BC’s Clark and Alberta’s Redford face similar difficultes
By Bruce A Stewart
Christy Clark in BC is in trouble.
Her party — the governing BC Liberals, in power since 2001 — is low in the polls.
Tied with an upstart newish party, the BC Conservatives, in fact, and both well behind the BC NDP.
Her own leadership numbers don’t look good, either.
May 2013, according to BC’s fixed elections law, is when she must face the voters.
Since she took over from Gordon Campbell after the last election, this will be her first time leading her party in a general election.
The latest seat projections based on today’s popular vote project between 49 and 76 (out of 79) seats for the NDP.
The odds of Clark turning this around are not good.
This year sees the start of multiple union negotiations.
BC’s public sector experienced the hammer of this party when it first came in. Restraint — 0%, 0% and how about more 0% — has been more the norm than the exception. No shortage of contract-ripping-up and back-to-work legislation in the past eleven years.
Clark hit the teachers with a hammer last month. The warning will not go unnoticed.
Meanwhile the real estate bubble’s bursting across BC is hurting — badly.
People are still smarting over the lies surrounding the HST. They voted in a referendum to dump it — it takes twice as long to go as to be put in? Anger abounds.
Let’s not forget, too, how much caucus support Clark got during the leadership race two years ago. Effectively, none. Let’s just say that all the MLAs lined up behind other candidates around the cabinet table and leave it at that.
Clark may not make it to election day.
Indeed, the rumours are already floating that she’s looking at going Federal to run as a candidate for the Federal Liberal leadership.
Rumours that are strong in the BC business community. Money usually knows.
Besides, the knives are out, because now it’s about saving the party to fight another day. The game will be to hold the BC Conservatives back. Otherwise by 2017 odds are it’ll be BC NDP vs BC Conservatives with the BC Liberals toast.
How does this apply to Alison Redford, campaigning now in Alberta?
A lot of the same problems.
An insurgency from the right, the difference being that the polls suggest Wildrose is winning. But the Liberals and NDP are not dying as voters go to the PCs to stop Wildrose. At least, not yet.
Meanwhile there’s a lot of PC voters who don’t like the direction their party’s been going. Will they stay home? Or will they come out?
If Alison Redford loses, her party will axe her in a heartbeat.
She’ll be blamed along with her policy shifts, not that the party has been in for a long time and is looking tired.
No Alberta party that’s lost has ever won again.
You can be sure the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta will want to be the first — if they end up losing this time out.
Bruce Stewart is a consultant, educator and philosopher with a passion for public affairs currently located in Toronto. He is well known across the Internet for his blogs on management (Getting Value from IT) and social affairs (Just a Jump to the Left, then a Step to the Right) and for his daily stream of commentary on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Category: Alberta Election