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Opinion

Must See TV? Politics in BC!

Hit shows get a whole new look as the networks mine gold in British Columbia.

By Bill Tieleman 4 Jan 2011 | TheTyee.ca

Bill Tieleman is a regular Tyee contributor who writes a column on B.C. politics every Tuesday in 24 Hours newspaper. E-mail him at weststar@telus.net or visit his blog.

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Bob Simpson, the new Don Draper.

"Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn't have in your home." -- David Frost, TV host

After a wild year of British Columbia politics in 2010, Hollywood has discovered our province as the source for comedy, drama and reality TV!

Tune in to these top television shows that have been totally remade with new B.C. political content:

HOUSE. Watch as B.C.'s most famous political corruption trial convicts -- David Basi and Bob Virk -- serve two years less a day house arrest plotting revenge. Who will they punk first -- Premier Gordon Campbell, ex-finance minister Gary Collins or key Crown witness Erik "Spiderman" Bornmann, who spilled the beans?

DEAL OR NO DEAL. Must-watch TV as Basi and Virk's skilled defence lawyers go all the way for an amazing $6 million in prizes. Can they take "The Banker" -- former attorney general Mike de Jong -- to the cleaners while keeping their clients out of jail?

BIG LOVE. Meet the B.C. New Democrat MLA caucus members -- one happy fundamentalist political family where you never know who will end up on top!

NUMB3RS. The numb3rs just don't add up for three B.C. Liberal leadership candidates -- Christy Clark, Mike de Jong and Moira Stillwell, who only have a single MLA supporting each one of them! And since it's Harry Bloy who backs Clark, that makes it a negative numb3r.

MAD MEN. Featuring three independent MLAs who are simply mad -- at their former parties! Bill Bennett accused Premier Gordon Campbell of expectorating in his face -- but it was the BC Liberal caucus that spit Bennett out.

Add co-stars Bob Simpson, tossed from the NDP for saying leader Carole James gave a boring speech and Blair Lekstrom, who left the Liberals when they wouldn't rescind the same Harmonized Sales Tax he'd earlier voted for!

LIE TO ME. A new reality show where politicians tell voters outrageous whoppers -- and then the audience votes them into power! Some 2009 pre-election episodes include: "BC Liberals have no plans to introduce an HST" and "The B.C. budget has a maximum $495 million deficit." Hilarious fun for the whole family!

HOARDERS. Some folks just can't throw anything out -- especially BC New Democrats! Check their Constitution: "Social, economic and political progress in Canada can only be assured by the application of democratic socialist principles to government..." It was last a big hit on radio in the 1930s.

HAWAII FIVE-0. The now-legendary breathalyser reading of Premier Gordon Campbell during his intoxicated driving episode in Maui in 2003 was the inspiration for this reality show based on drunk tank jail stories.

TWO AND A HALF MEN. After it's discovered he's been secretly paid to serve as New Democratic Party president, Moe Sihota promises to make up for it -- by doing the work of two and a half men. But hilarity ensues when he draws on his earlier work with Larry and Curly Joe and makes 2.5 times as many mistakes!

CRIMINAL MINDS. An inside look at the 2009 election campaign of BC Liberal MLA Kash Heed that led to criminal charges against campaign manager Barinder Sall as well as Election Act counts against two others.

Ironically Heed, who faces no charges, was a veteran cop and solicitor general at one point -- and again for about 12 hours in a comedy of errors before quitting again.

And then the special prosecutor himself had to resign. Because his firm gave $1,000 to Heed's campaign!

But remember, these are allegations only and unproven in a court of law -- or on TV!

WITHOUT A TRACE. Investigators attempt to locate the missing Green Party of BC and its leader Jane Sterk -- last seen during the 2009 provincial election debate.

COLD CASE. The BC Conservatives last elected an MLA in 1978 -- but the leaderless party hopes to come out of the deep freeze this year with a new leader supported behind the scenes by former Reform Party members of parliament. Brrrrrrr.

BIGGEST LOSER. Will it be the BC Liberal Party or the BC New Democrats? Find out in the Election 2011 season premiere who will be premier and who will sit in opposition!

Don't touch that dial. B.C. politics brings it this season!  [Tyee]

Read more: Politics, Elections

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