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

Police make arrest after report of a man brandishing a gun at Campbell River-area lake

43-year-old man from the Comox area has since been charged with multiple offences

Campbell River’s Brind’Amour reflects on year one as NHL coach

Hurricane legend speaks about the season, the Storm Surge and life in Carolina

Georgia Park students keeping their heads up after another case of vandalism

Bird and bee houses torn off the trees and smashed, but the kids bounced back and put more up

Brind’Amour/Nugent-Hopkins golf tourney in Campbell River raises $122,000

Fundraiser for cystic fibrosis has raised roughly $1.8 million since it started 24 years ago

Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Local ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

VIDEO: Firefighters stop blaze from spreading after BMW crashes at Saratoga Speedway

Victoria-based businessmen were ‘corner training’ on Father’s Day when incident took place

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Ginger Goodwin’s Cumberland cemetery grave desecrated

Just days before the Miners Memorial weekend, Ginger Goodwin’s grave has been… Continue reading

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

Most Read