Opposition Should Boycott Un-Elected Regime’s Throne Speech

BC’s Lieutenant Governor Steven Point should refuse to accept the legitimacy of  Christy Clark’s seizure of  the government without an election and without ANY public mandate  for either herself as premier or the platform she plans to undemocratically put forward for the province in the Oct. 3 Throne Speech.

But of course, Lieutenant-Governor Steven Point wil not do that. No big surprise: he will show up and try to make it look like democracy is alive and well in British Columbia.

But it is not.

All the pomp and ceremony will not hide the truth: Christy Clark was never endorsed as premier by the people of the province and has no mandate under historical precedents or Parliamentary traditions to act as one and put forward an agenda for a majority-controlled legislature to rubber stamp.

BC’s government has been taken over in a  politically-manipulated coup…a government NO ONE has voted for has seized power.

And BC’s Official Opposition should not go along.

On Oct. 3 the Opposition should refuse to sit in on the Throne Speech.  Not walk out … that would be rude to the office represented by the L-G, but simply refuse to attend, refuse to enter the chamber and refuse to give the entire illegitimate proceedings any air of respectability.

The Throne Speech is nothing more than pomp and ceremony setting out a government’s  “agenda” … the Opposition should not go along and give  an un-elected premier any respectability for a platform and agenda that IN NO WAY was approved by the voters.

I believe many. many British Columbians would be happy to see the Opposition taking a stand for democracy and Parliamentary integrity.

Instead,  Opposition Leader Adrian Dix and Official Opposition MLA’s should gather OUTSIDE the legislature, with the people, and make the point: British Columbians MUST have a premier who puts herself and a platform and program out for approval by the public in a vote BEFORE taking it to the legislature for consideration, debate and approval.

And it’s just not good enough to say let her rule as an un-elected dictator with an un-endorsed agenda for a couple of years … before the voters have their say.

That is NOT the way democracy works ANYWHERE else in the Western world: and it should NOT be allowed to go ahead here uncontested.

And the Throne Speech is a perfect time for the Opposition to represent the people and make this point.

Harv Oberfeld

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28 Responses to Opposition Should Boycott Un-Elected Regime’s Throne Speech

  1. Lew says:

    There are those who say that our current law and tradition permits this takeover of the Premier’s office. That opinion would have at least a sliver of legitimacy if it weren’t for the fact that the woman currently squatting in the office (in the context of tenancy) has made a big deal about the different direction she wants to take the government. That is entirely unacceptable without an election.

  2. StandUpforBC says:

    Excellent suggestion Harvey.

    A boycott of the Speech from the Throne would have the effect of exposing the ruling party for what it is, a government intent on thumbing its nose at both democracy and the citizens who have put them in power and who are paying for their debauchery.

    If the NDP boycott the Speech at the Leg, then the members of the public who haven’t informed themselves of what’s happening might take notice. Might be a good time to introduce the general public to the excellent BC blogs such as yours that are rapidly becoming the most trusted source of news for discerning citizens.

    This is/will be more of a test of the opposition, than of the corrupted BC Liberals.

    So BC NDP, are you willing to stand with the people? Or, are you going to play by these (sham) rules, and once again be taken for a ride by the ruthless governing party that abides by no one’s rules?

  3. Gary E says:

    Great piece Harv and you are absolutely correct. She and the Liberal Ministers have no mandate for this budget.
    Letters to the premier and MLA’s
    Letters to the Opposition Leader and MLA’s
    Swamp the blogosphere
    Maybe even a letter to the Queen.

    And if that doesn’t work then, as I have advocated other places, ramp up the recall.

  4. SB says:

    great idea after seeing falcon announce cuts to PACs and threats to us that this is just a hint of whats to come a boycott would be impossible for MSM to ignore that and as many votes as possible on the lawn in support of real democracy maybe even Globals Lib cheerleader Baldry would notice.

  5. Diverdarren says:

    Harvey, I assume you do see the irony of your suggestion.

    You want to seek redress about the inadequacies of our democratic system from the appointed representative of a hereditary monarch, located in another sovereign nation.

    I applaud you exposing flaws in our system. The Canadian Constitution has 3 fundamental flaws that limit true liberty. But, it is our system, and it needs to be fixed through legitimate reform by the people. I’m not sure what you mean by “it should NOT be allowed to go ahead here uncontested”

    We being a nation of laws, and law abiding citizens change parliament through our parliamentary system. Any other type of “contesting” smells of revolution.

    I think your argument that the Throne Speech is illegitimate will be quashed the moment it is passed by democratic vote in Parliament. You’re not going to argue that the men and women who populate that chamber are unelected, are you?

    This province just did something quite remarkable. We engaged our system to overrule the elected government. (HST ref.) We could use it again, it just needs a voice. The Zalm was a retiree with an opinion and led the fight. Know anyone retired with an opinion?

    (Response: Where did I say the Throne Speech is illegitimate? It’s the current government that is illegitimate: the premier nor her planned program to govern were NEVER given a manadate by the popualtion. And dont forget this isn’t as if the previous premier died or resigned for illness etc….he resigned in disgrace, and Clark herself has said HER government, her platform, her agenda are different from his. Then how can she govern without seeking public approval for her platform and even for herself as premier. h.o)

  6. D.M. Johnston says:

    The ‘Speech From the Throne’ is generally a waste of time as little of substance comes from it.

    Dix would certainly draw the ire of the mainstream media for boycotting this charade, but as some one said before; “I don’t care what you say about me, just spell my name right!”

  7. BG says:

    Totally agree. If Christy Clark and the Liberals are acting like dictators then it is the responsibility of the opposition to call them on it. It’s also the responsibility of the mainstream press but they’re almost a lost cause.

  8. DonGar says:

    Christy’s agenda:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acLW1vFO-2Q

    (Response: Very funny. And really makes you think. h.o)

  9. Tony Martinson says:

    Uff. You know, I think Christy is an appalling, vapid airhead. I think the Liberals are well past their best before date. But by law and convention, the woman is premier. Can’t we please use our energy to fight real battles instead of getting distracted by non-issues?

    (Response: Yes by law…but NO by convention. And it’s by seeing these things …like ignoring Parliamentary historical priocesses …that people lose their rights. If Clark gets away wth thuis one without a huge stink and protest by the Opposition and the public, it sets a terrible precedent for the future. h.o)

  10. Mo says:

    “Christy Clark’s seizure of the government without an election and without ANY public mandate”
    You sir are a lone voice clamouring for democracy. I applaud your efforts!!

    And I detest the MSM for their cowering subservient stance. SHAME on the Vancouver Sun. Shame on CKNW Shame on CTV Shame on CBC …cowards all

  11. The government has a clear mandate to carry on until May 2013, constitutionally until May 2014.

    Regardless of any hyperbale coming from anyone, the BC Liberals were fully elected to do anything in its power for BC.

    Frankly, I am glad that the election will not be for another 20 months…It will give Adrian Dix more time to make a fool of himself.

    How dare anyone criticize a legitimate government, especially regarding such a trivial matter that this blog subject is trying to raise.

    We elect political parties DIRECTLY, and politicians INDIRECTLY.

    Ms. Clark won a clear mandate to represent her constituents of Vancouver-Point Grey; Frankly that is good enough for me and the average person.

    The election will take place in May 2o13 at the earliest….Not a moment earlier.

    (Response: For the sake of our democracy, I sure hope most other British Columbians don’t believe it’s “trivial” having a premier, who never sought a public mandate for leadersjip of the province, put forward an agenda and platform that was never voted on by the people. h.o)

  12. ” Frankly, I am glad that the election will not be for another 20 months…It will give Adrian Dix more time to make a fool of himself.”
    Adrian Dix need only sit back & watch.. Christy will be the one to make a fool of herself. Excuse me, she already has and will continue… just ask some of her Liberal MLA colleagues.

  13. Sid Evans says:

    I can’t stand tho$e lyin, cheatin, Liberal$. However, the NDP’s virtual silence on issues like BC Rail and the Basi/Virk hush money, among other things. I would love to see the NDP boycott the legislature.
    Come on NDP, grow a pair and boycott.

  14. Gini says:

    Normally, I refuse to comment on the rants of Sean, but that one sentence got me: “The BC Liberals were fully elected to do anything in its power for B.C.”

    Just a slip of the keys, I’m sure. Insert the word ‘to’ in place of ‘for’ and you’ll get something closer to the truth. The BC Libs are not in the habit of doing anything ‘for’ the people they have been elected to serve……yes, ‘serve’. They work for us, not the other way around.

    I wonder how many of the Official Opposition party MLAs, or in fact, party members actually read your blog, Harv. A lot of them, I hope. Perhaps we should send a copy of this blog to as many MLAs as possible. I’m sure if we check the NDP website that we’ll find e-mail addresses for all of them.

  15. Crankypants says:

    To Sean-The BC Liberal Party may be legitimate as the governong party by the results of the 2009 election, but Christy Clark was not elected during that campaign. Considering the way leadership campaigns are conducted nowadays, it is questionable as to whether she was even chosen by TRUE BC Liberal Party members or just got lucky and was able to signup more pseudo-members than her opponents. Maybe if leadership campaigns for a new leader required that only those members that had been in good standing for a year before such an excercise, the chosen person would carry a greater legitimacy.

    Harvey-I think that your idea would garner some headlines but do little to either help the opposition’s image nor hurt that of the governing party. All it would do is encourage the MSM to carry on with their biased reporting. Now, if some constituencies indicated to their MLA that they should not attend the ceremony, especially the opposition or either of the two independents, then they should definitely not attend. At least they could claim that they are representing the wishes of those they represent which in itself would be a novel idea.

    As I see it, what we really need is a complete overhaul of what we deem a democracy. I may be stealing someone elses idea, but either way I’d like to throw this out for discussion.

    I have been very much against party politics as it’s practiced and have stated many time that I would prefer that they went the way of the dinosaur. I’ve now come to think that maybe the real problem is that party politics is fine, but the way the leader the leader of a party is chosen should be changed. If the leader were to be chosen by the MLAs of the winning party after the election, said leader would be beholden to those that selected him or her rather than what we have now. That way the party could still run on a platform that reflects the views of the majority of their candidates and the leader would be bound to live up to these views. The riding associations would have a free hand in choosing the candidate they feel is best to represent them without interference from the leader simply because there is none before the election, where now the leader has the power to endorse each and every candidate that gets to compete.

    It’s time that we started thinking out of the box.

  16. RS says:

    Give your head a shake Sean in Vancouver. “Anything in its power for BC.”
    Sounds more like a dictatorship than a democracy.
    It’s thinking like that over the past 10 years that has gotten BC into this mess in the first place.

  17. Merv says:

    Anybody see the irony? Quote: I sure hope most other British Columbians don’t believe it’s “trivial” having a premier…..put forward an agenda and platform that was never voted on by the people. h.o)

    Isn’t that what Campbell did?

    (Response: Exactly. And he saw what happened. Looks to me like Clark/Liberals , despite statements have learned nothing ..and are disresepcting the voters once again. Hopefully the NDP won’t just go along and will boycott the Throne Speech charade. h.o)

  18. mariner says:

    Thought I would mention that a copy of this post has been sent to both Clark and Dix by me. They will know what is going on anyway, but the more public the dissention, the better the result.

    (Response: Thanks. I know the blog gets read quite widely in Victoria … so will be interesting to see if anyone reacts, or just hopes it will just go away. Which we all on here know …we will not. h.o.)

  19. Julie says:

    I agree with the NDP, boycotting the Legislature.

    The NDP need to start supporting the BC people. The BC citizens, were totally on their own. We had to battle Campbell’s dirty tactics, lies, deceit and cheating to win. The NDP were silent then, as they are now.

    Campbell again, kicked the people in the face, with the HST. The propaganda media was supporting, Campbell and his evil agenda, as well.

    Then the Zalm, Tieleman and the HST team, went to bat for us. There were many dirty tactics, used against them too.

    Never will I call, Christy Premier (edited..h.o) Falcon is just as evil as Hansen is.

    The Campbell/Clarke BC Liberals, are the worst, most corrupt government in Canadian history.

    Sadly for the BC people, Harper supports Campbell’s (edited..h.o)deceit and cheating to win. Canada is no longer Canada. Our country is now, a cesspool of corruption.

  20. Ian Fromme-Nelson says:

    Here’s another “amen!” for a Throne Speech boycott.
    Great post, Harv — thanks again!

  21. Scotty on Denman says:

    I’m not aware of any other New Westminster parliament anywhere in the world that is not allowed to do anything that Christy Clark has done with regard to her party leadership (which is not a parliamentary matter anyway), her Premiership or her Membership in the Assembly. One can say that her tenure is illegitimate only in an ethical sense, not a legal one. So, is something wrong therefore with the system?

    Yes, the fixed-date election law has been inappropriately inserted into the New Westminster parliamentary system where it’s shortcomings are amply illustrated both on the federal and (here in BC) provincial levels. In our case it allowed the government to enact highly unpopular policies, even disgraceful ones, then hide behind the fixed-date law hoping the furor had died down in time for the next election. That’s exactly what the BC Liberals are doing right now. Surely the demands for Christy to call an election would be more deafening than they already are if it weren’t for the fixed-date law. Perhaps former NDP leader Carole James would have been more prepared to aggressively attack the government when they were foundering if she wasn’t busy polishing her 2013 campaign speech. The fixed-date law is a ruse that protects bad governments and makes the opposition lazy and unprepared to fight an election at a moment’s notice.

    Before attempting to retool the New Westminster parliamentary just because Christy Clark and the BC Liberal government are unethical, we should first get rid of the inappropriate, unworkable and, in BC, most unsatisfactory fixed-date election law.

    (Response: I expect, in law, she has the right to seize power the way she did. But can anyone name another Commonwealth country ..apart from Zimbabwe … where a leader, who replaced a predecessor who resigned in disgrace, and declared his/her government has nothing to do with the old regime, did not go to the public at the earliest possible opportunity to seek a mandate for themselves and their “new” platform/agenda. I think Australia witnessed that very thing only last year. h.o)

  22. cherylb says:

    Can we combine the boycott of the Throne Speech with the boycott of Gordo’s Order of BC? That way we could kill two birds with one stone!

  23. Scotty on Denman says:

    Interesting question, Harvey: which Commonwealth nations and their respective provinces/states (i.e. which use the New Westminster parliamentary system) have fixed election dates? In Canada it’s turned out to be a joke and in BC it’s been are particularly bad one.

    Has a throne speech ever been boycotted in a New West parliament anywhere? Perhaps BC could be the first, no? We already have set a couple of Commonwealth precedences (the Anti-HST Petition and the HST Referendum); if we hadn’t failed at Recall, we’d be batting a thousand.

    Kidding aside, it is difficult to imagine a situation that would precipitate an early election now that Christy has backed out of her promise to quickly seek a mandate under her new leadership. The Campbellites within the BC Liberal government are not so much preparing for a date with the electorate (there will be resignations to “spend more time with family” over the next nineteen months) as they are for a potential date with a judge (assuming a victorious NDP would launch an inquiry into the sale of BC Rail and the highly suspicious suspension of the BC Rail corruption trial.) Inside deals need to be cemented, policies entrenched, documents to shred or redact and general tidying up paper trails and fingerprints.

    But this is BC, land of parliamentary firsts and loopy polar politics where crazy things happen. In which case, we can’t rule out that Christy Clark might bolt and call an election on her own volition. She is after all the only person with the authority to do that (even though the fixed election date legislation hasn’t been repealed; there are sufficient loopholes in the law that allow her to get away with it….just ask Stephen Harper.) It wouldn’t be a precedent but it sure would stir the pail.

    (Response: Interesting question. That would take days of research. Let me know when you have the answer. h.o)

  24. Gloria says:

    I doubt Christy will call an early election. She will lose if she does. The BC people are very angry at, the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals. The recent events, that have been pulled for Campbell’s benefit, have caused even more outrage.

    The BC citizens have been insulted again by, Harper rewarding Campbell the High Commissioner appointment. Insulted yet again by, Campbell being named for the OBC. Campbell deserves none of these rewards. We know it, and so does Harper and the Chief Justice.

    Campbell is totally devoid of ethics and morals. It is pathetically easy, to see through this latest scam, and what this scam is for.

  25. Ruraidh says:

    Three years for a caretaker government is a slight on the process of democracy – but quite in keeping with the provincial administration of the past decade

  26. SC says:

    In Australia, Julia Gillard (who took over from Kevin Rudd last year) only waited 23 days before calling an election which happen in Aug 2010. By law, she would’ve been required to call one by Nov 2010. Her government was re-elected to a hung parliament – 76 for majority (Gillard 72 – Opposition 72) (3 Ind. and 1 Grn give her confidence).

    Could be considered a coup of sorts. New Zealand, 1997 where the PM Jim Bolger was out of the country when Jenny Shipley staged a caucus coup (upset over coalition partner’s overinfluence and Bolger’s cautionary approach) and when he got back, didn’t have confidence of caucus and resigned. Was defeated in mandated general elecction in Nov 1999.

    Actual coup d’etat in Commonwealth – Pakistan in 1999. Pervez Musharref ousted the PM and took over as Chief Executive until 2002 and appointed himself as President, until he resigned in 2008.

    (Response: Good info. The Australian precedent showed respect for Parliamentary system … asnd should havfe been followed here. Except there is almost a total disrespect for the process and the voters by the government and their weak-kneed media messengers, who should be screaming like hell at Clark’s end-run to hang on to power. They coulod have kept this issue going for weeks …like BCTV would hasve in the old days ..by going after Parliamentary experts here …and yes, even in Britiain, the home of P.D. …by gicving voice to lots of people out on the street, by the Opposition taking a real stand. It’s terrible here to see such voluntary compliance with abuse of process. h.o)

  27. Paul says:

    Does anyone here really think that if Christy Clark had lost the BC Liberal leadership race she would have climbed off her perch behind a talk radio microphone and run as an MLA in Gordon Campbell’s former riding of Vancouver-Point Grey?

    Of course she wouldn’t have.

    If Christy Clark really believes in public service, why didn’t she run in the last provincial election?

    When she lost the nomination to run for Mayor in the Vancouver Civic Elections to Sam Sullivan in 2005, why didn’t she run as a Vancouver city councillor?

    She only lost to Sam Sullivan by 69 votes out of 2,100 cast after all.

    The reason is that Christy Clark is a political tourist.

    She’s not interested in a political ‘career’

    She’s not interested in simply being an MLA.

    She’s not interested in simply being a Vancouver city councillor.

    She wants to be the queen of the hop or nothing.

    mindless ambition

    It’s all about Christy.

    The “official” leader of the opposition, Adrian Dix, will not be boycotting the throne speech of course.

    The real leader of the opposition, Bill Vander Zalm, will boycott the throne speech.

    If we had any real elected opposition members they would all boycott the throne speech, but they are content to simply sit in the legislature and collect a paycheque for the next couple of years.

    Sid Evans is 100% correct about the NDP’s silence on issues like BC Rail and the Basi/Virk hush money.

    The NDP virtually ignored the HST until Bill Vander Zalm started to appear on every major national radio and television station in the country.

    Only after that did the NDP trip all over themselves to jump on his bandwagon.

    The NDP will show up for the throne speech alright.

    It’s way past time to clean house.

  28. morry says:

    “The reason is that Christy Clark is a political tourist.”

    There is another un-polite phrase that best describes her and it rhythms with More.

    And BC is the worse off for it.

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