Christy Clark’s very bad day


They say bad things come in threes.

For BC Premier Christy Clark, today’s series of gaffes perfectly confirm that theory.

Just when her campaign was gaining ground – with new polls showing a much-narrowed 4-7 point gap between the Liberals and front-running BCNDP – Clark’s “Debt Free BC” campaign bus has hit a few nasty speed bumps.

First, there was the leak by her opponents of documents allegedly revealing more evidence of tax dollars being spent on campaign activities, as early as 2011. According to the CBC, who broke the story early this morning, “The NDP says the emails it has leaked show a team of B.C. Liberal insiders — Dave Ritchie, Kim Haakstad, Trevor Halford and others — were having meetings about the by-election in Port Moody and preparations to strengthen the current Liberal campaign during regular business hours at the office of team leader Dave Richie: Room 247 in the main legislature.”

If true, these actions would be in violation of the B.C. Public Service Act, which forbids conducting partisan activities with public resources. The story comes on the heels of the “ethnic-gate” scandal, which involved similar dynamics and hamstrung the Liberals heading into the election campaign.

Next, there came news of Christy Clark’s bewildering ballot-box mix-up, which saw her allegedly spoil her own vote at a photo-op. The National Post  described the situation as follows:

Casting an advance ballot in her hometown of Burnaby in front of a throng of media and campaign staff on Wednesday, a confused Ms. Clark writes her own name on her ballot paper. But Ms. Clark doesn’t live in her own riding, a detail which would have rendered her vote invalid.

Quickly realizing the error, Ms. Clark asks for her ballot back. CBC footage shows Ms. Clark then writing down the name of Vancouver–Fairview Liberal candidate Margaret MacDiarmid, but failing to cross out her own name before submitting her ballot paper, leading to further confusion over the legitimacy of her vote.

Harmless gaffe or not, the move hardly inspires confidence in a leader whose job demands being cool under pressure.

To cap it all off is the most serious and damaging of revelations for Clark on what has become a day from campaign hell. Global TV is reportingthat a movement is underway within Clark’s own party to overthrow her as soon as the ballot boxes close on Tuesday. “It’s called the 801 movement, symbolizing 8:01 p.m., one minute after the election and precisely when the movement plans to begin the process of putting pressure on Clark to step aside,” Global reports.

“The movement — made up of party members and business leaders — has already created their own buttons.”

It’s no secret that Clark has never achieved widespread popularity within her own caucus, but surely this news breaking 5 days before the election can’t benefit anyone in the Liberal Party. How will British Columbians feel about casting their ballot for a leader whose own party may be scheming to dump her?

Maybe bad things do happen in threes…then again, as I write this early in the afternoon, there’s plenty of time yet to make it four.


About Kevin Logan

Kevin Logan's career has been diverse, ranging from small business to NGOs through finance and government. Early on, he operated the research department for the Vancouver branch of international brokerage Richardson Greenshields. After leaving the finance industry he owned operated small businesses and eventually established a consulting company which contracts with both the private and public sectors. He served as a ministerial assistant to numerous ministers and a premier in the former BC NDP Administration. Kevin is also an independent researcher and writer who has administered many diverse and successful campaigns.

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    Sunday, 12 May 2013 22:45 posted by Damien Gillis

    Dan, if that’s the case, then my apologies to Mr. Tsakumis – who does often have the scoop on these matters. Thank you for sharing this.

    Sunday, 12 May 2013 20:08 posted by Dan

    I believe that it was Mr. who broke this story! A more important factor from Mr. Tsakumis is that some of the “Liberal Backroom Boys” were calling around to raise money to gift Kim Haakstad? If this is true then it is no wonder that Mr. Cummins suggest we must stop the lies, deceit & corruption. Even liberal candidate John Martin has stated of the #bcliberals’ “..legacy of deceit, incompetence, and financial mismanagement.”
    We need to say no to the BC Liberals and bring back a foundation of honesty – stop the corruption! Say NO to BC liberals! {Simple search of Google will confirm these quotes}

    Sunday, 12 May 2013 10:55 posted by catsaregrand

    Clark’s hair reminds me of ‘Toad’ in Super Mario.

    If anyone played Mario Kart 64 (don’t lie I know you did) you’d know that Toad seemed to go faster than the rest of the karts, when you didn’t play as his character. He cheated, just so he’d win, and that’s the feeling I get from Clark. Even though Toad was a good guy he still got ‘greasy’ in that game, which again sounds like Clark. However we can all agree that Stephen Harper is Bowser, the Environment is Princess Peach, Koopa Bros are Corporations going around and causing problems. Mario is us, the community that gets ‘messed’ around.

    super mario games were always a big cycle no matter how many times you won, Bowser would always come and fuck everyones life up, and until we get a Mario in the Prime Minister position the Mushroom Kingdom is fucked.

    Thursday, 09 May 2013 20:11 posted by Kevin Logan

    Abuse of public resources for partisan gain is bad.

    I don’t recall saying anything to the contrary.

    I was only addressing the “801” movement and the ballot gaffe.

    The abuse of taxpayers resources for partisan gain, is a chronic issue mastered by the Federal Conservatives. What we experienced recently here in BC with Ethnic Outreach Scandal amounted to mice nuts and was the most over blown “scandal” I have seen corporate media run with.

    That Kim Haakstad is still working for the BC liberals on the campaign, is um, hardly an issue.

    I guess it gets traction, when contrasted to Dix, when he was a staffer and left (with Severance) due to the fact that the Liberals had nothing else to attack him with.

    To further the comparison, maybe Mrs Haakstad will be Premier someday?

    Thursday, 09 May 2013 17:15 posted by Rob

    801 is ploy to bring back Liberal voters in this election. Simple question: How many Liberals will reconsider voting against their own party knowing the person they hate the most will be thrown under the bus the minute the voting is over. It will not win them the election but could get them extra seats that they might not have gotten?

    Thursday, 09 May 2013 14:53 posted by Damien Gillis

    The alleged use of public resources for party activities is a big deal, though, Kevin – a highly legitimate story. The other ones may be more curiosities, but certainly can’t help Christy’s cause.

    Thursday, 09 May 2013 14:41 posted by Kevin Logan

    The ballot thing was about the weirdest I have ever seen, everything Christy does is totally staged and scripted to avoid precisely these kinds of gaffes.

    But what is even weirder is the Mainstream news reporting, or rather manufacturing these things as “news” stories.

    The “801” thing is not a movement, but rather a handful of conservative crackpots working to dump Christy along with all the 12 years of mostly conservative baggage they have gathered along the way.

    A strategy to blame “Liberals” for the demise of the “Free enterprise party” does not a movement make. But the now fully and wholly bias mainstream media is willing to manufacture any narrative that supports the offloading of everything bad on “Liberals” while reserving all the sunshine and light that is free enterprise for the Conservatives.

    To bad all this narrative building info-tainment is replacing much needed dialogue on serious issues we face in BC, but instead the mainstream is all about salvaging the train wreck the so called ” business savy” types have made of the Province and is now well reflected in the polls and their disastrous and crumbling parties.

    Thursday, 09 May 2013 14:41 posted by Graham Watson

    For someone so self-aggrandizing as Ms Clark, all I have to say is, Looks good on you Christy!

Comments are closed.