Wondering if the best candidate won

Yes, we know we’re supposed to be objective.

It was, however, a little upsetting to see our boy, George Abbott, not even make it into the final heat at the BC Liberal Leadership convention this weekend.

Where did he go wrong in the campaign? Should he have flip-flopped on the HST? Could he have signed up more housepets as members? Might he have made more voter-friendly promises ungrounded in fiscal responsibility, or reality? Or how about getting his buddies in the media to suggest the race was already won before anyone neared the finish line? Seemed to be a winning formula for our now premier designate Christy Clark.

We know George; we know he would have made a capable leader. But we know Clark too. We know she was co-author of the 2001 Liberal platform in which the party promised not to sell BC Rail. We know she was deputy premier when the government sold BC Rail. Her brother Bruce was also involved in the scandal.

We know as education minister, Clark rolled back union contracts blocking negotiations on class size, while making it illegal to strike.

We also know she called for a free vote in legislature on the HST, and then changed her mind to argue it should go to referendum. Before this Clark used her radio show to liken all involved in the Fight HST movement to the Taliban.

Now Clark, high on her win, hopes to raise minimum wage, tie health-care spending to economic growth (the NDP estimates this will mean a half-billion dollar cut), and give families another holiday. Indirectly, Clark may have also given a gift to the BC Conservatives. But we’ll see how that plays out.

Clearly, the premier designate, the party’s elected champion of change, has a deservedly rough road ahead, well graded by her predecessor.

The question of whether or not George would be a better person for the job is moot. But it would have been nice to see someone from outside the Lower Mainland running the province again.

Eagle Valley News