It’s kind of amusing, really, the level of righteous indignation shown by members of the BC Liberal Party after one of their own did what they had all voted to do just a couple of months earlier.
Langley MLA and interim BC Liberal leader Rich Coleman, for instance, was practically petulant as he characterized the decision by Liberal (now Independent) MLA Darryl Plecas to accept the Speaker’s chair in the BC Legislature as a “betrayal.”
Others have accused Plecas of outright dishonesty in accepting the position after he had said he would not do so without the “full support” of the BC Liberal caucus.
But you have to wonder who he betrayed. Because of the narrow gap between the seats held by the Green-bolstered NDP government and the Liberals in opposition, and because the Speaker does not vote except to break ties, Plecas’s decision brings an added level of stability to the province’s new government.
But the importance of stability depends where you’re sitting when the ship of state enters troubled waters.
It’s now more difficult for Coleman’s Liberals to push John Horgan out of the premier’s chair, forcing an election… or through the same mechanics that pried loose Christy Clark’s clutching fingers, perhaps install a new Liberal premier.
And what about the claim that Plecas did not have caucus support in taking an ultimately cooperative position requiring loyalty to process and fair government instead of to party!
Plecas received that support when the BC Liberals voted to approve Premier Clark’s unsuccessful throne speech last June. Most of Clark’s speech was taken directly from the NDP’s election campaign playbook, and the whole party fell in line behind her stated desire to create a new atmosphere of cooperation between all parties.
If all the BC Liberal MLAs really did wholeheartedly agree with Clark, then what’s their problem with Plecas?
On the other hand, if they thought – as the NDP and Green MLAs clearly did – that Clark’s throne speech was a last-ditch pack of lying intent, then all the Liberal MLAs were liars when they voted their approval.
It appears that only Plecas took Clark’s message to heart.
Contrary to what Coleman and his drogues have to say, Plecas may have been the only BC Liberal who wasn’t lying when he became Speaker last week.
And for his honesty, they kicked him out of the party.