Friday, June 23, 2017

Christy Clark's Political Opportunity, or is that political opportunism?

Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon delivered the Liberal Government's
Speech from the Throne on Thursday

(BC Gov't Flick feed)

It's been a rather remarkable makeover for the BC Liberal party philosophy these last few days, as Premier Christy Clark (said title now apparently on a clock it would seem) revised a wide swath of the Liberal agenda and presented the Speech from the Throne to Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon for delivery Thursday in the BC Legislature.

The forty minute blue print for a Government that many never actually have to deliver on any of the items presented, covered pretty well every talking point ever heard in BC Politics.

And as more than one political observer has noted over the last 48 hours, many of the Liberal themes seem rather familiar from the campaign trail, though they were concepts presented by the opposition parties.

As one reads over the text and thinks back to but the two months just passed and the talking points of the election campaign, had Ms. Clark handed the throne speech into a University Professor for a final term paper, one imagine's that she would be up in the Dean's office today explaining some of the elements of academic dishonesty that she presented as her own.

Then again in Politics, political platforms are always evolving, though for the Throne Speech, evolution has taken the Liberals on a journey that may have even caught some of their long time supporters by surprise.

Among some of the key elements from yesterday:

Funding for Education, check, they're on that.

Social assistance boost, you betcha, time for a top up.

Assistance for housing needs ... the hammers are hammering now.

Environmental issues, the Liberals will leave Andrew Weaver Green with envy ...

Transportation expansion for the province's largest cities, the Liberals won't be late for the bus and won't miss that train ...

And on and on, the good news went, leaving Christy Clark to take on the the role of Oprah and British Columbians checking under their seats for those new car keys...

As the Lieutenant Governor revealed each element of the Liberal agenda for the upcoming session of the Legislature it quickly became clear that Ms. Clark's government, would spend with pleasure, if only there were some way that it could stay in office past July.

Of course, fascinating as it was, it won't change the immediate future for the Liberals who surely are destined for opposition once the NDP/Green collective unleash the confidence vote that should shut down the fanciful financial planning for Ms. Clark.

Which means, that at some point in the next few weeks, Ms. Guichon will be making a return engagement at the legislature, probably to repeat much of the same but with the NDP/Green stickers on the windshield for British Columbians.

The promises will no doubt be similar, with funding levels perhaps increased or decreased depending on where the Horgan/Weaver alliance wishes to allocate their political capital.

British Columbia's version of the Odd Couple will make for the timeline of the Horgan government, with many watching to see how our Felix and Oscar will get along, something which could very well determine how long Mr. Horgan's tenure as Premier will be.

For the more ghoulish of political observers, other factors could also make for a short lived minority government, through an illness, or some other change to the Legislature seat count which could also play a role into the future government plans.

Thursday for the most part was Ms. Clark seemingly laying the groundwork for the short term and the talking points for a potential snap election, Mr. Horgan, with the helpful guidance of Mr. Weaver will offer up the NDP/Green concepts, most likely in early July, if not before.

After that, the drama of minority government will take to the stage, an epilogue that most political observers suggest will see British Columbians heading back to a polling booth sooner, rather than later.

The full text of yesterday's Speech from the Throne can be reviewed here

A look at some of the background to the preparation of the Liberal Throne Speech and the actual delivery of the material can be reviewed below:

Rumours of a change in direction for Liberal policy

B.C. Premier to address her government's mistakes in Throne Speech
Premier Christy Clark pledges $1 billion for new child care spaces
Will the real Christy Clark please stand up?
Premier Clark adopts NDP, Green promises as throne speech looms
Clark pledges $1 billion in childcare spending
Game of Thrones: What's at stake when MLAs return to Victoria on Thursday
Clark pledges no new election, $1B for childcare in platform relaunch
More policy promises from premier on eve of throne speech
What wouldn't Christy Clark Promise now?

From the Throne Speech

BC Liberals pack Throne Speech with NDP, Green Party policies
The beginning of the end: BC Legislature hears Throne Speech
Steve Thomson takes on role of B.C. Speaker, but how long he'll stay is unclear
BC Liberals' Throne Speech proposes protection for renters
BC Liberals propose transit expansions in departure from election platform
BC Liberals' policy reversal is one last grab for power
Clark denies BC Liberals are saying anything to win, defends Throne Speech
Reaction to BC Liberals' promises rolls in
Power hangs in the balance following Throne Speech at the B.C. Legislature
Metro Vancouver Mayors react to BC Liberals' promise to eliminate bridge tolls
30 Throne speech pledges by the B.C. Liberals that weren't' in their election platform
B.C. Liberal throne speech lays out ambitious vision borrowing from NDP and Green platforms
B.C. Legislature elects Liberal Steve Thomson as Speaker
Today kicks off 'very interesting, likely short legislative session'
B.C. Liberals cite windfall revenues as grounds to adopt NDP/Green proposals
Liberal explanations disguise reckless spending plans
B.C. Throne speech makes grand promises for transit, transportation
Then and Now: What the Liberals promised before the election and what they are now promising in the Throne Speech
B.C. Legislature resumes MLAs elect Liberal Steve Thomson as speaker
Five things about new B.C. Speaker Steve Thomson
Copy Cat Christy impersonates New Democrats
NDP and Greens attack Throne Speech: 'You Have to Change Before an Election"
What Must Christy Clark's Party Think of Her Now?
Liberal Steve Thomson Chosen as Speaker, Won't 'Speculate' on Possible Government Change
Andrew Weaver says a confidence vote is a matter of trust - and he doesn't trust the B.C. Liberals
The speech that wasn't from the throne
Former B.C. Liberal cabinet minister pitches Andrew Weaver on keeping Christy Clark in power
BC Liberals elect speaker to begin historic session
Throne speech piles on PST cut, other promises
Throne speech just brazen plagiarism
Highlights an U-turns in the B.C. Liberals' speech from the throne
Liberal minister leaves cabinet for new role as speaker
The foul cynicism of Christy Clark's speech from the throne

With the Legislature back in session, you can follow developments related to the North Coast from our Legislature Archive page.

The article above was cross posted from our political portal Darcy McGee, more items on the provincial portal scene are available there for your review.

1 comment:

  1. Cynicism and a search for ulterior motives always seems to be the default position in politics. The generous borrowing from the NDP platform has been characterized as an attempt to cling to power. Horgan even went so far as to suggest that it was an attempt to embarrass him.

    Clark has signaled that the Liberals are not going to vote against every measure an NDP government brings forward, and we are not in for an election any time soon. There will be amendments and tradeoffs no doubt, but the NDP will be given a chance to govern, at least for a while.

    Hopefully Horgan will overcome his combativeness and tendencies to be angry and to take things personally, and work with the Liberals to deliver on the stable government he has promised. The alliance with the Greens will not be enough once the NDP takes office (and has to come up with their own Speaker). It will be the Liberals, not the Greens or the Speaker, that will hold the balance of power.