Keeping it Real…

Keeping it Real… header image 2

Plecas Capture a Brilliant NDP Move

September 11th, 2017 · 25 Comments

Hard to know whether Darryl Plecas acted out of a quest for power, privilege, the $52,900 extra remuneration, changed political  views or a sincere move to assist/stabilize BC democracy … it really doesn’t matter.

The result of the former Liberal MLA’s decision to serve as Speaker under the NDP government is monumental.

It all but destroys Liberal dreams of an early collapse of the NDP/Green government … under BC’s new legislative realty.

After the May election, the NDP ended up with 41 seats and with the support of the Greens’ three seats, were able to muster 44 seats … just edging out the Liberals’ 43 seats …  and enough to convince Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon (no doubt after reading my blog 🙂 ) to give the NDP/Greens a chance to govern.

But the Liberals were well aware that, if a Speaker had to come from the “government” side of the House, the very existence of the NDP/Green government would hang on a razor’s edge, where an illness, death, missed travel connection or any other “minor” slip could become a “major” upset on a key or confidence vote … and lead to a new election. So the Opposition’s strategy was to NOT assist/provide a Liberal MLA to sit as Speaker.

However, the actions of TWO Liberals destroyed that scenario: former Premier Christy Clark has resigned; and, now Liberal MLA has … in the view of former caucus colleagues … sold out to the other side.

The current voting standings: 44 NDP/Greens and 41 Liberals …. making it much more likely that … barring an internal meltdown … the NDP/Greens alliance will be able to govern much longer than just a few months or even a year or so.

Plecas’ agreement to don the Speakers’ hat/robe is either a fantastically fortuitous or magnificently brilliant move for Premier John Horgan  and NDP strategists, apparently negotiated largely by NDP House Leader Mike Farnworth.

Now, we will have too whether, with the pressure to survive removed, the NDP/Greens will deliver on their Throne Speech promises … and come up with a Budget that can realistically pay for it all …. without hitting the middle class with all kinds of fees and taxes … or scaring away badly needed jobs and investment.

Harv Oberfeld

Tags: British Columbia

25 responses so far ↓

  • 1 DBW // Sep 11, 2017 at 7:58 am

    You probably saw this but just in case others didn’t.

    It’s his dream job and he believes he will be good at it because of his background as a prison judge. Not any old judge – a prison judge. Given where he now works, that made me smile.

    And not only does his move, give the NDP some more breathing space, it was Plecas who was as much responsible as anybody for Clark’s resignation that gave them the temporary breathing space last month.

    Will there be a recall movement. If successful would the NDP and Greens let Plecas run without opposition from them in the bi-election.

    Will the Liberals treat the speaker with the respect the position warrants.

    Fun times.

  • 2 ellbee // Sep 11, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Interesting. CC said that “I will be happy to serve in any capacity” after the election and she quits. Plecas takes the role as arbiter and is called a liar and a traitor by those in the Liberal Party. As to your last line re “scaring” away jobs and investment, the usual suspects have already started the drumbeat. Unlike last time and the fake “lost decade” we at least have bloggers and the internet to keep the stories somewhat honest.

  • 3 r // Sep 11, 2017 at 8:20 am

    BC ,in the past 16 years, has added about 34 billion dollard to debt (34,000M)
    lets hope we get better results with less PR.

    Fact based decidions ,not just poli bias.

    Not just jobs-but value added jobs.

  • 4 DBW // Sep 11, 2017 at 8:31 am

    One more good read especially for people critical of Plecas.

  • 5 Hawgwash // Sep 11, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Mr.O,you really need to take your sensationalist headline writer into the gestetner room and have a talk. That’s two in a row now.

    To suggest a magnitude 9.3 NDP coup is to discredit Dr. Plecas.

    Take the time to read some of the back stuff and comments from people in the game and you will see, at least I hope you will, Dr. Plecas’ decision was based more on the behavior of Christy Clark and the current leader, what’s his name, from Langley.

    Have a look at for some real insight on this and post 3 where I laid out some easy to follow links.

    (Response: Don’t sell the NDP’s achievement short: with a spread of still only ONE seat if the Liberals win the Kelowna by-election, their accomplishment in convincing ANY Liberal to break ranks and, from a political power point of view de facto cross the floor, is brilliant. Christy Clark is gone: how does an action/stance like this affect her personally now? if Plecas just wanted to take some noble step … why all the reported discussions, negotiations before he made the move? You may drink the koolaid being served up, but I prefer to keep it real and see it for what it was: a terrific political move by the NDP …and judging by the loud and nasty reaction of some Liberals, methinks my headline and blog piece stands the test. h.o)

  • 6 Diverdarren // Sep 11, 2017 at 10:19 am

    The Riding Association out in Abbotsford South was quick to call for Plecas to get the Liberal party punt. I have to think they’ll push for a MLA recall next.

    I doubt a recall would succeed, but I think it’s a given come the next election Plecas won’t be enjoying his taxpayer funded Victoria vacation.

    Plecas best hope the GreeNDP can keep the government going till May 14, 2019. That’s the day Plecas becomes eligible for the prize of a lifetime, the Golden MLA Pension.

    Of course, as Speaker he’ll be in a good position to help get the GreeNDP to last till the magic date.

    Here’s a good story by Michael Smyth (and by good I mean nauseating) about the MLA Pension.

  • 7 Gene The Bean // Sep 11, 2017 at 10:43 am

    I think Plecas finally saw the light. Can you imagine just being around, let alone working with the acidic angry haters that populate the BC Liberals? Like almost all conservatives, they are selfish, uncouth, morally bankrupt and actually enjoy the sufferings of those less fortunate. Really, unless you are truly a scumbag – how much of that can you take?

    This is a big deal and the NDP hit a home run.

    Can we really look forward to having a government that does things for the right reasons and makes good policy that benefits the majority as opposed to just ‘friends and family’?

    I have always said I like Horgan. I have met and chatted with him twice, he is truly a good solid person. The exact opposite of his predecessor and most morally bankrupt conservatives.

    If this is an indication of what he can really do – we are definitely heading in the right direction.

    Listening to the whining and blubbering coming from the snowflakes of the right makes me laugh. Each and every one of them would unabashedly sell their kids out, screw their neighbours and lie, cheat and steal to selfishly get ahead …. ‘cuz that’s their make up. They are angry because someone has applied the brakes to their personal gravy train …. poor babies …..

  • 8 BMCQ // Sep 11, 2017 at 11:13 am

    I have not read any of the responses as yet.

    I honestly feel that the Horgan/Weaver Alliance was going to last the full Term right up until Oct. 2021.

    Weaver is smart enough to realize that the Greens benefited by about 5% Anti Christy Clark Votes and most of those soft Liberal/Green Voters are now upset with Weaver and his Minions for aligning themselves with the NDP.

    Weaver is well aware that if he was to cause an Early Election the Greens are doomed to go back to at least one Member that being Weaver and I believe that Weaver could possibly lose his Seat in an early Election Call.

    Regulars here may not believe me but even if the Shoe was on the Other Foot and an NDP Member Crossed to become Speaker or even just a Caucus Member for a Liberal Government I would be unhappy.

    No Member of ANY Party should be allowed to Cross the Floor to join another Party, it is a direct attack on their Constituents and in fact the Democratic Process.

    Any Member wishing to cross the Floor or do what Plecas did should be forced to resign their Seat and Run again in a By Election as an Independent or as a Member of the desired Party they wish to support.

    That is True Democracy and if I was Premier I would change that loophole immediately.

    I heard Vaughn Palmer on CKNDP this morning with John McComb discussing this matter.

    I cannot believe that in ALL of the McComb questions to Palmer he did not ask about Palmer what he thought about a “Recall” Effort by the Liberal Abbotsford Riding Association regarding Plecas!!

    I strongly believe that Plecas will be subject to a recall and I believe in that particular Riding there is an almost guaranteed chance that Plecas will be “Recalled” and he would be defeated if he chose to run again.

    I believe a Recall can be put into motion sometime in 2018. Watch for it.

    I would not expect to see Plecas stand again if he is recalled.

    As to the reasons why Plecas chose to do what he did?

    Who knows but until he actually makes a definitive statement on this matter it is all about speculation and guess work.

    I for one do not believe it is for stability in Government.

  • 9 Harry Lawson // Sep 11, 2017 at 1:14 pm


    The NDP having a sitting liberal as the speaker is truly historical.

    Mr Plecas was not happy with the direction of the Bc Liberals both under Premier Clark and under interim leader Coleman.
    MR Plecas was also persona non grata within the Cristy Clark faction of the party. His crime was to have the gonads to call out the leader. He didnt swallow the kool aid.

    Is Plecas the first thread unraveling of the Liberal coalition.?
    Is this the opening of the floodgates of dissention with in the back bench?

    How will this effect the leadership race ?

    Does this make forming a new free enterprise party easier?

    I really dont know the answers to my questions as time will tell .

    (Response: Plecas has been tossed from the Liberal caucus …so NOT sitting as a Liberal Speaker. h.o)

  • 10 North Van's Grumps // Sep 11, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    IF Christy Clark had not quit politics so decisively, she could have hung around by first resigning as the BC Liberal Leader, retained her MLA status and then offered her services to be the SPEAKER. She had the necessary credentials because she did write HER Throne speech mimicking the BC NDP and BC Green Parties platforms, and lost via vote of non-confidence.

  • 11 BMCQ // Sep 11, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Do not be too quick to”Jump the Shark”!

    The Liberals lost the May Election because of a Power Mad, Arrogant, Misguided, and Dominant Premier Christy Clark ignored how important the Tolls were for Surrey and the fact that MSP Premiums were seen as a Rip Off by many Citizens of B.C.

    Christy Clark in her Arrogance performed a Miracle by managing to “Grasp Defeat from the Jaws of Victory”!

    Clark Gave the Election Away, Horgan did not Win the Election.

    I believe Plecas will be called in 2018 and there will be another By Election.

    The Liberals will gain much momentum when they anoint a New Leader and The NDP will do what the NDP do Best, they will increase Taxes Dramatically with things like Income Tax, Carbon, Gas, Corporate, and many other increased Taxes and they will Squander $ Billions providing Poverty Pimps like Mayor Gregor, Swanson, DERA, Portland HS and the rest at least $ 2 Million Dollars a Day to erect Free Social Housing for Drug Addled Repeat Prolific Convicted Felons from the rest of Canada while ignoring Hard Working Tax Payers and Seniors that built this Province.

    I believe it will take four years before the Liberals are re-Elected and the damage will be great but we will see a change.

    I can only hope that The Horgan/Weaver Alliance do not manage to take B.C. Past the Ontario Wanne Government as the Worlds largest Sub Sovereign Debtor!

  • 12 13.. // Sep 11, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    As a BCL supporter I have zero respect for the morally bankrupt Plecas. His excuse that the BCL are responsible for his treachery is a pathetic lie being told by a money grubbing opportunistic greedy individual. Other pathetic excuses are in no specific order and not limited to: Im an academic, Im a prison judge, Ive always wanted the job.
    Hes akin to a Pete Rose or another famous traitor named Judas.
    Im sure that his constituents are equally as unhappy with his lack of ethics.
    May he be recalled the day before he qualifies for the mla pension.

  • 13 D. M. Johnston // Sep 11, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    My take on the Plecas affair is this:

    I believe Mr. Plecas is an honest fellow and as 16 years of Liberal mismanagement are now in focus and corruption now involved with he Port Mann Bridge and other Liberal sponsored mega projects, Plecas jumped at the opportunity to distance himself from the Coleman Liberals.

    I believe there will be soon a corruption inquiry in BC and it will open a Pandora’s box of scandal, which the MSM will try to ignore and give the bloggers many stories to follow.

    We are living in most interesting times.

  • 14 Scotty on Denman // Sep 11, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    Your analysis is admirably concise, Harvey. And I do agree: the question is not for what reason Plecas took the Speaker’s job, but rather, still, how long the minority government will last.

    The Greens are locked in because they’d stand to lose seats—maybe all three—if they precipitated an election, and they stand to win more seats if they cooperate to the fullest. It’s just that simple. (Oh, yes, we’ll hear some righteously indignant spouting from Weaver from time to time because, in order to win more seats, he has to keep his party recognizably distinct from the NDP; but he’ll tow the line where it counts.)

    It’s truly a big deal because we can expect the BC Liberals to take Christy’s vacated seat in the byelection, so minusing Plecas from the BC Liberal caucus is invaluable. I doubt he’ll be Recalled—nobody ever has yet—in almost thirty attempts.

    But there’s more to it than simply solidifying the NDP’s odds of completing a full term. Plecas’ exit from the BC Liberals is the latest and perhaps most consequential feature of a moribundity that’s dogged the them since Gordo usurped the party midway through the NDP’s previous regime. That moribundity was actually manifest in Gordo’s HST lie and subsequent firing. It was only because of NDP bungling that someone as policy-challenged as Christy could squeeze another six years of power out of such an ethically bereft government. (I always thought there were actually three blown opportunities to end BC Liberal perfidy: the BC Rail scandal, the HST lie, and Christy’s first crack at winning her own general election mandate—after having spent part of her undertaker-government without a seat in the Assembly and only barely winning Gordo’s vacated seat in a by-election which in due course she lost during that same general election. I still blame the NDP for not taking advantage of these three opportunities.)

    Plecas is the latest illustration of the right’s decline which began over 30 years ago. In short, iconic figures on the right like Thatcher, Reagan and Mulroney won power with real political chops that appealed to voters, during which time the Soviet Union collapsed, licensing a subsequent attack on democratic social welfare in their respective countries in a move at that time christened “neo-conservatism;” the ostensible reaction was carried by Blair, Clinton, and Chrétien, even though they retained many of the neo-cons’ policies for which they could justifiably be called “neo-liberals;” next, a movement I call “neo-rightism” to avoid the obvious confusion, inherent to Gekoid policy wonks who won office not by winning the hearts and minds of their constituents, but by lying to them about their intent to completely dismantle social welfare (where their neo-con predecessors had preached merely making social programs more fiscally prudent) and undermining economic sovereignty that might interfere with profiteering stateless corporatism; the end game has been happening while the tenets of globalized capitalism have become increasingly discredited and a new, diagnostically terminal (or moribund) style of neo-rightism takes over nominally conservative parties—which are fragmenting as a result.

    Thus the unraveling of the right proceeded from the political appeal of Reaganomics to the populism of Gordo’s ethical relativism, and thence to the absurd demagoguery of today’s conflicted, nominally conservative parties which have driven off most moderates, and seem determined to purge the remainder as the most extreme elements of the right move in to replace them. The likes of Christy and The Donald, completely unlike in the policy wonkdoms of Campbell, Harper or Martin, have never had a policy bone in their bodies and never had to suffer policy advisors. Their tactics involve simple preposterousness and partisan paranoia. It’s intense because neo-rightism is transitioning from moribundity (it can’t reproduce or recruit) to final throes of death. It’s a dying body that eschews the advice of climate-change doctors and legalists, and just keeps telling itself everything’s gone be okay—in fact, Great Again!

    Now, in retrospect, we see how the right got to the dead end street it veered down 30 years ago. Whilst in power it could hold out a carrot in front of such moderates as remained, while, out of power, the fundamental, factional enmities formerly suppressed now become visible, and career political prospects dim. The neo-right has brought conservatism to ruin, and we now see the disgusting fetidness of its sausage factory in the federal Con party, the Alberta conservative parties, and now the BC Liberals. (The Republicans, naturally, have already died and gone to their great reward.)

  • 15 Hawgwash // Sep 12, 2017 at 8:02 am

    13 at 12…
    “Hes akin to a Pete Rose or another famous traitor named Judas”

    That line reminded me we haven’t seen Larry Bennett in a long, long time.

  • 16 Ed Seedhouse // Sep 12, 2017 at 8:10 am

    “Plecas’ agreement to don the Speakers’ hat/robe is either a fantastically fortuitous or magnificently brilliant move for Premier John Horgan and NDP strategists”

    Not either/or, but more likely a mixture of both, in my opinion.

  • 17 Gene The Bean // Sep 12, 2017 at 8:13 am

    #12 …

    How can someone be morally bankrupt for doing the right thing? It appears you do not know what that means.

    1) He doesn’t need the money – so those lame arguments are crapola.

    2) I am not surprised that you would consider him a ‘traitor’ for doing the right thing for BC. He walked away from the rotting stench of the BC LIEberals for everyone’s benefit – even yours.

    3) You appear to be made out of the Steve Bannon mold … “Yes, Trump is an arrogant, insidious, racist, ignorant, petulant child – but I can use him to get my way – so I love him and support him.” PS: that is the definition of morally bankrupt.

    This move by Plecas, with all it’s layers, will be a very visual litmus test for the voters of BC.

    If you can understand the reasoning, the reasons and the potential benefits you are in one bucket.

    If you lash out because of perceived ‘broken loyalty’ and refuse to see the move for what it is (and I don’t really need to explain that – do I?) – you are in another bucket. That is the bucket I use to muck out stalls.

    The winds are changing …… queue those that see their entitled ‘way of life’ being threatened … and let the little snowflakes fall ….

  • 18 E. Johnson // Sep 12, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Who is the real Darryl Plecas? Is he the the traitor, opportunist and scumbag his detractors make him out to be or is he the strong minded defender of democracy and stable government who will not be intimidated by his party? Perhaps if Mr. Pleas had made it clear from the beginning to his party, constituents and the general public that he would be interested in serving as Speaker, he could have saved himself a lot of grief. Being forthright and honest would be much too simple when playing the game of politics however. Let’s hope he does an excellent job as Speaker.

  • 19 e.a.f. // Sep 12, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    when Plecas was “recruited” as a candidate much was made of his credentials. Perhaps he thought he could effect some change, but that was never going to happen.

    Christy doesn’t achieve enough seats to hang onto government, Plecas challenges her at the Penticton soiree. From there on, perhaps he became persona non grata and the rest is history. Christy resigned and Big Rich took over. Plecas, may have decided to keep his mouth shut and do what he felt was right for him and the province. He put his name forward as speaker. It brings change to a province which was ruled by a corrupt government for 16 years.

    Why the B.C. Lieberals are “upset” with Plecas is beyond me. they made all sorts of promises i.e not tearing up union contracts to no sale of the B.C. Rail to no HST. Well we saw what happened and no one in the party called el gordo a liar. Then we have the Christy phase. omg. to much to list. In my opinion Christy and the truth were always in separate rooms, so the B.C. lieberals might not want to be so critical of Plecas. They all were unfamiliar with the truth.
    Hope Plecas enjoys his new job and it works out for every one concerned. Now we can get on with a little less corruption in this province. For those who don’t think there was much, check the CBC or Laila Yuille’s coverage of the CBC report.

  • 20 13.. // Sep 12, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    Gene Bean
    Your morally bankrupt phrase belongs in a bucket.
    eaf remember when I suggested you check out the Fraser Institute or the tax Payers federation? You said why would you send me a lefty to such right wing sites. Well eaf why would you send me (a right winger) to such biased left wing propaganda machines as Yuille or worse yet the CBC?

  • 21 D. M. Johnston // Sep 12, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    News item: New Democrat Raj Chouhan becomes deputy speaker and Linda Reid is new assistant deputy speaker.

    So 13 @12, does this make Linda Reid (quote)’ “Pete Rose or another famous traitor named Judas.”?

    Prediction: Ralph sultan will call it quits by the end of October, followed by 2 or three Liberals.

  • 22 Hawgwash // Sep 12, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    D.M. J. at 21;
    I agree with you and thanks for the nudge on Sulton. I overlooked him when I was being a prophet on another site.

    The Liberal party bleed out has only just begun and if nothing else I see some more independent “traitors” in the making. Isaacs? Tegart?

    Then there are those who only want to be on the winning team and do little heavy lifting, so there could be a few who slither off when they get some heat about past bad habits. Polak? Watt? Hunt? Cadieux?

    Johal, I can’t read at all. I peg him as a complete opportunist who will likely tire quickly out of the limelight.

    Sullivan should go but he’s another opportunist who ego will push him to run for leader with no support and will just settle back into freeloader mode.

    Coleman? Will he really like having to go to work or will he find some directorship too good to pass up.

    Funny, Bob Mackin pointed out Plecas is proud to put his criminal credentials in his bio but Coleman makes no mention of being an ex cop.

    And before people start with the Dianne Watts cheerleading; forget it. She’s far too street smart to go down that dark alley.

  • 23 BMCQ // Sep 13, 2017 at 7:01 am

    Scotty – 14

    That was a very good Post.

    I did not agree with all of it but none the less it was an interesting read..

    We should not jump to conclusions and think that Conservatism/B.C. Liberals are dead and buried.

    We must remember that Christy Clark literally won the 2013 Election almost all on her own, she ran a great Campaign.

    Then we must also remember that that Campaigning Genius and then Incoming Premier Adrian Dix also did his part and deserves credit for a bit of an assist in the Liberals victory.

    WE must also remember that it was not John Horgan that won the recent 2017 May Election.

    No matter how some would want to “Spin” the Election result it must be acknowledged that Christy Clark somehow managed to “Grasp Defeat out of the Jaws of Victory”

    Clark deserves more credit than anyone for the NDP Victory.

    We must also keep in mind that the B.C. Liberals still managed to secure more Seats than any other Party in that Election.

    No Conservatism is not dead.

    Only a guess but I strongly believe that South Abbotsford will see a Recall Referendum sometime in 2018.

    I believe that South Abbotsford will in fact successfully recall Plecas and his tenure as Speaker will be a short one and he will once again make History by being the First Speaker Recalled in the History of Canada!!

    WE will then see perhaps Diane Watts (or someone else) take the Leadership ofthe B.C. Liberals and we will then once again see a very close count in the Legislature between the NDP/Green Alliance and the B.C. Liberals.

    I agree that the Weaver Greens would be committing Political Suicide to trigger an early Election call so the Alliance will run the full term to October 2021.

    I do not accept the arguments that Plecas did the right thing yadda yadda yadda.

    That argument is just silly.

    Let me ask each and every one of you NDP supporters the following question.

    How would you feel if the positions were reversed and the NDP were on the outside looking in and a Member of that NDP Caucus chose to take the Position of Speaker?

    Would that individual be doing the “Right Thing”

    Would that NDP Member now Liberal Speaker be ensuring Stability in Government?

    Can you tell me that Hastings East would not repeal/rescind the Party Membership of the NDP Member in that Riding if that Member crossed to take the Speakers Seat under a Minority Liberal Government?

    Can ANY of you tell me that there “Would Not” not be an Extreme Effort to mount a Recall of that NDP Hastings East Member?

    AS with South Abbotsford I believe the Vancouver East Hastings Constituency would be successful with that Recall!

    Oh and by the way, let’s sit back and see just how the Morally Bankrupt, Crooked, Dying, Corrupt Conservative Party do in the Ontario June 2018

    Please do not forget to get back to me on June 19, 2018!

    It will not be long now, I would love to hear how that turns out!

  • 24 13.. // Sep 16, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Hawg @15 Personally I miss Larry. He was very conservative in his thinking and would have likely been better off supporting the NDP
    Ill bet LB has become a victim of Mayor Corrigans renovictions.

  • 25 e.a.f. // Sep 17, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    the budget and how to make money to cover the costs. it maybe that the NDP is starting by trying to make B.C. Hydro profitable again. They have a debt of some where around $56-$60 billion. At one time it was profitable and paid dividends. Then we got el gordo and signed all those IPP/run of the river contracts. B.C. Hydro’s existing dams produce electricity for $32 K. hr. while the IPPs signed by el gordo cost any where from $132 to $105 K. hr. Now if those IPPs were disposed of by expropriation or simply cancelling their contracts, then B.C. Hydro might become profitable again. If that were the case, one, we wouldn’t be paying as much for electricity, there by giving most in B.C. a “tax break” and two, if B.C. Hydro actually were able to pay dividends real ones, not going into debt to give the B.C. Lieberals all that money every year, then we could pay for things in this province without raising taxes, just like old WAC wanted to.

    The Tyee is reporting on this as is RossK at the Gazetteer.

    The B.C. Lieberals “taxed” citizens in methods other than taxes, by their use of carbon taxes and “user fees” and higher ICBC rates and electrical rates, and of course tolls. Once those types of costs are eliminated people will have more money so if there is an increase in personal taxes, we might be even able to afford them.

    When the B.C. Lieberals sucked billions out of ICBC and B.C. Hydro to “balance” their budgets, they weren’t really balanced. The parent stock holders, us the tax payers, were still on the hook with another arm of the organization.