‘If I’m guilty of anything, it’s changing my mind,’
What a banal way to make an action that calls to mind words such as renege, weasel, forsake, apostatise – sound almost noble.
Before we rush to knight Speaker Plecas for gallantry let us consider a few facts.
Speaker Plecas did not become the MLA for Abbotsford South through his own efforts and hard work, but via a bargain made with Christy Clark and the BC Liberal Party.
That bargain saw Speaker Plecas forced upon the Abbotsford South Liberal riding association, displacing Moe Gill who had worked hard on behalf of the Liberal party in Abbotsford for years.
Forcing Speaker Plecas onto/into South Abbotsford was viewed as so unacceptable, the riding association resigned in protest.
In light of that resignation the right thing to do, for anyone with a moral compass, would have been to decline the nomination and support the right of the members of local riding associations to chose the candidates for their ridings,
Instead Speaker Plecas, acting in his own self-interest, used his faustian bargain with Christy Clark and the Liberal party to become the Liberal MLA for South Abbotsford.
It is easy to be holier than thou – about other’s lack of a moral compass or failure to do the right thing – when a faulty memory permits you to ignore your own behaviours and cry “I Never ______!”
Still, it is hard to have much sympathy for Christy Clark or the Liberal party over Speaker Plecas’s actions, given their actions making Speaker Plecas the Liberal MLA in South Abbotsford. In fact I admit to a gleeful appreciation of the justness being reaped as a result of Speaker Plecas’s behaviour.
Speaker Plecas was considered a star candidate NOT as a result of demonstrated ability, but as a result of being frequently quoted in the media.
Frequently quoted because he could be depended on to 1) ignore the mountain of evidence and experience that current policies have failed, adding to the problems; 2) ignore research, studies and advances in understanding of the brain and human behaviour; 3) speak about the need to continue current policies and of continuing to do what has been done for years, hoping that at some point in the future it accomplishes something useful..
Repeating trite truisms is not a skill sought after by, or of use to, a government caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. A reality that saw Speaker Plecas relegated to the obscurity of the Liberal backbenches.
Speaker Plecas repudiation of his covenant with the voters of South Abbotsford who re-elected him, has placed him back in the spotlight and his position as Speaker of the House ensures his name and statements will receive media attention.
I have no doubt that a portion of Speaker Plecas’s constituents support his actions given that election of a MLA from South Abbotsford who would act to solidify the NDP’s position as the government of BC would require a double dealing scoundrel, every constituent of Speaker Plecas who voted NDP has to be cheering Speaker Plecas’s lack of ethics
Speaker Plecas is now speaking out about how he disagreed with the Liberal Party policies.
Speaking our after – rather conveniently – remaining silent before and during the election campaign that saw him re-elected.
Ironically, it was the Liberal Party’s panic about John van Dongen, the long time Liberal MLA from Abbotsford South, running as an independent after resigning from the Liberal Party that prompted Christy Clark and the Liberals to parachute in a ‘star’ candidate.
When John van Dongen found himself with differences with the Liberal party, he resigned from the Liberal party and ran as an independent, respecting his constituents – and himself rather than covering his ass by remaining silent.
How could anyone expect NDP leader Horgan, having found a Liberal quisling, to do anything other than flatter Speaker Plecas and stroke his ego?
And why would BC Green leader Andrew Weaver not join the NDP in stroking Speaker Plecas’s ego?
In joining the NDP Speaker Plecas ensures the Greens won’t have any immediate need to answer to their constituents for anointing the NDP the government of BC and provides a high visibility target to blame when the costs and consequences of the NDP’s irresponsible financial management come home to roost.
No amount of verbiage will alter the fact that Speaker Plecas’s actions indisputably demonstrate that his words – and his word – have no worth.