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Monday, January 19, 2009

W.A.C. Bennett's ghost

B.C. pundit Rafe Mair thinks that if legendary Socred premier W.A.C. Bennett were alive today, he'd be NDP. Mair might be right. Then again, can someone please remind me what the difference between the hyper-green, anti-free-speech, big-spending B.C. Liberals and the NDP actually is these days. 

Posted by Terry O'Neill on January 19, 2009 in Canadian Provincial Politics | Permalink


The main difference between the Campbell Liberals and the NDP is that Campbell is more cheerful towards big business while the NDP have to carry forward their dour union-lackey antagonism towards business. Other than that there isn't much difference. WAC Bennett hated the socialists while he nationalized the private ferries. Bill Bennett was more conservative. He actually tried to and succeeded in undoing some of what the NDP did.
Rafe is an intelligent guy totally consumed by deep green hysteria.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2009-01-19 5:42:18 PM

Actually, reflecting on the past in the comparison is not as useful as considering the anomaly that the BC provincial Liberals are not even closely aligned to the Federal Liberal Party. During federal elections, Campbell and party are more aligned with the Tories than with the Liberals They are carrying the Liberal banner because the Socred Party brand failed under "The Dutchman" and the word Conservative doesn't usally fare well in BC. But then again, I am not an NDP'er and not a Tory so maybe it's just sour grapes?

Posted by: Daniel St. Andrews | 2009-01-20 7:36:28 AM

Hi Terry,
I'd agree with you as well that W.A.C. was a "big government" conservative. IIRC, one consequence of the Robert Sommers affair was the elder Bennett changing forests leasing from companies having longer leases on land (and therefore being encouraged to take care of it) to the current system (allowing the "tragedy of the commons" to kick in).
I don't know if he would have been a New Democrat, though...but it is a good point to say that he governed like one!

Posted by: Rick Hiebert | 2009-01-20 6:54:31 PM

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