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(Published in the Abbotsford News week of Sept. 27, 2004)


 Flip-Flop Unity/Tory Deal Is Back On


John Pifer


Having laid to rest last week the BC Alternative concept of creating a centre-right political entity uniting the BC Unity Party and the BC Conservatives in the only in BC column, your humble scribe had planned to focus this week on other political matters in this zany province.


But, lo and behold, there's been an apparent resurrection or reconciliation, as a media release on Wednesday informed the world that the Conservatives apparently now have endorsed the union.


An e-mail under the heading of the BC Conservative Party heralded the New Deal, saying a crucial vote was passed on Sept. 28 (Tuesday), accepting a counter proposal agreement that now officially allows for Unity to join the BC Conservatives.


Little-known Conservative leader Barry Chilton is quoted as saying: We have passed the first major hurdle in the process of building the BC Conservative Party, that can and will represent the people of BC with honesty and integrity.


Well, he would say that, wouldn't he?


The trouble is that any credibility that he and Unity leader Chris Delaney may have had was blown out of the water when the Unite-the-Right ship floundered in a Keystone Kops media flurry of Its a deal!, then No, its not a deal idiocy of recent weeks.


The new organization describes itself as a middle-of-the-road party that is a viable alternative to the ruling BC Liberals and the New Democrats. With pomposity that oozes from the news item, Mr. Chilton states: I, on behalf of the BC Conservatives, invite all British Columbians to join in the fight against dictatorial government. Together we can forge a government of British Columbians, for all British Columbians. We can return to a 'have' province, and push aside the Liberal and NDP-driven 'have not' province. The door is open, and the welcome mat now firmly placed in front of all British Columbia, (to) step in and tell us how, why, or in which direction you wish your government to proceed. Ultimately you, the people of British Columbia, will govern this province. Speak now, get involved, and help in the drive for May 2005.


Well, Barry, do not expect that door to be pushed open by a horde of voters any time soon. This corner suggests that your party will have to actually do something  and do it efficiently before anyone treads onto that welcome mat.


To that end, how about your party voting in a fresh leader who brings some credibility to the table, and then having her or him run in the pending by-election in Surrey? That certainly would raise a profile that currently is lower than whale droppings, especially if the leader garners a lot of attention and votes. After all, Green Party leader Adriane Carr has already show her pluck by standing as a candidate there  lets see the BC Conservatives have the cojones to do so as well.


Otherwise, this latest on=again news item will become an obituary notice.


Veteran B.C. journalist/broadcaster John Pifer may be reached at






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