As excuses go for a political party leader to not run in an upcoming by-election in his own backyard, BC Conservative leader John Cummins came up with a very lame one:
“I’m on the road an awful lot with the party now, travelling throughout the province, growing the party. For me to be tied down to the duties of an MLA would be very inhibiting at this time”
“You’ll recall that Deb Grey won that byelection in 1989, was a very effective voice for us in the party until the 1993 election, and that certainly gave Preston Manning time to travel throughout the country and raise the profile of the party,”
Not that the current BC Conservatives brainiacs would ever take my advice but when the polling numbers are showing a loss for their leader, you have to come up with something more than “I don’t want to be tied down“. It’s a slap in the face of the voters and a very weak argument for not running.
People won’t believe talking to 15 people over coffee in Williams Lake is better than the media exposure that a sitting MLA gets and to use Manning (who is supporting the Liberals) as an example is reflexive and not at all convincing or relevant to BC.
The simple, “we have a democratic process to select a great candidate in that riding and for me to supplant that person is not what this party is about” would have more than sufficed.