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Christy Clark Must Go

Of course Christy Clark must resign. It’s not going to get better as time passes.

I would be the last to say that the entire problem is of her doing – she was handed a poisoned chalice by Gordon Campbell who is the ultimate Teflon man; he pays nothing for going to jail and when he left in a cloud, far from paying a price, he gets showered with honours.

BC Hydro is the unlanced boil, an issue that has lots of legs. But now, according to Alex Tsakumis, the intrepid blogger with a box cart full of contacts, has the Premier in the mess too.

The question is timing and how – it must be soon, for when the Conservatives win Chilliwack all in the caucus will have sharp knives ready for the moment she turns her back.

Why do I see backstabbing here?

Because that’s what it is.

From the moment she was selected leader of the Liberals, I predicted that Ms. Clark would fail, for two reasons: I didn’t think she had the necessary tools of leadership, but, of more importance, she had a caucus and cabinet that had a death wish for her. Leaders can survive enemies within but not if it’s everybody. She had no colleagues she could rely upon to help to avoid trouble or to get out of it when it happened.

I frankly don’t think she was up to the job but she was given no real opportunity to prove me wrong.

What now?

A Conservative friend (yes there are such things) suggested that the Liberals bring in proportional representation which would mean the right, being the Liberals in their present incarnation and the Conservatives would have a chance to form a coalition.

I don’t know if it was tongue in cheek but there are many reasons this is a bad idea that wouldn’t float – Liberal and Conservative members wouldn’t stand for it. Neither would the public who would see it just as it would be – an insult to the people since they would have no say in the matter.

I believe that in general, the caucus as a whole should select the party leader.

Not democratic?

How democratic are the electronic games that are played under the current system? The caucus knows whom they can and will support and whom they cannot.

The best example I can think of was the political assassination of Margaret Thatcher in 1990. In the British Tory system there‘s a leadership review process and in 1990 it was invoked. In a little over a week the process was concluded with John Major getting the support of more MPs than anyone else. He won the next election.

Now it must always be remembered that no matter how the process works it’s not “new pitcher, new strikes”. The incoming leader will have to deal with the mess that’s left over as will any successor to Christy Clark.

The backroom boys always think that a leadership convention, complete with electronic voting, will provide a leader who will have momentum to carry on and win. They use Bill Vander Zalm as an example. In fact, it’s an example of my point – while Vander Zalm was loved by the people (not for long, as it transpired) he went into the nominating convention with only one member of caucus supporting him, Jack Davis, who had been convicted of fraudulently converting 1st Class tickets into Economy and pocketing the difference. He was forced out of Cabinet by Premier Bill Bennett never to darken the cabinet room again. He saw that with Vander Zalm he might get back in – and he did. The important point is that all of the other ministers who had served with Vander Zalm opposed his nomination and he had not been long in his new job before the knives were unsheathed.

On cannot overly blame his colleagues, for Vander Zalm was stubborn, unrelenting in opinions and a one man band.

I believe that the Liberals will lose in 2013 regardless of who is leader. But the object is not winning but holding the party together. The longer Ms. Clark stays, the greater the risk of an implosion as the Socreds did in 1991.

Premier Clark must wait until the by-elections are over – otherwise she would be seen as abandoning her candidates.

After these elections I believe Ms. Clark must stand down and the leader should be selected by either the cabinet (as the Socreds did in 1991) or by the entire caucus as is the Conservative policy in the UK.

I suspect that the backroom boys will disagree and want a full blown leadership convention. If they do it they run the risk of having the same result that put Ms. Clark in the premier’s office.

The one thing the electronic election does not do is see first hand the candidates going through a process. The traditional convention was exciting to watch and because of that the winner did have momentum.

In all events, no amount of promising huge exports here, big developments there will do. The public sees through that kind of death bed flim flam.

Christy Clark must go – and soon.

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