This column will probably win me few friends and gain me more enemies, but all I can say is grab a number and get in line because the situation is such that I frankly don’t care. We have a provincial election coming up, and even by B.C. blood sport standards, this one looks to be a doozy.
Where do I begin? Well for starters, the Premier is fighting for her political life. Not against the opposition, but against her own party, some of whom are openly calling for her resignation. Not even in the darkest days of the Glen Clark government did we see anything like this. Indeed there is much speculation swirling that the best thing Christy Clark could do now is to resign and set the stage for a white knight, or possibly an avenging angel from Surrey, who would ride in and save the day. But that possibility seems to have evaporated after a weekend cabinet meeting when all of the ministers lined up, put their knives back into their sheaths, and unlike Brutus a thousand years ago, deigned to let the Emperor live another day. The collective sigh of relief from the NDP forces could be heard all the way from Vancouver to the Rockies.
Surely it must be obvious by now that the so-called “ethnic outreach” scandal Clark is facing is little more than a political firestorm whipped up by the media and hides the real problem that’s brought her down, namely the Liberal caucus has been against her right from the beginning. Only one caucus member supported her leadership bid in 2011. Not a single cabinet member supported her. Given that, how in heaven could anyone expect her to be a successful leader? She doesn’t walk on water. And I doubt if even she did it would have save her. She’s not Captain Bligh and has no way of controlling the simmering mutiny that’s been going on ever since she became captain of the ship and now she’s basically dead-politician-walking.
How do you think the NDP got hold of the secret memo outlining the Liberals’ opportunistic ethnic strategy? Duh. Someone leaked it to them. Could that “someone” have been a member of the Liberal party? Could it have been a disgruntled government worker? Could it have been an MLA or cabinet member? I certainly don’t know, but I seriously doubt if the NDP staged a Watergate type break-in to get it. And is this ostensible ethnic strategy “scandal” really so scandalous? If it is, than Adrian Dix himself put it to good use when he used a highly successful membership drive in the Lower Mainland Asian community to put himself over the top in the NDP leadership race. And for that matter, Prime Minister Steven Harper carefully targeted the ethnic vote in winning his first majority. All political parties target the ethnic vote just as they target the women’s vote, the seniors’ vote and so on. It’s hardly new. It’s not illegal and it’s hardly Machiavellian. It’s just every day, hard-ball politics.
So where does this leave us as we head into the spring follies of another B.C. election? Personally, I think there’re only two issues – ethics and competence. The Gordon Campbell regime, which let’s face it we’re still living with, provided us with competent government the first two terms, but was ethically-challenged right from the get-go and went completely off the rails in its final term paving the way for the Clark debacle.
I say “ethically challenged” in the first term despite providing competent government because of the BC Rail scandal, which took place near the beginning of the Campbell era and resulted in corruption guilty pleas and two year sentences against two of Campbell’s senior aides in October 2010 and an unprecedented RCMP raid of the legislature in December 2003. If that isn’t “ethically challenged” government, I don’t know what is.
I say “incompetent” because of the clumsy and dishonest way the Campbell government handled the HST file, which ultimately resulted in the Premier’s resignation, cast a dark shadow over the B.C. economy for almost three years – especially the real estate industry – and cost the taxpayers almost $3 billion to put the situation right again, if indeed it is right. Surely this meets the Webster’s Dictionary definition of “incompetent.”
And what now? Obviously, we have a government that’s gone way beyond its “best before” date and it’s time to throw the scoundrels out and give the next set a chance.
Gerry Warner is a retired reporter and Cranbrook city Councillor. His opinions are his own.Tags: Adrian DixB.C. blood sportB.C. electionBC Rail scandalCaptain BlighChristy ClarkCranbrookethnic outreachGordon CampbellHSTLiberalsPerceptions by Gerry WarnerPremierPrime Minister Steven HarperRCMPscandalWebster’s Dictionary
Old Man Stephen and the winter mafia> Read More
Natural air conditioning> Read More
Jumbo council paves way for resort construction> Read More
SD5 puts $80,000 in Carbon Offsets Fund> Read More
Tee Off for Kootenay Kids Golf Gala> Read More
Media event example of business collaboration> Read More
COTR alum finalist for Best Job in the World> Read More
Hot Car Report> Read More