B.C. Conservative Party leader John Cummins?
Win? He won't even run.
It's strange to realize he isn't even nominated in a riding yet, with the election campaign scheduled to start in 14 weeks. Particularly when Cummins has a long federal track record of holding a B.C. seat.
He won elections in Delta for 19 years through three riding reconfigurations and party name changes. You'd think when he retired federally and took over the provincial party in May 2011, his first job would have been to lock up his old federal riding.
But Cummins has moved the party's base of operations over to Langley, in any event. He lives there and the party has set up its headquarters there.
When it comes to committing politically to the area, there are a couple of problems. They are Liberal cabinet ministers Rich Coleman (Fort Langley-Aldergrove) and Mary Polak (Langley).
Not that anyone asked me, but if I were trying to rejuvenate a dormant fringe party, the first priority would have been to get the leader elected.
He could have focused on his familiar Delta turf. He could have run in either of last year's byelections.
But he didn't.
Now, he's weeks away from game time with a skimpy roster, and his name still isn't on it.
With all the other problems he has encountered in the past year, there's a sneaking hunch he won't be in the lineup this spring.
- Independent MLA John van Dongen's conflict-of-interest charge against Premier Christy Clark?
She's safe and sound, if it even comes to a ruling. The handy rule of thumb on conflict of interest is that if you can describe the case in one coherent sentence, then it's probably a conflict.
Van Dongen's complaint runs 23 pages. And it's accompanied by a binder that's about 10 centimetres thick. (His YouTube clip on the issue clocks in at a concise 1:23. But it doesn't get anywhere close to the guts of his case.)
A forced distillation of the charge runs something like this: Christy Clark was deputy premier 10 years ago and even though she recused herself from one key cabinet meeting, she may have attended others where the B.C. Rail deal was discussed, which is wrong because her then-husband and brother had something to do with some of the companies bidding, much of which is based on untested recollections from the sketchy cast of corrupt characters involved.
The case is 10 years old, which will make for a lengthy review.
Conflict Commissioner Paul Fraser handed it off to an out-of-province expert, which will add more time. If there's a ruling prior to election day in May, it will be a surprise. If it goes against Clark, it will be even more surprising.
- Van Dongen will have much better luck with his crusade over the $6-million legal tab that taxpayers picked up for the guilty political aides. Look for a colourful, compelling report from Auditor General John Doyle on that topic in the months ahead.
- B.C.'s February budget?
"Balanced?" Sure. By about $32.50. That will last until the new government's June swearing in, after which the traditional disturbing review of the old regime's books will reveal fountains of red ink all over the place.
Time for a change. Period.
The range will be 50-33-1-1 (Green and Independent) to 60-24-1, depending on the tides, the wind and the stars.
Les Leyne covers the legislature for the Victoria Times Colonist.