The last several days have become for many of us a time for serious, sober reflection as to where the BC Liberal Party goes over the next year or so as official opposition in the legislature. While such a pending status does not sit easy for the party faithful, the prospects of being out of political power after sixteen years does have its benefits. We get to put the other side’s feet to the fire as they try to exercise their mandate, under the most tenuous of circumstances – a one seat majority brought about by a special deal with a third party. Whether the Horgan-lead NDP are successful or not, time will only tell, but that does not alter the fact that the now opposition Liberals – a right-of-center coalition of voters – needs to reset its sights if it wants to be ready for the next campaign. As one of its thousands of rank-and-file members, who has been around for over twenty years, I am interested in seeing the party embark on a major overhaul of its message and medium in an effort to engage more British Columbians in the political process. For too long, we have been viewed as a party that represents corporate interests over those of the environment, common folk, and the poor. The time has come to change that perspective in a way that doesn’t have to compromise core values or principles. One way that might be accomplished is to open the party to dialogue as to how we might address critical issues such a growing need for social housing and treatment of opioid addiction. I am hoping that the party itself will create some kind of platform on its website where members and the general public can discuss all-things political, economic and social. The other side has been doing it for years through a community-funded, activist, online newspaper called the Tyee which I subscribe to when it comes to finding out what is going on in the realm of BC socialism. I no longer want to see the BC Liberal Party driven by outdated propaganda that would have me believe that the NDP are perennially reckless spenders who can’t be trusted to be good public stewards. Rather, I want to see a party that has the true facts on what it means to build Site C, back Kinder Morgan, make hospitals operating better, fight opioid addiction, provide adequate social housing throughout the province, develop LNG, introduce coding in the BC school curriculum, expand light-rapid across the Lower Mainland, bring commuter rail to Victoria, back new green initiatives, raise the minimum wage, and get a new softwood lumber agreement with the Americans. Until now,  the members have had to rely on the government frontbench to set the policy guidelines for such controversial subjects. As the record shows, the Clark Liberals in Victoria have basically responded to each of the above in an ad hoc fashion as they emerge.  Thus, when it comes to an election, many of us campaign workers are forced to defend, when confronted at the doorstep, positions that are either poorly thought out or arbitrarily imposed from above. A regimen of lower taxes for the rich and upper middle classes will no longer do it if polls are to be believed. Technically, we lost the election by 183 votes in the Courtenay-Comox riding where, if the Liberal candidate had won, we would be looking at a majority of one today, but that is not the point. We lost an election we expected to win because we went to the people with a very narrow platform that, while it miraculously worked for us in 2013, the political dynamics had changed in the interim. There were enough disaffected Liberal voters who were looking for a remaking of the message that parked their vote or sided with the Greens to turn the tide against us. To reverse this misfortune we have to start using the time given us in opposition to talk about and come up with strategies that address the changing face of this province. Part of that new commitment might entail feeling free to wading to personally talk about what we really believe is our strong card – financial prudence –  vis a vis the other side’s heavy emphasis on social programming, and see where it takes us. The time has come for us BC Liberals to connect with people who either don’t trust the Right or have no abiding interest in politics, and it starts with us defining what we really believe other than what we are told to.