Tuesday, January 18, 2022

One last debate set for tonight for BC Liberal leadership candidates

Tonight's seven candidates for the final BC Liberal leadership debate
(image from BC Liberal party)

With the countdown to their Leadership vote picking up the pace towards early February, the seven approved candidates for the BC Liberal quest have one more chance to make an impression on party voters, with a prime time debate tonight, to be broadcast province wide on Global TV and the Global BC1 news channel.

While tonight's session provides Skeena's Ellis Ross and the other six candidates a chance to reinforce some of their campaign themes of the last few months, in the background and perhaps a topic to be explored tonight is a bit of a controversy over the way the membership drive went.  

With the party executive making note earlier this month that it had flagged  3,025 of the new memberships to be explored further.  

As they note in their correspondence to party members:  part of the process and to ensure confidence in the outcome of the leadership race, the Party Staff implemented an audit system designed to maximize voter participation while preventing fraud. 

As a result, of the approximately 43,000 current active party members, 3,025 remain flagged for further follow-up to confirm their membership information before they will be permitted to register to vote. This represents approximately seven per cent of the Party’s total membership.

Some of the issues have resulted in some calls for the province's political party organizers to turn over their party leadership process to Elections BC to provide for an impartial overview.

Though so far, no one seems to have rushed to adopt that suggestion. 

As for the debate, worth watching will be where the candidates direct their sharpest commentary towards as the evening moves forward.  

At the debate in November, perceived front runner Kevin Falcon and Skeena's Ross were the two candidates under the most fire, indicative perhaps of how they have captured some of the imagination of the Liberal membership over the last few months.

Mr. Falcon in particular, put significant focus on the campaign from the Skeena MLA making for some lively exchanges on the night.

BC Liberal members have until February 1st to register for the leadership vote.

Tonight's Global BC broadcast starts at 7PM

For those looking to see how the candidates fare through the session, the twitter feed #bclib22 may provided some insight as to how members may be directing their vote to when it comes to make a choice.

Some notes from the campaign can be reviewed here.

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