Christy Clark, formerly premier of B.C., has not had a good year.
But it’s kind of hard to feel sorry for her. Her wounds have been self-inflicted.
Clark and the B.C. Liberals were in the best possible position to win another majority.
Unemployment is low and the provincial coffers are stuffed.
That led to Clark’s first mistake – she ran a campaign based on the idea that we ought to be grateful for how good things were going.
No one fretting over stagnant wages or impossible housing prices wanted to hear that.
As the recounts were settled and it became clear there would be no Liberal majority, Clark’s mistakes seemed to snowball.
She didn’t do much of a practical nature to try to hold on to power.
While NDP leader John Horgan was backslapping with Green Andrew Weaver at rugby games, Clark only spoke to Weaver by phone.
Then she came out with her doozy of a throne speech, cribbed directly from the NDP platform.
Was she trying to embarrass the opposition into voting for it, keeping her in power? Or just to embarrass them, period?
All it did was make the Liberals look like a party with no core values.
Then came the confidence vote. For weeks, Clark’s position was that she would not ask Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon to call another election.
Clark did exactly that. Guichon turned her down.
Clark has now lost control of government, copied her opponents, and flip-flopped wildly into trying to get another turn at the ballot box.
Some Liberals would probably like to get rid of her, either for failing to hold power or for abdicating any centre-right principles.
But do you replace Clark now, when a single NDP misstep could trigger a new election? Who would lead the Liberals? Or do you keep her, even knowing she’s burned her bridges with the electorate?
The Liberals are between a rock and a Clark place.