BC Politics — Corruption as usual

There's one thing you can always count on in BC Politics:  It's never about what's best for the province or the people, but about what's best for the people wanting power over both of them.

In the wake of the latest scandal-ridden BC Premier, Gordon Campbell, the dog and pony show has been in full swing to see who gets to sit in the Big Chair.

BC Liberal Party president Mickey Patryluk says she's doing her best, but she's only human.  That stunning revelation came in the wake of the shocking-to-some exposure that one of the newest members of the BC Liberal Party is not a human being, but a fuzzy cat named Olympia Marie Wawryk.

Who the heck gives their cats a middle name?  Our cat is affectionately called Goofball, because, well, that's what he is.

And despite all of his protestations to the contrary (and his ability to train us to his every whim) he's not a human being, and we don't find it difficult to keep that fact straight in our minds.

So to listen to Olympia's owner, Kristy Wawryk, is a volunteer for Christy Clarke's leadership bid and BC Liberal Party riding association president for South Delta, say the cat is actually her great-aunt… well, let’s say that Integrity isn’t Ms. Wawryk’s middle name.

When the president of the riding association is so clearly lacking integrity, it's no wonder the Liberal Party itself is perceived as having none.

What's less clear is how Wawryk's lack of integrity and willingness to mislead pretty much everyone about her cat's membership card, is how this will land on leadership hopeful Christy Clarke.

Christy Clarke's campaign was quick to set the record straight.  Well sort of, anyway.  They claimed that the cat was signed up as a prank by some unnamed person, and that Ms. Wawryk, who, by the way, handles all of Christy Clarke's scheduling for the leadership race, "misspoke" when asked about her cat's new membership in the BC Liberal Party.

They have asked the party to strike the cat from the membership roster.

"Please remove the cat from the membership roster."

Wow... that's mighty big of her.

Christy Clarke's supporters no doubt would have preferred a stronger response.  By attempting to whitewash this sort of crap to protect one of her insiders, all Clarke's campaign succeeded in doing is showing that Clarke likely suffers from the same lack of integrity as Ms. Wawryk appears to suffer from.

Now exactly the best thing to tell the world when you're trying to become BC's next premier.

They later were able to trot out the [alleged] culprit.

Joel de Guzman said he mailed in Olympia’s membership application as a prank and planned to tell Ms. Wawryk, after the leadership vote. However, he said he didn’t really expect the party would give the cat a membership.

But that's politics in BC.  Corrupt as ever and as lacking of integrity as, well, pretty much all politicians.

Or so the perception goes, anyway.  I'm sure there are examples of elected officials who have mountains of integrity.  I've just never met one, that's all. (If you have, please enlighten me!  I’d love to hear about them!)

Kevin Falcon is another leadership hopeful.  In a Globe article on the issue, (Fur flies over alleged fraud...) he was quoted to say,

"I’m disappointed that Christy’s campaign tried to pass it off as a prank. What’s so funny about fraudulently signing up memberships?”

He's got a point.  There's nothing funny about fraud.  Not even when it comes to elections in one of Canada's most scandal-ridden political capitals.

Another leadership hopeful trying to get some free publicity was Gordon Abbot.  He claimed to be "sounding the alarm for weeks" over the potential for fraudulent memberships because of the party's verification process.

"The party has to step up here."

Don't be holding your breath on that Gordon, because BC Liberal Party boss Mickey Patryluk has only one thing to say to you or anyone else on the issue of election and membership fraud:

"We are doing absolutely the best we can."

Well Ms. Patryluk, your best is clearly not good enough, is it?

Her solution so far has been very lame: to limit the number of family members that can sign up for a membership on a single credit card to four, and to mail membership correspondence to the applicants' home.

Where the hell else would you send it, for crying out loud?

She is quick to speak in her own that she has hired an outside auditor to "look into the issue", but the results of that audit will come well after the province's new and unelected premier is chosen.

Yup...politics as usual here in British Columbia.  Sleazy and slimey as always.

Can't imagine why voter apathy (anti-HST petitions notwithstanding) is at an all-time high.

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For more information on the candidates and how they want you to perceive them, I recommend reading the Globe and Mail article "How B.C. Liberal leadership candidates are defining themselves."  They do a decent job on spelling things out for those of us, the unwashed masses, who will have to suffer under the so-called leadership of whoever wins the right to sit in the Big Chair.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

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