Premier Clark should step aside


It has been accurately observed that in politics six weeks is an eternity. By April/May of 2013, who knows what the issues of the moment might be? I’ll tell you my bet in a moment.

It is this question which should spur the Liberals into doing something about their leadership – or lack of it.

I simply cannot see how, short of a fluke, Christy Clark can lead her party to victory in May 2013.

Ms. Clark didn’t have a chance from the start. With but one MLA supporting here she had to pull off a miracle in order to start putting Humpty Dumpty together again. Ms Clark doesn’t have it within her to lead in a forceful way – the sad fact is that she simply is not a leader, period.

For the good of her party the premier should step aside. If the Liberals held a leadership convention, soon, the new leader could hardly do worse. Let’s leave that for a moment.

The issues next May are likely to be energy and the environment. The Northern Gateway proposition has become huge; the state of BC Hydro being forced to pay hugely inflated prices to private power companies is catching on; the issues around Natural gas, LNG and “fracking” will be much more focused.

The NDP has had a free run with these issues and, in my opinion have not done a good job in stating a firm policy.

The energy critic John Horgan has, amazingly enough, supported the LNG plant and pipeline through very sensitive territory to it.
He has refused to condemn the increase capacity for Kinder-Morgan on the flimsy excuse that they have not filed their request yet, an amazing stance when you think that they will be pumping bitumen through sensitive areas which is what Enbridge proposes to do and the know all they’ll ever need to know about spills of bitumen. His policy on so-called run of rivers has been wishy washy.

Premier Clark has been pathetic on these subjects and this is the very reason the Libs should dump her.

Would Ms Clark leaving and a new leader chosen lead the Liberals back to power next May?

I very much doubt it – they would, however, at least have a chance whereas they don’t have any chance the way things presently look.

The leadership contest would have to have two results – a leader who had the backing of his MLAs and a clear energy and environmental program that could get public support. If the convention doesn’t give the party “bounce” in the polls, and more importantly, bounce with the voters, it will fail. Yet, as I have been saying, they’re dead in the water as it is and a change is their only chance.

Who could provide a leadership that British Columbians might follow?

I haven’t the faintest idea. The strong man in the caucus is Kevin Falcon but he scarcely could be seen as a man of the environment.

In any event, that’s not my problem.

It gets down to this – whether change would help is uncertain; without change it is all but certain that not only will they lose the election, they might lose their party in the bargain.


About Rafe Mair

Rafe Mair, LL.B, LL.D (Hon) a B.C. MLA 1975 to 1981, was Minister of Environment from late 1978 through 1979. In 1981 he left politics for Talk Radio becoming recognized as one of B.C.'s pre-eminent journalists. An avid fly fisherman, he took a special interest in Atlantic salmon farms and private power projects as environmental calamities and became a powerful voice in opposition to them. Rafe is the co-founder of The Common Sense Canadian and writes a regular blog at

9 thoughts on “Premier Clark should step aside

  1. Perhaps others might feel the same; I would like to see some payback by Liberal MLAs who for all their time in government have raided the public’s purse for personal gain and benefits for close friends.

    The BC Auditor General has not been able to find the government’s accounting professionaly acceptable ever since the Liberal party won majority. For more than 10 years the government has deliberately lied to the citizens of BC about the true financial state of the province. It took 7 years of telling MLAs that they were not supposed to spend using the “cookie jar” approach. It is appawling to think that responsible adults would think it acceptable to travel in style while not producing even the simplest evidence such as a supporting reciept.

    A payback option could be a personal income tax audit for all MLAs. No receipt then it becomes taxable income. No declaration then recovery of taxes due plus penalties for breaking the income tax rules we all must abide by.

    I have asked Revenue Minister Shea for this action but no reply after 2 months. I could use help from those who also want payback.

  2. Rafe,I can’t believe you think our unelected Preem pulled of a miracle,when in truth she cheated her ass off

  3. When the Socreds hit a big credibility gap, the money behind the throne bought Gordon Campbell and then bought him the Liberal Party to replace the Socreds. Restoring the ruling class under the Liberal moniker was expected to cost 1 NDP term (it took 2). Here we are again. The money that runs the Liberals will concede and withdraw, find a new “leader” to follow their direction and probably buy him a new party. (The Socred money does not appear to be very supportive of “her” leaders except to facilitate the changeover.
    With ” I’ve never been anything except a politico ” people in key positions, the money expects to be able to survive 1 NDP term before restoring the control of the sell off under a new title.

  4. The paradox is the BC Liberals can only win if they’re not BC Liberals. They’d have to get rid of all the Campbellites, including backroom hacks with even the slightest detectable trace of Kinselloid about them, all of the twenty or so rookie MLAs who weren’t party to the corrupt sale of BC Rail or the HST lie, but who supported the government responsible for those crimes, and Christy Clark who billed herself as a leader who could take the spic and span to the tainted party because she happened to be out of government for the HST lie but who was obviously cowed into breaking her early election promise by the very Campbellites she was supposed to purge. Not only that: she’s having trouble explaining her own involvement in the BC Rail scandal about which people have a long and bitter memory. Who’s left?

    BC Liberals are so toxic that the new BC Conservatives were ascending until a BC Liberal MLA, John van Dongen, crossed over to them. The BC Conservatives have seen their growth trend stall ever since.

    So, new leader, new backers and all new candidates, maybe even change their name. Then maybe they can get their crony-capitalism privatization policy through. No one will notice.

  5. I can only hope your last sentence comes true. I’ve had enough of right wing politicians. We need a true grassroots intervention in this province and Canada. We have to overthrow the corrupt political process and put Corporations back in their place, serving the community, not running it.

  6. Falcon is just another Gordon Campbell that is, equally as arrogant and nasty. I can’t think of any BC liberal fit to run this province. There isn’t much left of BC to govern anymore. Pretty much everything of value in BC, has been thieved and sold. The BC liberals, work for Harper anyway. No-one wants the BC liberals in office.

    I too thought for a while, the NDP would lead BC to safety. That too has fallen apart. Cummin’s supports Harper and the Enbridge pipeline.

    I have heard talk of BC people saying, they are going to vote for the Green Party, or Independents.

    BC people have had it with Harper. This country is in a terrible mess, getting worse by the day. Now, we must hurry and pollute the High Arctic too.

    At what point will, common sense trump Harper’s greed?

  7. “Ms. Clark didn’t have a chance from the start.”

    This is the be all and the end all here.

    The same behind the scenes forces that orchestrated the ‘developments’ that eventually placed Harper in the PMO, are the selfsame forces that needed to act quickly to plug the dyke after the fear induced flight of Gordon Campbell.

    Harper was instructed to plug the growing hole in the dyke by parachuting the politically discarded Morgan in the shadowy catacombs in Victoria.

    With the public’s HST ire threatening to blow the dam around Harper’s plug, he sacrificed the sibilant Boessenkool and MacIntyre to seal the perimeters, and as he fears to do with other ‘elected’ premiers, he sallied west to flirt and shmooze and mollycoddle the Clarkian neophyte.

    The net effect of this enemy intrusion was to further raise the hackles of the mass of heretofore ignored and patronized residents of the real belle province, and send them to the precipice of anarchy, which is where we stand, waiting to see if the only alternative available to us will hold back the democracy destroying corporate tide.

    Ms. Clark never had a chance from the start.

  8. It would be a miracle true enough, and I know you’re speaking in terms of maybe, what if. But why would you even suggest or try to help in any way “at least they might have a chance if they dump her”, or worrying about perhaps seeing a positive bounce in the polls, for the good of the party etc. – why not leave things as they are? Let the chips fall where they may. From what you’ve seen in the last number of years, and plenty of others have also, but I think particularly after the last election, then Mr. Campbell stepping down/resigning and Ms. Clark’s term so far, I would have thought you would be so thoroughly disgusted – you’ve expressed that pretty clearly in the past – that you would not have any sympathy for the troubles they’re in now.

    OMG – K. Falcon – he pretty much labeled the general public for voting against the HST as stupid – my thinking is that there’s too many ministers/MLA’s that are sooo– disliked because of their handling of files, the lies, etc. After more than 10 years certain Liberal MLA’s have become household names almost, and that has unfortunately, allowed us to get to know them as politicians, and the way they to politics, only too well.

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