05.03.2017 02:31 PM

Globe and Mail: Christy Clark was “warm,” “friendly,” “respectful,” “handled [Linda] well”

Dear Team BC NDP: a hashtag, and a lot of fake Twitter outrage, does not a winning campaign make.  Check this out – the Globe and Mail is calling you out on your (typical, usual) tendency to get outraged about every frigging thing, the absurd #IAmLinda included:

Of all the interactions ever to occur between a voter and a campaigning politician, the one last week between BC Liberal Party Leader Christy Clark and a woman in a North Vancouver market has got to be among the most anodyne.

Except, of course, that this one was caught on camera and went viral on Twitter, where it is being used against Ms. Clark.

We’re not buying it. Anyone who wants to can see the incident online and judge for themselves. But what we saw was this:

Ms. Clark is walking through the market and greeting voters. A woman introduces herself and gets a warm greeting in return, complete with a friendly handshake.

Then the woman says, “I would never vote for you because of what…” Ms. Clark cuts her off with a smile. “You don’t have to. That’s why we live in a democracy,” she says, and walks on.

And that was that. Except for the Twitter outrage, and the embarrassing #IamLinda hashtag that went with it.

The voter in question, Linda Higgins, is an innocent party in all of this. There’s no evidence she was looking to make news, or that she was an NDP plant. She deserves no condemnation.

But neither did Ms. Clark do anything wrong. In fact, in the hurly-burly of a closely fought election campaign, she handled it well. Voters love to tell politicians they are not going to vote for them; it’s a fact of life for campaigners. As long as a politician is respectful, he or she can move on without having to listen to every prepared lecture about their failings.

Voters who start a conversation with “I would never vote for you” shouldn’t be shocked when the conversation is brief. The assumption in the #IamLinda hashtag is that Linda Higgins is a victim. But of what? Of not being an exception to the facts of life?

If there is a larger sense among some B.C. voters that the Liberal Party has grown arrogant after so many years in power, that’s fair. But the fact that a garden-variety exchange between a voter and a politician has become a distracting political incident on Twitter speaks more about a social medium that feeds on easy outrage than it does about the real issues in this election.


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    Miles Lunn says:

    I think she handled it fairly, maybe not perfect but hardly a disaster. Yes as premier you are supposed to listen to everyone even those who didn’t vote for you, but when campaigning there are really two things you do. Now if she wasn’t campaigning, I would expect her to listen to the concerns, but right now is a campaign and the job is to achieve the two below. After the election is over and if she is still premier then you can talk more to those who would never vote for you.

    1. Identify your supporters and make sure they show up on e-day
    2. Try to persuade swing voters who are open to voting for you, but not decided to vote your way.

    Those that won’t vote for you, you be respectful to, which Clark was but you don’t spend too much time engaging them as that is a waste of time since you won’t get them to switch.

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    Mike Adamson says:

    That the NDP jumped in to take full advantage of the incident should surprise nobody but to suggest that the optics mean nothing sounds a lot like whistling in the dark to me. Most folks aren’t on Twitter and wouldn’t have seen the ginned up outrage but if they watched the news then they saw what they saw and it wasn’t good IMOP.

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    Jay says:

    They say in politics that “when you’re explaining you’re losing,” and this incident happened a week ago. Not great for Clark.

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    Gyor says:

    The problem wasn’t the incident itself, I mean the optics aren’t good, but its was BC Liberals calling the woman an NDP plant, which she wasn’t that made it a big deal, all Christy Clark had to do is apologize for being brisk with Linda and it would blow over by now.

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    Kelly says:

    What kind of liberal party has blue signs? I’ll tell you . . . a fake one. Just like Clark is a fake Liberal. The BC Lib’s are Conservatives. They have not stood up for medicare and they will celebrate if Dr. Day wins his lawsuit to ram two tier healthcare down our throats. The clip caught reality.

    Oh, and the Globe and Mail? They’re still publishing?

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      Miles Lunn says:

      Actually the BC government under the Liberals is one of the litigants against Day in court. Besides all Day is asking for is to allow a mixed hybrid system like what exists in most European countries. Certainly if he wins I agree there needs to very strict rules to ensure there isn’t an exodus of doctors to the private sector. I would support having a 40 hour minimum per week rule in that doctors must work at least 40 hours in the public system each week before they can go private. Even many countries are Europe that are generally more socialistic than us allow clinics like his and by freeing up more funding, most of those countries have prescription drugs and some cases dental care covered which we don’t.

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    Tim says:

    I think NDP supporters will see this as an “out-of-touch” premiere being a snob, and Liberal supporters will see this as no big deal. As someone who finds both options not all that appetizing, I still tend to go with the latter. Who cares? If you’re a political leader who’s running around and hobnobbing with the public for six weeks and hardly a day off in between, I’d get annoyed too by some lady named Linda making a scene. And Clark didn’t even play it badly. This is much about nothing.

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    Danny says:

    I wouldn’t want to bet on the outcome of this election. I have lived in BC 35 years, but I think this is a toss up.
    I remember when the last NDP government got thrown out in 2001. There was a palpable hate on for them, and they got wiped out.
    This time, I don’t sense that. The people who hate Christy have never voted for her anyways. So no change there.
    The job market is good. Every home owner is a paper millionaire now. Balanced budget, etc. If only the rain would quit.
    But I think it will be close.

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    Charlie says:

    I think we may be stretching the term “viral” here.

    Trending amongst BCPOLI nerds, maybe. But definitely not something your average person gives two shits about.

    The whole interaction has to be the most Canadian campaign confrontation. I’ll just remind people that candidates get egged in France, mercilessly mocked in UK and screamed at (or shot) in the US. The only thing I can remotely think of in Canada as being relatable to that is the Shawinigan Handshake.

    But I’ll echo a comment of someone above here: It really shouldn’t surprise anyone that the NDP are trying to twist the hell out of this incident into something its not. I don’t know why, but its a pretty disgusting tendency of New Democrats to use victimization as a frequent political weapon. [Recall Nikki Ashton and “women’s safety in the workplace” following elbow-gate].

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    Marcus Anthony says:

    The liberals are just salty because their plan to get a hashtag (what was it… #calmdownjon?) fell flat compared to this much more grassroots meme.

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