Assorted items – news, photos, cartoons, quotes – from various political adventures.
OP-ED: Three lessons for Ontario from B.C. and the world of outrageous politics, Globe & Mail (March 2, 2018)
OP-ED: Throne Speech: What was all that about?, Vancouver Sun (August 18, 2017)
Comments on the BC Liberal leadership race, Globe & Mail (August 4, 2017)
On Christy Clark’s decision to leave office, front page, Vancouver Sun (July 31, 2017)
CKNW 98 interview with Michael Smyth on Donald Trump’s chances in the 2016 US election (August 2, 2016)
Interview with CBC’s Richard Zussman on the next BC election in 2017 (May 10, 2016).
Wilf Hurd’s book On the Edge of the Ledge recounting the rise of the BC Liberals between 1986-1991 is reviewed by Vaughn Palmer, which includes the “now legendary road trip” undertaken by Christy Clark and myself (February 27, 2016)
I recently (June 28, 2015) did a podcast with Province columnist Michael Smyth on the BC political scene. Smyth’s column is here. “Economy looking good”, I say.
‘Four Campaign Vets and Insiders Dish on Historic Alberta Vote’ – a report by The Tyee on a post-Alberta election panel hosted by the Broadbent Institute (June 2, 2015). The comments below the article are interesting. To me, they demonstrate two things: the futility of comment pages, and the impediment to the electability of the NDP posed by these perspectives.
Following TV Leaders’ debate, April 2017:
Thanks to John Lehman for a great photo. Sums up 30+ years of political conversations for the two of us.
BC Liberal Convention 2016:
Was a great pleasure to meet Jim Messina, President Barack Obama’s campaign manager and also a key strategist behind David Cameron’s shocking 2015 majority in the UK. Messina, David Plouffe, and David Axelrod are definitely in my political hall of fame for their work with Obama.
It was a great privilege to address Convention delegates on the coming election with my friend Don Guy, who is Canada’s smartest political mind.
Mike de Jong Roast:
Had a great time in January 2015 MC’ing a tribute to Finance Minister Mike de Jong’s 20 years in politics. Back in 1994, I moved to Matsqui for a month to help with the campaign. De Jong, then a twenty-something country lawyer, knocked off a ‘star’ candidate in a nomination battle and hasn’t looked back since. de Jong was feted by a high octane lineup which included NDP counterpart Mike Farnworth, Columnists Vaughn Palmer and Mike Smyth, and Premier Christy Clark. De Jong and Farnworth are both excellent parliamentarians who, across party lines, constructively deal with the business of the Legislature.
The Three Mikes at the Roast…
Vaughn Palmer and “Don Cherry”:
And the boss, with Finance Minister in deep thought …
Intrepid ink-stained wretch Les Leyne was the one and only journalist to cover my first and only Twitter Townhall in the dog days of summer 2012. Apparently I trended… briefly.
Globe & Mail, November 2012. In the eyes of David Parkins, apparently my positive outlook was going to make a splash. My mother admonished me for standing in a canoe.
Later, in March 2013, Parkins portrayed the campaign as the eternal tug of war. Again, I seem to be portrayed as the happy warrior, which is fine by me. Brian Topp needs to lighten up! But he’s probably feeling a lot better after Alberta.
Mike Smyth piece on Brad Bennett here. We were channeling the 1983 campaign in building our strategy.
The Globe’s Gary Mason wrote a lengthy feature on the campaign, which appeared in June 2013 here.
Another recap by Rob Shaw on the campaign here. “Sticking to the plan”
Proof of slow summer news days is Vaughn Palmer’s July 2013 column lifted from one my last newsletters as Party Executive Director. Don’t know about a “permanent campaign” but happy to have passed the torch to @laurakmiller.
This time I was roasted after I self-retired following the 2013 campaign. It was a great excuse to get 200 political junkies in a room and tell tales – mostly at my expense.
Never too far from my mind is the ultimate campaigner’s quote:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. – Theodore Roosevelt