If you are like me, you 've been thinking all these years that the BC Conservative Party was defunct. Again, if you're like me, you'd be wrong. It seems that local Conservatives are alive and well and fielding candidates in the upcoming provincial election on May 12.
The Conservatives were once a political powerhouse in BC. You could argue that after W.A.C. Bennett, Richard McBride, "The people's Dick", Conservative premier from 1903 to the end of 1915, was the most successful premier in the province's history. But that was a century ago.
After one more chance at power during the late 1920s, the Conservatives made the mistake of joining the Liberals in a coalition government aimed at keeping the insurgent CCF out of power. The Coalition, which held power in Victoria from 1941 to 1952, was successful, but it turned out to be the death knell for the Conservatives. When the Coalition broke down, right-wing voters opted for the new Social Credit Party and the Conservatives never recovered.
They haven't had a sitting MLA since 1975 but the Conservatives are still around. In the last provincial election in 2005, under leader Wilf Hanni, they ran seven candidates who got less than 10,000 votes in total. This time around, presenting themselves as a right-wing alternative to the Campbell Liberals (now there's a frightening thought!), they've already nominated nine candidates and hope to have more in the running.
To check out what the party has to offer, go to its website at www.conservativesbc.com.