Tonight I attended Gordon Campbell’s gala Election Campaign Launch, held at Victoria’s opulent Fairmont Empress Hotel. I heard about it just this afternoon so I rushed home, shaved, slicked back my hair, and threw on my Value-Village suit and tie and headed down to the Fairmont Empress. Luckily it’s only five minutes from where I live here in Victoria Beacon-Hill riding, but I had to cut across the Ledge lawn to make it in time. I figured, hey, I can’t afford the Empress Fairmont myself, so why not hitch my own campaign launch up with Gordo’s?!!
As I arrived at the Fairmont Empress (sorry, but the Empress was bought out by the giant American Fairmont Hotel chain so that’s its official name ~Oh, and by the way, they serve only the finest BC Pharmed Fish, all pink with dye and Slice-laced!) just in time to see a large contingent of Murray Coell supporters crowding in the entrance. So I insinuated myself into their midst and flowed along with the boisterous crowd straight through into the Master Ballroom! WOW, now was that easy, I thought! But no sooner had I arrived though, than suddenly I was singled out by the “UVic Young Gordon Campbells” rep. Dallas Henault, who pointed me out to Empress Fairmont security.
A large gentleman with a coily wire sticking out of his ear barged over and asked me which candidate contingent I was with, so I announced that I was “media.” After all, on the notice at the entrance to the Ballroom, it did mention that this was a “BC Liberal Press Convention.” Fortunately, I had brought my laminated “Street-Newz Un-Official Media” press-pass which features my photograph and the disclaimer, “The holder of this pass is hereby authorized to boldly spin where Corporate Sponsored Media representatives may not dare.” Fairmont Empress security looked at the pass, and waved me on! I soon found myself a seat two rows back, directly under the podium.
For about 45 minutes as the Ballroom filled up with dignitaries, the famous Gordon Campbell politicians, Sheila Orr, Mike Hunter, Ron Cantelon, Murray Coell, Ida Chong and Jeff Bray circulated through the crowd, all red-faced and sweating, schmoozing around the big love-fest, while red-shirted ‘BC Young Gordon Campbells’ raised raucous chants like “BC’s BACK,” and “FOUR MORE YEARS” and “GORDO!, GORDO!” etc. It was pretty hot, so the chants kept petering out, but the crowd-rousters did their level best to maintain the excitement level. All the regular Campbell-loving corporate media were there just sucking it up, -Les Layne, Vaughn Palmer, and CH TV as well as the NEW CH (VI) had live satellite feeds beaming out of the convention.
Suddenly, there he was!! Gordon Campbell himself!! Now just let me ask you, -how many of you have EVER had a chance to bask in the actual presence of Gordon Campbell??!! Last election, Campbell didn’t show up for a single All-Candidates Meeting, and he has never ever been seen in public since he was elected with 57% of the 70% of British Columbians which bothered to vote, of which about half of whom were voting with an “anybody but the NDP” attitude. Gordo’s election mandate was therefore based on less than 30% support from BCer’s, but that translated into 97% of the seats in government!! Now that’s democracy only George W. Bush could love! With 7 of the top-ten corporate financiers of the BC Liberal’s 2001 election campaign as giant logging corporations, and with Weyerhaeuser at the #3 position, well it’s just amazing what kind of BC government you can buy!!
Gordo moved through the crowd, pointing, shaking hands, hugging even, and actually snaked through the row of seats directly behind me. Of course, I was on my feet like everyone else, and I just knew that if I stuck out my hand, he would shake it. As I thought about it, he was getting closer and closer. His face was pasted in thick gobs of suntan-coloured make-up, and he had been using that bleach-laced toothpaste which prominently displayed his dental features in a face-stretching smile. My hand started coming out of my pocket when I noticed that Dallas Henault and Fairmont Empress security were standing next to me looking nervously at my satchell. I believe that they thought I might have a pie in there…
On the stage, Gordon Campbell, whose election Motto is: (Get this folks! You’re hearing it the first time from me!) “Real Progress, Real Leadership,” viciously attacked the NDP, and I almost agreed with him, but then he spouted off all this nonsense about how fantastic the BC Liberals had been caring for the Environment, the Poor, the Disabled… Well I’ll spare you the details, I’m sure you’ll all be hearing a whole lot more of all that. About half way in, I was beside my self with horror and I realized that there would not be any questions, so I waited for a lull while he caught his breath, and then stood up and asked as loudly as I could raise my voice: “Are any of your 79 candidates running with a Criminal Record?? Are there any Convicted Felons??” “Have you vetted the candidates for criminals?”
There was a voluminous chorus of protest from the crowd and Campbell stumbled and sputtered, but his reply drowned out by the crowd, so I asked again, and again, and I turned around and asked the crowd, and they howled in outrage and fury. Dallas Henault grabbed me by the arm, and two guys in the row in front threatened me with physical harm, but I wrenched my arm free and sat down again. Campbell, visibly shaken, carried on. I regained my composure and then stood up and continued heckling through the rest of his speech. Afterwards, while Campbell circulated his way out, the media gathered around me for a scrum. Immediately Dallas and the Young Gordon Campbells hauled a giant speaker over and cranked the Bee-Gees up full blast while I spoke to the cameras.
It was here that I officially launched my campaign to elect Ingmar Lee, Independent “Extreme Green” candidate for MLA, Victoria Beacon Hill. I plan to articulate the HIGH-BAR for environmental issues, which not a single other party is doing. My platform includes, RETURN BC CROWN LANDBASE TO FIRST NATIONS, NO MORE OLD GROWTH LOGGING, NO AMERICAN WARSHIPS, SUV BAN, NO PESTICIDES, FREE EDUCATION, HOUSING FOR ALL, GUARRANTEED ANNUAL INCOME, MAKE THE RICH-PIGGIES PAY etc. etc. I’ll send out the full copy shortly for my no-budget campaign. The strategy is this: I waited patiently for the NDP platform to see what their environmental policy would be. What I saw, relegated to page 46 was beyond my worst, most pathetic imaginations. It is beyond pathetic, and it is an insult to BC nature lovers who have been so entirely abused, outraged and heartbroken under Gordo.
I want to exploit this bogus farcical election to send a message to the NDP, and to any other politician. YOU IGNORE ENVIROMENTAL CONCERNS AT YOUR PERIL!!! Here’s what I can do, as an ordinary powerless bunyuk: Carole James lost Victoria Beacon Hill to BC Liberal, Jeff Bray by 35 votes. Bray and Campbell will be pulling out all the stops in Victoria Beacon Hill, and the Weyerhaeuser’s and TimberWest’s will be pouring the cash to his campaign. I’ve been talking to people all around the riding where I have lived for 10 years and am well known. They are fed up and have nobody they can vote for. I can pull in quite a few hundred votes. So that’s what I am going to do.
I am demanding an endorsement from the Conservation Voters of BC!!! (after all if George Abbott can win one, surely so can I!!??)