What were they thinking?
Giving Gordon Campbell the Order of B.C. may be the most misplaced accolade since Taylor Hicks won American Idol.
We join the chorus of voices saying that not only is it premature to honour the former premier with such an award - but it may also be a future embarrassment. And before the letter writers warm up their computers to pen the "you wouldn't have said that about Carole James" letters, let's be clear: We would have said that about any former premier who is barely out of office.
Gordon Campbell's legacy is far from settled. Wounds from the HST debacle are still fresh, and without rehashing the past decade of Liberal rule, there are a lot of people who have not forgotten Campbell's one-man rule and missteps. But we're equally aghast at David Emerson receiving the order. It's not that Emerson hasn't worked hard as a politician, but, honestly, this is the guy who flipped parties after being democratically elected. A move that rightly incensed not only his detractors but also his supporters.
We'd much rather see regular people who are devoting their lives to helping - often as unpaid volunteers - receive the Order of B.C. There are, no doubt, some politicians who deserve honours for their public service, but there are many more citizens who give of themselves with little recognition and no remuneration. And many, we might add, that do it despite the hurdles imposed by government policies and cuts.
Certainly one can find worthy nominees right here in New Westminster.
But, perhaps, that's the problem. The committee hasn't revealed how many nominations they received. Perhaps there were very few nominations. Perhaps that's what they were thinking. "Heck, let's give it to Gordon Campbell - that will ensure that we get lots of nominations next year." If that's the motivation - well, it might just work.