Two things that could have a serious effect on the future of the BC Conservative Party.
First, Delta-Richmond East Conservative MP John Cummins seems to be getting encouragement from within the party to run for its leadership. Sean Holman at Public Eye Online:
“To be quite honest, my main focus, of course, is federal politics and I’m very busy with the issues I’ve championed over the years.” That’s what Delta-Richmond East MP John Cummins said early last month when the Richmond News‘s Ryan Ingram asked about reports suggesting he could be the next leader of the provincial Conservatives. Nevertheless, Public Eye has learned there is an organized effort to draft Mr. Cummins to run for that position.
Cummins is a member of the party’s tactical advisory group, and has done a fair amount of work in the past speaking for the party. It would be interesting to see him at the head of the party, but at the same time one can’t help but wonder if such a thing would help or hurt the party’s image: after all, it will probably want to distance itself from the aging white male demographic at some point – having an aging white male at its helm could be a set-back in that regard.
Meanwhile, the party’s membership appears to be growing – at least, according to the party president’s estimates. Andrew MacLeod at The Hook:
Vernon radio station Sun FM reported the Conservatives have picked up almost 50 new members since Clark’s victory, prompting former party spokesperson Dean Skoreyko to blog that McGrath is “delusional as ever” for thinking that’s “something to crow about in the media . . . instead of being shamefully embarrassed.”
McGrath said in a phone interview he took a guess when the radio reporter called and he keeps learning of new memberships coming in. “It’s probably closer to 100, but I’m still guessing,” he said. Laughing, he added, “I probably should have said 500. It’s not always good to be honest.”
Ten new memberships came in within an hour of Clark’s Feb. 26 win, he said. “Right of the floor of the convention, some of them.” And its been steady since then, he said, taking the party to about 2,000 members last week.
While the numbers might sound small compared to the Liberal or NDP parties, they are big gains for a party that had just 200 members 18 months ago, he said.
For a party of the BC Conservatives’ size, this might indeed be a large amount of growth. However, does such growth constitute the sort of doom-and-gloom-for-the-Liberals scenario that the BC Conservatives were predicting earlier? I’ll let you decide that one.