We're scratching our heads this week at word that Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell has been chosen as B.C.'s next senator. Quite a feat for a man who tells all and sundry he's not a politician. And Campbell's right, he's not a politician. He has no patience with anyone with a view other than his. Witness his treatment of Vancouver Coun. Fred Bass. Campbell handles him more like a wide-mouth bass than a respected member of B.C. largest city's council.
And that's not the only way Campbell's demonstrated his contempt for his fellow council members. The mayor's been known to turn off a speaker's microphone when the comments are not what he wanted to hear. And then there are his well-publicized stomps from council chambers to his office when a vote hasn't gone his way. More than once Campbell has barricaded himself in his office and left some poor bureaucratic minion to face the hungry media hordes. This is hardly civilized behaviour from the mayor of one of Canada's largest cities. And B.C. is underrepresented in the senate, as it is. Why do we need a hothead to represent our best interests?
Can't you imagine some poor P.E.I. farmer standing out in his potato field wringing his red-dirt-encrusted hands saying, "If that's the best B.C. can do, sending that buffoon to the senate, little wonder we outnumber them."
Mayor Campbell is 57 now. The present rules of the senate guarantee him a job until he's 75. At $115,000 per year, that's nice work if you can get it. But will Campbell be able to overcome other senators' poor attendance records? What with his recent heart problems, who knows how the added stress of flying all over the country will affect Campbell's health. Another ailing B.C. senator is not what this province needs. While we'd like to think Campbell might mend his ways and begin to listen to opinions other than his own, we think his past record speaks for itself. And with his penchant for bullying those who don't agree with him, we can't see him able to speak for the northern reaches of our province where the people are largely both small and capital "C" conservative.
Be prepared, folks - here comes another 18-year Martin mistake.