For those who may be unaware, the BC Liberals are holding their annual BC Interior Leaders Golf Invitational at the Predator Ridge Golf Course in Vernon on September 22, 2016. This event represents one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for the BC Liberals and a quick review of the sponsorship opportunities and the fee structure for the event reveals the real reason why the BC Liberals are so reluctant to ban big money from BC politics: they quite clearly are the largest benefactors of it (and the subsequent perception of them being influenced by that big money). Despite the vocal protestations of those wanting to ban the influence of big money in B.C. politics, polling that suggest that 86% of British Columbians want to ban big money from BC politics, and the movement in other jurisdictions to ban these types of big money events, the BC Liberals are nevertheless shamelessly moving ahead with this event. Of the various packages available including the top package of $50,000, one particular package caught my eye (see below).
For a mere $4,000, your foursome would receive a round of golf, dinner, a $400 voucher for accommodation at Predator Ridge and, wait for it, the opportunity to have a BC Liberal MLA be your caddie. Yes you read that right. In BC you can literally “pay to play” and have a BC Liberal MLA even carry your bags.
That got me thinking. Which BC Liberal MLA would be the best choice to be your caddie and why? I’ve listed a few of my suggested selections below (in no particular order) with a certain number of caveats (both good and bad) to keep in mind for each of those selections. Please feel free to add your suggestions in the comments area below if I’ve left out your favourite BC Liberal MLA or if you have a different/better reason as to why any of the BC Liberal MLAs identified would be the best selection as your caddie and I will try to incorporate them.
Mike Bernier (Peace River South) – A largely problematic selection as he would more than likely take most of your golf clubs and balls away and then give them back to you one by one and then expect you to be thankful for it. Select at own risk.
Peter Fastbender (Surrey-Fleetwood) – A good selection due to his “acumen for accuracy” concerning numbers (see his prior ridiculous statement that the Evergreen Line is on time and on budget). He would definitely be an asset in “helping” you with your score and subsequently straight face defending your score afterwards.
John Yap (Richmond-Steveston) – Best bet for getting a Quick Win in the tournament and therefore getting your foursome to the buffet first. Would also be helpful in reaching out to any ethnic foursomes that you might encounter while out on the course.
Michelle Stilwell (Parksville-Qualicum) – Would be good at getting others to acknowledge your golf handicap but would be seemingly largely unsympathetic to the plight of others on the course who might also have golf handicaps.
Christy Clark (Westside-Kelowna) – Would turn up for the tee time photos and then slip off and go caddie for another foursome if it meant more money for her and it was a bigger priority. On the other hand, she does have expensive photographers tailing her around so you would be able to get some good (but expensive) photos of your foursome out of it (at least at the tee off anyway).
Rich Coleman (Fort Langley-Aldergrove) – Has a tendency to tell anyone on the course having legitimate difficulties to stop whining. Comes across as largely unsympathetic and might be a bit difficult to be around. Be wary.
Mike de Jong (Abbotsford West) – Excellent at cherry picking the scores on a few holes and then extrapolating that score across 18 holes (as demonstrated here).
Todd Stone (Kamloops-South Thompson) – Would be very adept at driving a golf cart (although clearly at speed). Might want to install a commemorative plaque on the golf course using workers from another golf course halfway through your round (which would be kind of awkward and a waste of time and money as he clearly had nothing to do with the construction of the golf course in the first place).
Linda Reimer (Port Moody-Coquitlam) – Wouldn’t do or say anything offensive either way and would not be noticeable. Would have to check with the party brass before doing or saying anything. Would be rather ineffective and definitely wouldn’t advocate for your team should there be any kind of a disagreement with party/course officials. Be honest. You didn’t actually know that she was an MLA right? If I could actually find a link to something significant that this backbencher actually did in her entire term in office I would post it but I can’t. You try. And yes that is a challenge.
Suzanne Anton (Vancouver-Fraserview) – Would be able to change the rules of the golf game at any time so that whatever you did, it would be perfectly legal by the time you finished your round.
Bill Bennett (Kootenay East) – Has tendency to cuss and call other foursomes out on the course “turds”. Might be a bit offensive but nevertheless somewhat entertaining on the course.
Ralph Sultan (West Vancouver-Capilano) – Might need some prodding to make sure he is awake during the proceedings.
Richard Lee (Burnaby North) – Wouldn’t work in the best interests of your foursome and might be recalled to the clubhouse once you are out on the course. Would be one of his last actions as an MLA so might be worth picking him to give him a glimpse of his life after politics.
Mary Polak (Langley) – Would ignore the obvious pollutants leaking profusely from your golf cart into the nearby lake despite being alerted numerous times to it. Avoid at all costs.
Moira Stilwell (Vancouver-Langara) – You could ask her but she would more than likely decline gracefully as she actually has some integrity.
Others worth considering if the BC Liberal MLA of your choice is unavailable:
Pat Pimm (Peace River North) – Former BC Liberals cabinet minister and current persona non grata with the BC Liberals. A good selection (if he’s not in court that day that is). Likely would be prudent to wait to hear from the special prosecutor before actually picking him. As that could be next year at this rate, would be probably best to pick someone else.
Joan Isaacs (BC Liberals Candidate for Coquitlam-Burke Mountain) – Would likely ask Joey Keithley how to caddie first so she can fumble around and look for the instructions on how to caddie from the party brass. Part of a losing foursome last year and likely to have the same fate again so best to avoid picking her.
Laura Miller (BC Liberal Party) – Could be useful in arranging for the scorecards to be mysteriously wiped clean at the end of the round (allegedly).
Randy Rinaldo (Former BC Liberals candidate for Burnaby-Lougheed) – Could be particularly useful if the slow foursome in front of you is comprised of gypsies or poor people. Might be somewhat offensive to any females in your foursome though. You could always select him anyway and then replace him midway on the course after initially vigorously defending him and trying to downplay his obvious offensive behaviour. Wouldn’t be the first time.
Gordon Wilson (LNG-Buy B.C. Advocate) – That is, if anyone can actually find him as he seems to be largely AWOL these days. Seems a bit unstable (see recent rant) so might be worth a pass.
Judy Tyabji (Former BC Liberals MLA and Bestselling Author) – Would write the most flattering description of your golf round ever. It would be mostly uncritical and largely full of embellishments and propaganda though and would soon be forgotten and so hardly worth the effort.
Any other suggestions?
Edit: Since the publishing of this piece, the powers that be have deleted many of the pages that are referenced above. But like all things on the internet, screenshots and internet archives live forever. If anyone wants screenshots, just let me know.