by Harvey Oberfeld
Keeping It Real…
July 28, 2017
What IS in all those files/papers the Liberals left behind and did not shred or cart away before leaving office?
That was my first reaction when I heard that Liberal Leader Christy Clark had decided to step down NOW … not only as Opposition and Liberal Leader … but also as an MLA.
Must be some doozies! Can hardly wait for the NDP/Greens to start releasing it all …. for the public good, of course.
I’m not surprised Clark decided to go. I wrote in May on this blog: “Christy Clark will be GONE as Liberal leader before next Spring. And maybe even earlier.”
You can read that piece here: http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/bc-liberals-will-have-new-leader-within-a-year/.
But so fast???
That’s why I thought of what’s in those files/papers!! LOL!
There could be many reasons, of course: Clark simply does not want to serve in Opposition; she may have had some fine corporate offers made to her: she may even have … as a long time federal Liberal … some national post awaiting; she may just be tired of being so prominently in the public eye; or, perhaps there was already pressure behind the scenes for her to go … soon.
Maybe it’s a combination of some or all of the above.
Regardless, the short-term implications are GREAT for the NDP/Greens.
They will face a weakened Opposition; they will have more elbow room in legislative votes; the Liberals will be embroiled/distracted in their own leadership process for several months; there is now little chance the Liberals would … even if they could … take advantage of some early sudden circumstance to vote down the government; and all parties will get breathing space to raise funds and reorganize for the next election.
Which brings us to the Liberals.
I wrote in May: “The Christy Clark brand is beyond its “Best Before May 9? date … and Liberal strategists know that. Photo ops and hard hat moments were no longer working.”
Choosing a new leader … if they get it right … is a time-tested and proven method for a political party to portray itself as “new, improved” … as part of establishing a new image. And yes, even an opportunity to change its focus, its policies, and, it hopes, widen its appeal.
Among early prospects for Clark’s job: former Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts; MLA Andrew Wilkinson and MLA Todd Stone.
The REAL unknown right now will be the most important: how well do the NDP/Greens govern; what happens to the BC economy on their watch; does the unemployment rate go up or down; do taxes go up or down; and how comfortable are MOST British Columbians … not just their base … with other major moves/decisions/programs/changes.
All the while, remembering the job of the NEW Liberal Opposition leader will be to pounce on every failing, every weakness, every scandal …real or perceived … by the NDP/Greens … and those they appoint.
As the NDP knows, a much easier job than actually governing.
By next Spring, we will all have a pretty good idea whether the public likes the Horgan/Weaver coalition in power … or can hardly wait for the “new” Liberal leader/team to take over.