(SNN) - The weather out here has been of the kind not usually reported for ‘Beautiful BC – The best place on Earth.’ Usually derided by the rest of the country as a province that has no clue what a Canadian winter really is, we have been living through weeks of non-stop torrential rain. Of course, we all knew it was coming when we had a two-month long drought last summer but, now that it’s here, we have all suffered from memory loss, and the atmosphere of damp, depressing grey hangs over everyone. As of today, it is so wet that Aquaman is feeling homesick. This must be the overall mood of the rain-swept Premier Christy Clark and the ruling BC Liberal party, too.
The last time, the Liberals were soundly beaten in an election almost twenty years ago, they emerged as a third party in provincial politics with only two seats. Right now, that looks like a target, rather than a hopeless disaster. They have reached the position in the run up to the Spring election that the only thing they have left to offer the electorate is a litany of disasters that the press falls on with the speed of the St. Peter’s Square crowd seeing a glimpse of white smoke from the chimney.
First came December’s budget update: “We are balanced.” They cried, only to back-pedal like Lance Armstrong twenty-four hours later saying they had misread the date, and, actually, they would be balanced by the time the house returned from their winter break. Unfortunately, this led to what I refer to as ‘Christmas Accounting’ by the press, electorate, Christmas visitors into Vancouver, and probably the Downtown East side’s homeless population: “If your major revenue is in natural resources, and the global price of these is lower than Mayor Rob Ford’s IQ, then how is the week-long Christmas break going to make them rise? Especially when hardly anyone on the planet is going to be working then?”
Following the admission of this somewhat Instagrammed financial picture, we now have an somewhat secretive Ethnic Vote plan surfacing. Not only have the party engaged in somewhat questionable Racial Profiling tactics to woo a non-white vote in May’s election, they used Tax-payer money to do it, and Civil Service personnel to get their hands dirty doing the grunt work: All of this during the run up to a global Bollywood Award ceremony that is being held in Western Canada, and out of India for the first time in its history. What? Curried Oolichan on your Japati, anyone?
All of these PR disasters have, of course, resulted in Press scrutiny of every program the Government is running that is closer than Ashton Kutcher’s legal team looking over Demi Moore’s divorce settlement. The Premier knows this – she used to be a journalist. Now every time she opens her mouth, her words come back to hurt her. In a recent off the cuff comment to a women’s conference, she described her ex-husband as ‘a microphone that wouldn’t stand up.’ As someone accustomed to live radio, Christy, please remember Rule #1: Don’t open the pot, unless you have something to say.’
I can imagine that she is praying for a meteor to come down somewhere in the Northern BC hinterland as it did in Russia. It would at least offer some kind of positive press for the party. Yes – it’s that bad. At present, their government is like our weather: Bleak, with more ‘Bronte-an’ drama to come.
Steve James is an Actor, Stand up and Comedy writer in Vancouver BC. He doesn’t vote, because it just lead to this kind of thing.
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