01.24.2012 06:46 AM

Changing one’s spots

John Cummins is right about one thing: BC voters are smart. They won’t be fooled by Christy Clark’s attempts to position herself as a conservative.

In politics, you’re expected to know certain things. Like who you are, for example.


  1. smelter rat says:

    She seems to be positioning herself to the right of Stephen Harper. Can’t see how that will end well, but then again, it’s BC.

  2. Sprinkle Maker says:

    Clark should have never run for the leadership in the first place. Yes, the B.C. Liberals are supposed to be a big tent party. But the tent that they are supposed to represent has always been a right-of-centre tent. The NDP constituency in B.C. was never going to be moved over to Clark. So the Liberals had to do what the non-NDP coalition in B.C. has always done: build on their right-wing base. Clark’s only way of doing that is to treat voters like fools. And no one responds worse to being taken for a fool than B.C. voters. Maybe fear of the NDP will keep the Liberals in for another election. But over the long term Clark will inevitably destroy the Liberal coalition, and so either she will have to be replaced or the Liberals will have to be and go the way of their Social Credit predecessors. Probably both will happen.

    • dave says:

      I am a leftie who has lived and worked in the oil/gas patch in N’east BC (a lonely little petunia in an onion patch), but my reply to you is completely unbiased and scientifically objective.
      BC voters can be fooled. When the BC Libs took power ten years ago they began their big lie about the dark decade of NDP rule. They haul this out at every opportunity. It works like sixty. They leave out the basics, make up numbers (boy, do these guys make up numbers), and simply repeat their mantra.
      And it works.
      Nope, a BCLib campaign of creating fear of things that never happened has always worked, and will continue to do so.
      The BC Conservatives will use it too, and it will work for them.
      BC voters are no cleverer than voters elsewhere when money dishes out the big lie.

      (Consider how effective constant repetition of the ‘Not fit to govern’ slogan about the federal NDP has been on the federal scene. As long as the voter does not examine the assertion, it works great.)

      • frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

        Two words: Fast Ferries……

        • dave says:

          Good one…part of the ‘dark decade’ mantra!
          I liked the idea of building and maintaining our BC ferries here in BC. The money stays here, and, especially, the jobs and experience stay here, and the technology bank is added to.
          You’re right, the financing part was out of control, and kept a secret, and the fast cats had technical problems when first tried out.
          So, BCLibs came in, dry docked the fast cats, and allowed no modification work to be done on them to rectify the problems. Keeping a capital asset in dry dock was more important to them politically than was the obvious pragmatic solution of trying to correct the problems. Then the BC Libs sold the fast cats for far less than their scrap value would bring in, again, not for the obvious sound business returns, but,rather, to maintain the political mantra of the dark decade. As well, the BCLibs sent building and maintenance contracts for BC Ferries offshore, losing for BC all that work, jobs, and additions to technical experience – including financing sytems.
          We could have had much more to our ship building and maintenance infrastructure, but the BCLibs sold it for a song so as to maintain a poitical message – and, as you have shown, it works like sixty.
          Somebody simply blurts ‘Fast Ferries,’ and the pavlovian construct ‘dark decade’ is stimulated, and the conversation is over.

          Just to put it in federal perspective- suppose the recent ship building contracts for the Canadian Navy had been sent off shore, without any Canadian bids even being considered.

          • frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

            The fast ferries were the wrong design for use in inland waters…..period*…..The damn things should have never been built in the first place…….the NDP was warned that they werent suitable, but they went full steam ahead anyways. Was I pleased that the BC Liberals then sold them off at fire sale prices?….no. For the record, I protested vehemently when the contract to build new standard issue ferries was awarded to Germany….those dollars and jobs should have stayed home, even if a premium for building them here was involved.

            For me, personally, however, the NDP years were the dark decade, and were exemplified by the fast ferry fiasco…. I’ll take the BC Liberals warts and all rather than return to those dark days o’ yore….

            * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_Ferry_Scandal

          • The Doctor says:

            Defending fast ferries . . . talk about picking the wrong hill to die on.

  3. frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

    Personally, I dont give a fiddlers fart what John Cummins has to say on any topic……at any rate, hes simply the talking head for the real power behind the BC Conservative throne: former Refoormer MP Randy White…..I’ll take a more right wing Christy over these troglodytes anyday…..and god willing, so will the BC electorate……

    • Happy Lib: Can`t believe it, but I totally agree with you on John Cummins. I hope that the BC electorate does too, but somehow doubt it. Look how they fell for Vanderzalm`s nonsense.

      • The Doctor says:

        I can’t stand Cummins and the BC Cons either, but barring an absolute miracle, they will effectively split the centre-right vote and the NDP will win the next BC provincial election. Personally, I think anyone predicting any other result (a) doesn’t know their BC electoral history and/or (b) is in serious denial.

  4. allegra fortissima says:

    A clear victory for the NDP already – presented on a silver plate by Christy.

    Good for them. British Columbia will be far away from “blowing up”, forget this stunt, Mr. Kinsella. After all, life wasn’t bad for the common people in British Columbia under the Social Democrat government in the 1990’s, no matter what all those Neo-Liberals and Conservatives say. If the Liberals want to win the next BC election, they must move to the Left, and fast… We don’t want a Gordon in a skirt!

    • The Doctor says:

      Things were effing terrible in BC in the 1990s. Businesses fled. Capital fled. Investment fled. You have no idea what you are talking about.

  5. Dan says:

    I’m not even saying that the rest of the Liberals outside BC are this bad. But you have to wonder if Jean Charest and Christie Clark and Gord Campbell have fundamentally ruined the federal Liberal brand in BC and Quebec. (Albeit, not singlehandledly.)

    • Sprinkle Maker says:

      Clark and Campbell did not ruin the Liberal brand in B.C. The federal Liberal brand actually improved slightly during the Campbell years. But the success of the provincial party was based on it being a very different animal. The two had to remain distinct for the provincial party to flourish, which is why Clark was always going to get the party into trouble by becoming leader.

      • Dan says:

        I’m not from BC so I won’t argue too strenuously. But if Campbell assembled a Liberal-Conservative coalition under the Liberal brand, it makes it really hard for Dion to campaign on greening the economy, or Ignatieff to sweep aside his cheerleading on Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile the NDP has been largely what-you-see-is-what-you-get in BC.

  6. Robbie says:

    When in Rome, do as the Romans do, and not as the Carthaginians. Polling in a dead heat at 23% with a provincial party that has been moribund for decades, personal approval ratings plummetting among key constituencies like female voters, and a penchant for style over substance does not bode well for a return to the Premier’s office in the next election.

    The BC Conservatives didn’t divide the centre-right vote, the BC Liberals failure to look after the public purse after 10 years in office did. Their feeble back-room narrative about the BC Cons splitting the vote only shows how out of touch and irrelevant they have become.

    • The Doctor says:

      Robbie, I think you’re ignoring the elephant in the room — the HST. It’s much to blame for the current situation. I can’t believe there have been this many posts so far and nobody has yet mentioned it.

      The HST was absolute political poison for the BC Liberals. The BC Conservatives jumped all over the anti-HST bandwagon, they were very prominent among the anti-HST campaigners and really, the HST was like the booster rocket that launched the BC Cons from nowhere to being a serious factor in the polls.

      I realize this is what historians call a counterfactual, but there’s a good argument to make that had there been no HST, the BC Cons would still be about as relevant as the Greens or the Marijuana Party, and the BC Liberals would still have a fighting chance in the next election. As it is, Christy Clark is toast. Like Rita Johnson and Kim Campbell, she will be someone who served in the highest office and then got her ass handed to her at the polls.

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