The Kootenay East MLA said Mr. Campbell has reduced members of his caucus to tears, and recounted an incident when he was left wiping the Premier’s spittle off his face after Mr. Campbell leaned close to yell at him.
Mr. Campbell is a bully whose intimidation tactics have created a government caucus and cabinet that suffers from “almost a battered-wife syndrome,” said Mr. Bennett.
“I’m tired of the bullshit that goes on in politics and I’m really tired of the way that Gordon Campbell thinks that he can just run on people,” he said.
“I’m a tough guy, I can take it. But I’ve seen him do it to other people in caucus.”[/quote]
Bennett’s rant however is a little late. How long has this been going on? Ten years. Now he talks.
And something else I don’t understand. Campbell was not at the cabinet meeting when Bennett was asked to leave. I always thought the premier selected the cabinet and it would be up to him to get rid of someone. Help me out political junkies.
Now that he’s been kicked out of caucus Bill Bennett is being much harsher–but originally all he said was that Campbell has lost the trust of British Columbians, and that therefore the BC Liberals have lost his trust, and that they should get someone else out in front as the face of the party as soon as possible. Isn’t that almost exactly what Campbell said when he announced he was quitting? The only thing different is that Bennett called for a new leader sooner rather than later.
I don’t believe Campbell is the bully Bennett is making him out to be–but this was a dickhead move.
Bill Bennett is pretty much everything he accused Campbell of being- foul mouthed and with bullying tendencies. I don’t doubt his account of how he’s been treated in the past but it’s very much the pot calling the kettle black. He’s a dick who used to work for a dick, that’s all.
Bennett is no stranger to political hot water. In February 2007, he resigned from cabinet after sending a rude email to a constituent and spent a year on the back benches.
He later had to apologize for an email criticizing as “eco-fascists” environmentalists who want to turn the Flathead Valley wilderness area in the Kootenays into a national park.
And during last year’s provincial election, some aboriginal groups were upset over an ad campaign that showed Bennett with local residents, saying he pays taxes just like them.
Bennett’s New Democrat opponent was a well-known local aboriginal leader, and some suggested the ads had racial overtones, a charge Bennett denied.
I would love to know how Shakespeare would have put this all together. The murderous Richard. The indecisive Hamlet. The ambitious Macbeth. The crazy Lear. Caesar. Brutus. Cassius. And clowns galore for comic relief. Anyone know where we can find an asp or two.
I used to live in Bennett’s riding and met him a few times, both socially and during work. He’s got a temper, tends to shoot his mouth off, ignore constituents when they disagree with his pro-mining stance and I’ve seen him try to intimidate local politicians at all levels. I was laughing so hard yesterday when I read this news, I could hardly cut’n’paste the link to email to my husband, who thought it was pretty funny as well since he’s got pretty much the same opinion I do.
Top this off with taking away the tax cut and it’s like the Liberals are working on tying off the noose dangling overhead…
The Premiere responds to the accusations leveled against him:
[quote]British Columbia’s outgoing premier is biting back against a dissident cabinet minister who called him a bully, saying the words came from a distraught and disappointed man.
Former energy minister Bill Bennett was swiftly sacked from his provincial cabinet position Wednesday after suggesting Gordon Campbell step down immediately and let a new Liberal successor take his place.
The firing prompted Bennett to lash out against his former boss, calling Campbell an abusive, patronizing and disrespectful bully who caused “almost a battered wife syndrome” inside the Liberal caucus.
But Campbell distanced himself from these claims Thursday, dismissing the action as dramatic last-gasp from a man angry about losing his job.
“I’m sure Bill is very disappointed. He’s lost the trust of virtually all of his cabinet colleagues and they told him that yesterday,” he told CTV News from a homelessness event in Vancouver.
“I’m sorry that he feels that way, I’m sorry that’s how he responded.”
Campbell also dismissed the claim he spit in Bennett’s face in anger, saying the former minister’s accusation was “a reaction from someone who is very distraught.” [/quote]
Technically they can’t call an election as we have fixed election dates now, though I imagine if there was enough of a groundswell from the rabble they would probably find a loop hole, not like they aren’t used to that kind of thing in Victoria.
Technically they can’t call an election as we have fixed election dates now …[/quote]
… actually they can call an election.
The Lieutenant-Governor can still dissolve the legislature at any time, just like before. All the fixed term (section 23 of the BC Constitution Act) changed is that, whatever else happens, an election must be held on the second Tuesday in May every four years (counting from 2005). So there could be an election anytime before 2013 if the governing Liberals lose a vote of confidence in the legislature. At the rate things are going, that may not be out of the realm of possibility.
When Bennett is expelled from the Liberal causus, which will happen imminently, they will be down to 47. The NDP stands at 34 (after James sacked Simpson) while the Independents will be at 4 (Huntington, Lekstrom, Simpson, soon to be joined by Bennett). Assuming that James isn’t stupid enough to kick anyone else out of her caucus, 5 more dismissals or defections from the Liberals and the Independents would hold the balance of power.
Bennett is a bit haywire no doubt, but the other three Independents are pretty sensible. When one considers levels of dissatisfaction with party politics generally and with Gordo and James in particular, there is something fitting about the emergence of a significant number of Independents.
As for James, she just doesn’t seem to know what to do. The strongest support she seems to be able to muster is that 16 prominent New Democrats, all of them former MLAs, have signed some pledge of support, as if that means anything. Sure the Liberals are in self-destruct, but James certainly isn’t profiting from the situation. Maybe the NDP are going through their own form of meltdown.