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Riding official blogs 'Why I quit the BC Liberals'

A longtime Liberal riding official resigned from his job and the party on Friday -- and did so very publicly. His explanation appeared on a blog that appeared to have been created for the purpose.

On the site, James Plett wrote, in part:

You may actually have heard elsewhere, but today I have resigned my post as the Vice President of the Surrey-Tynehead B.C. Liberal Riding Association and have requested my membership be terminated immediately with the B.C. Liberal Party.

My resignation has nothing to do with the riding per se, nor with Dave Hayer -- the best MLA in B.C. -- nor with the riding's acclaimed candidate, Amrik Virk, but rather with the pattern of arrogance, deceit, and downright unethical behaviour of the B.C. Liberal Party.

The most recent scandal -- "ethnicgate" -- is one of the most appalling things I have read about this party doing. Government staffers, who are required to be non-partisan, put together a document explaining how the B.C. Liberal government could take advantage of horribly racist crimes in order to get a jump in the ethnic vote. The document talked about leveraging an apology for the Chinese Head Tax and the Komagatu Maru incident, to name two. This document was circulated among some of the highest levels of provincial government.

What makes it so repugnant is that the government misused taxpayer dollars to put together a document explaining how the government could misuse taxpayer dollars further and to offer apologies for absolutely horrible things all for a bump in the polls. Not to actually apologize for the events, but with the end goal of winning popularity points.

... I had been a paid employee of The Party and had done a lot of good work for them. I worked on a number of initiatives and helped form a number of pieces of policy. I'm not at all embarrassed by what I've done or what I've helped do.

That changed with Ethnicgate. I can no longer stand idly by. I can no longer watch from the sidelines as The Party crashes itself into the ground. That seems to be the fate of political parties in B.C., but I cannot stand idly by.

... I cannot abide this system any longer. The people responsible for Ethnicgate –- every single person -– are categorically morally reprehensible people. It makes me physically ill to consider the type of person who could, in good or bad conscience, do what they did. I cannot and will not stand by or sit on my hands or be idle in any other way. This is and was the final straw for me.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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