Listening to the pundits Sunday, it appeared that Christy Clark was finished. She wouldn’t last the day.
We all know that didn’t happen, and there is almost no chance that Clark won’t be leading the Liberals into an election campaign. It will be a campaign with similarities to 1991 and 2001.
Clark, like Rita Johnston in 1991 and Ujjal Dosanjh in 2001, was called in after predecessors screwed up. In Clark’s case, she has had two years to put her mark on the party — much more than Johnston and Dosanjh had. While she made some initial progress, the fallout over the HST and other issues have dogged her ability to convince voters the Liberals should be re-elected.
The latest controversy over an ethnic voter recruitment strategy is embarrassing, and likely will drive some undecided voters into the Conservative, Green or NDP camps. Others will stay home.
There are a few points to think about as we head towards May 14. First, for former Liberal voters, what are the alternatives? The Conservatives are revitalized, with John Cummins doing an energetic job in leading them. But they are mostly untried. The Greens have been quiet throughout the Liberal troubles, but are likely to field candidates.
Cummins and Green Jane Sterk need to be part of any leaders’ debates, because voters need to hear from them in a forum that pits them against Clark and NDP leader Adrian Dix.
Another point, opinion polls aren’t always right. Many people do not have land lines and polls don’t always capture the public mood as accurately as they once did.
Here, there will be many last-minute shifts in voting preference. Anything could happen May 14.
— Langley Times