogance are political poison, and we are determined to avoid the mistakes of the past. Never again can we let success go to our heads, or think we can’t be beat.
In 2019 and beyond, some things will go the way we want, and some will not. The test of our strength and character as a party will be how we respond to both success and falling short. As far as I’m concerned, the right response is always the same: accept the outcome, learn from the experience, and work even harder.
Out-work our opponents. And boy, do we have our work cut out for us.
Our opponents are not just the NDP and the Green Party. As the recent referendum demonstrated, we face a crowded field of special interests dedicated to keeping the NDP in power – including foreign-funded activist groups like Dogwood and Leadnow, and powerful union bosses who are joined at the hip with the current government.
Our opponents are grimly determined. Just look at the lengths they went to in their effort to rewrite the rules by which they’re elected – a subversion of democracy that would look more at home in a banana republic than in the province we love.
Let’s be honest: the other side have more money and more power. So we need to have a stronger work ethic, a united free enterprise coalition, and a message and culture that empower the majority of British Columbians who would benefit from a BC Liberal government led by Andrew Wilkinson.