OUR VIEW: New premier’s challenge

There are parallels with former premier Rita Johnson

The new age of British Columbia politics has arrived. Christy Clark will soon become the province’s new premier … the second woman to rise to the position.

Anyone remember Rita Johnston? In case you don’t, she took over the decimated and disgraced Social Credit Party shortly before the voters blasted it into oblivion.

There certainly are some similarities to Clark taking over the Liberal party, whose leader was forced out by public opinion. The Liberals, however, aren’t quite as decimated as the Bill Vander Zalm Socreds were. The Socreds were rocked by scandal after scandal involving cabinet ministers and then Vander Zalm himself. Other than sweeping the BC Rail sale deal under the carpet, the Liberals aren’t quite at the same level of scandalous behaviour as the old Socreds were.

That could be the difference that saves Christy Clark from being a footnote in B.C. politics, like Rita Johnston. But it won’t be easy. By going to a third ballot and with Kevin Falcon securing 48 per cent of the points needed to become leader, it’s clear there was no clear winner Saturday night. Only 37.7 per cent of Liberals had Clark as their first choice for leader while 28.37 per cent had Kevin Falcon as their first pick. The results show that Liberals were, and are, divided on who the leader should be.

There is lots of talk now about keeping the coalition together. It’s the immediate task ahead of Clark. Like the Socreds before them, the Liberals are home to right-of-centre conservatives and to centre-right liberals. That’s the coaalition W.A.C. Bennett weaved together and it’s the one Gordon Campbell also weaved back together after Vander Zalm destroyed it. It’s not an easy task.

For today’s Liberals, Falcon is in the middle of the right-of-centre crowd, supported by big business interests. Clark, on the other hand, is more closely aligned with the federal Liberals and likely more of a small-C conservative. The question, and the task ahead of Clark, is to keep those factions in the party, clearly evident by Saturday’s vote split, together.

Without it, the Liberals will undoubtedly lose the next election.

The new age of British Columbia politics has arrived. Christy Clark will soon become the province’s new premier … the second woman to rise to the position.

Anyone remember Rita Johnston? In case you don’t, she took over the decimated and disgraced Social Credit Party shortly before the voters blasted it into oblivion.

There certainly are some similarities to Clark taking over the Liberal party, whose leader was forced out by public opinion. The Liberals, however, aren’t quite as decimated as the Bill Vander Zalm Socreds were. The Socreds were rocked by scandal after scandal involving cabinet ministers and then Vander Zalm himself. Other than sweeping the BC Rail sale deal under the carpet, the Liberals aren’t quite at the same level of scandalous behaviour as the old Socreds were.

That could be the difference that saves Christy Clark from being a footnote in B.C. politics, like Rita Johnston. But it won’t be easy. By going to a third ballot and with Kevin Falcon securing 48 per cent of the points needed to become leader, it’s clear there was no clear winner Saturday night. Only 37.7 per cent of Liberals had Clark as their first choice for leader while 28.37 per cent had Kevin Falcon as their first pick. The results show that Liberals were, and are, divided on who the leader should be.

There is lots of talk now about keeping the coalition together. It’s the immediate task ahead of Clark. Like the Socreds before them, the Liberals are home to right-of-centre conservatives and to centre-right liberals. That’s the coaalition W.A.C. Bennett weaved together and it’s the one Gordon Campbell also weaved back together after Vander Zalm destroyed it. It’s not an easy task.

For today’s Liberals, Falcon is in the middle of the right-of-centre crowd, supported by big business interests. Clark, on the other hand, is more closely aligned with the federal Liberals and likely more of a small-C conservative. The question, and the task ahead of Clark, is to keep those factions in the party, clearly evident by Saturday’s vote split, together.

Without it, the Liberals will undoubtedly lose the next election.

– Black Press

Just Posted

Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

Government still reviewing Federal Court’s decision on PRV – Wilkinson

Risk of ‘deadly avalanches’ leads to warning for B.C.’s south coast

Weak layer of snow on Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland could trigger an avalanche

Healthier snacks coming to City of Campbell River facilities

City in the process of replacing high-sugar and high-fat snacks and beverages in vending machines

Families learn to navigate the perils of the Internet

Speaker talks to Campbell River kids, parents about staying safe in a social media world

‘Priceless’ hat stolen from Indigenous art store in Campbell River during break-in

Ernie Smith, co-owner of Awatin Aboriginal Art, looking for help in recovering stolen hat

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Man wanted for sex trafficking, confinement may be heading to B.C.

Kevin Myrthil, 26, is also accused of assault on a 19-year-old woman at an Edmonton hotel

Most Read