It has been accurately observed that in politics six weeks is an eternity. By April/May of 2013, who knows what the issues of the moment might be? I’ll tell you my bet in a moment.
It is this question which should spur the Liberals into doing something about their leadership – or lack of it.
I simply cannot see how, short of a fluke, Christy Clark can lead her party to victory in May 2013.
Ms. Clark didn’t have a chance from the start. With but one MLA supporting here she had to pull off a miracle in order to start putting Humpty Dumpty together again. Ms Clark doesn’t have it within her to lead in a forceful way – the sad fact is that she simply is not a leader, period.
For the good of her party the premier should step aside. If the Liberals held a leadership convention, soon, the new leader could hardly do worse. Let’s leave that for a moment.
The issues next May are likely to be energy and the environment. The Northern Gateway proposition has become huge; the state of BC Hydro being forced to pay hugely inflated prices to private power companies is catching on; the issues around Natural gas, LNG and “fracking” will be much more focused.
The NDP has had a free run with these issues and, in my opinion have not done a good job in stating a firm policy.
The energy critic John Horgan has, amazingly enough, supported the LNG plant and pipeline through very sensitive territory to it. He has refused to condemn the increase capacity for Kinder-Morgan on the flimsy excuse that they have not filed their request yet, an amazing stance when you think that they will be pumping bitumen through sensitive areas which is what Enbridge proposes to do and the know all they’ll ever need to know about spills of bitumen. His policy on so-called run of rivers has been wishy washy.
Premier Clark has been pathetic on these subjects and this is the very reason the Libs should dump her.
Would Ms Clark leaving and a new leader chosen lead the Liberals back to power next May?
I very much doubt it – they would, however, at least have a chance whereas they don’t have any chance the way things presently look.
The leadership contest would have to have two results – a leader who had the backing of his MLAs and a clear energy and environmental program that could get public support. If the convention doesn’t give the party “bounce” in the polls, and more importantly, bounce with the voters, it will fail. Yet, as I have been saying, they’re dead in the water as it is and a change is their only chance.
Who could provide a leadership that British Columbians might follow?
I haven’t the faintest idea. The strong man in the caucus is Kevin Falcon but he scarcely could be seen as a man of the environment.
In any event, that’s not my problem.
It gets down to this – whether change would help is uncertain; without change it is all but certain that not only will they lose the election, they might lose their party in the bargain.