The electorate of B.C. could be forgiven for feeling dizzy by the end of Monday.
In the wake of recent developments, flacks for the provincial Liberals and the BC Conservatives were producing enough ‘spin’ to rival a row of tops.
At the end of the day, all that could be said to be spinning was the heads of voters.
These poor John and Jane Does must be wondering if there is still such a thing as political leadership in the province, or whether the 2013 election will be fought strictly on the basis of ‘dueling disasters’ – or which party scores the least own-goals.
There is no way the resignation of Premier Christy Clark’s chief of staff Ken Boessenkool can be termed good news for the embattled BC Liberals, spin it how they may.
Clark may characterize it as a swiftly dealt-with disciplinary matter following an internal investigation – and trumpet the advent of BC Hydro board chairman Dan Doyle, a career public servant who helped run the 2010 Winter Olympics and the Pacific Gateway, as acting chief of staff.
But there are questions about the requested resignation of the former Stephen Harper aide that suggests another leak in a badly listing ship.
Boessenkool’s own wording of his resignation letter – in which he refers to an incident in which he “acted inappropriately,” and to his family, which he says he “also let down” – carries with it a whiff of scandal that the media will find hard to resist chasing down. But the BC Liberals are not alone in their embarrassment.
The results of the BC Conservatives’ AGM in Langley show that only 71 per cent of voting members believe enough in party leader John Cummins not to request a leadership review.
While Cummins is still gung-ho to win the next election, it’s hard to view this result as a glowing endorsement of his leadership. Even worse for the BC Conservatives, it was accompanied by the resignation from the party of its lone MLA, John Van Dongen, and the defection of former Chilliwack-Hope candidate John Martin to the Liberals.
The NDP – while considered anathema by anyone right of centre – have done the least to offend in recent weeks. But, by the same token, they have also done the least to build their image, mend fences, or present a new vision for B.C.
While the pollsters grant them a commanding lead, they seem to be holding their breath for fear of making a mistake.
This cannot be interpreted as leadership, either – the only thing worse than placing a foot wrong, after all, is not placing a foot at all.