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article imageBC: Campbell resignation no surprise

By Gibril Koroma     Nov 3, 2010 in Politics
Vancouver - Today's resignation by British Columbia premier Gordon Campbell did not take most British Columbians by surprise. In fact a lot of them have been asking for it for quite some time now.
After Campbell slammed the notorious Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) down their throats. There were rumours that Campbell was actually pressurized by members of his own party to resign, something his resignation statement attempts to counteract . The rumour was that some powerful inner circle members had threatened to publicly call for his resignation but his surprise move this morning seems to have taken the fight out of them.
NDP leader Carole James, a fervent and determined Campbell critic, and some NDP MLAs thanked the former premier for his services to the province and to the nation.
In today's statement, Campbell said he decided to resign "after considerable soul searching and discussion" with his family.
"I have decided to ask the BC Liberal Party executive to hold a leadership convention at the earliest possible date to select a new leader for our party," he said. He then listed some of his most recent achievements:
“Over the last few weeks, our government has continued to move forward with initiatives that will create jobs, build a stronger economy and support families across British Columbia. We made the second-largest reduction in personal income taxes in B.C. history. We launched new initiatives that will tailor our education system so that children get the best possible opportunity to succeed."
Campbell however did not like the way he was personally attacked because of the HST:
“....When public debate becomes focused on one person, instead of what is in the best interest of British Columbians, we have lost sight about what is important. When that happens, it’s time for a change."
He however concedes that he needs to go, to give a chance to another person to lead the party and the province.
“This decision is what I believe is in the best interest of British Columbia, our government, our party and the people of our province. At a time like this, everyone’s attention should be focused on helping our economy rebound from the global recession and moving forward with an agenda that families can see is in their long-term interest."
“It’s time for a new person to lead. I am asking the party to move as quickly as possible to organize a leadership convention. I intend to ensure a smooth and orderly transition. My goal is to return public attention to what is important to British Columbians – their jobs, their families and how government can best support them."
And then Campbell delivered a parting shot for the benefit of his opponents:
“And finally, if you will allow me a personal note, I want to thank all my family, especially my wife Nancy. They all paid a price for my 26 years in public service. Politics can be a very nasty business and at times that spilled over, through no fault of their own, to all of my family. I am sorry for that and I want to thank them all for their support and love."
Kwantlen University Sociology professor Charles Quist-Adade has this to say on Campbell's resignation:
" No tears for Premier Gordon Campbell. As a "conservative liberal" he outperformed the Progressive Conservatives in the politics of slash and burn. Having recast the image of the BC Liberal Party as mean and lean and pro-business, Premier Campbell is leaving his successor an unenviable legacy. Under him, the image of Liberal Party as a progressive, pro-working class party has been seriously damaged."
Charles however has some words of praise for Gordon Campbell:
"I...applaud him for knowing when to quit. Not many politicians know this."
BC community and human rights activist Dr. Clement Apaak says he was also impressed by Campbell's action today:
"I still dream of the day a leader in Africa will willingly resign from an elected political position," he said.
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