I was hoping you’d take a page from Danny Williams’ book of political etiquette and quit within a week of announcing your resignation. But no, you have to drag this out like a bad soap opera and make your leave-taking one of the longest in Canadian history. Well, what did I expect?
You’ve always been a most unique Premier, confident in the fact that the voters of BC will eventually see the errors of their ways and eventually recommend that you assume the mantle of senior political elder and wise man and be enthroned as some type of BC heritage event.
It’s been almost hypnotising to watch the short, small procession of wanna-be-leaders as they slither up to the microphones and announce their intentions to replace your lordship as sovereign of the so inappropriately named Liberal party. (I must admit, I’ve been to a few parties, and yours just doesn’t make the cut.)
First there was Dr. Who who announced her intention to run before any of the other potential contenders could manage to publicly admit to their private political urges.
Then, to no one’s surprise, the Honourable Kevin Falcon (Minister of Health) publicised his desire to achieve greatness and threw his hat in the ring. (Happily he has vacated the Minister of Health portfolio, an act that pleased those of us in the province who have or may eventually have any health issues in the next few years.)
Shortly after that, the Honourable Mike De Jong (Attorney General and Government House Leader) expressed his political death wish, exposed his attraction to power and entered the competition.
We know that the previous Deputy Premier and current radio talk show host, Christy Clark has also thrown caution to the winds and jump into this ultimate fight challenge.
There are likely others who are considering their chances of advancing down this short-lived detour to premiership, but a number of them are still trying to sort out what Mike De Jong really meant when he made a Sarah Palin type of comment about pigs and lipstick. (As far as I know, Sarah Palin has not announced her intention to run for the leadership of the BC Liberal party, but seeing as how she can probably see BC from her kitchen window in Alaska, there would be no real surprise if indeed she did throw her name into the melee and exposed the Liberals as the North of 49 version of the tea party.)
Gord, I must admit that your insistence on hanging on to the position of Premier has opened a whole new Pandora’s Box of questions and concerns. (I was thinking of the Greek legend, not the movie.)
Why, one asks, would you cling to the Captain’s chair on a political Titanic when you know it’s going down? Why would you not gracefully bow out and take up gardening or some other less damaging hobby like Bill Vander Zalm?
It makes a person suspicious. Perhaps you’re staying on to preside at the non-opening of the new retractable roof on BC Place during a rainstorm. Or could it be that you want to preside at the final financial rendering of VANOC? How about giving the traditional Christmas/New Year’s Premier’s greeting where you get to explain how the 15 per cent tax break that you announced a few weeks ago just isn’t going to happen? Maybe it’s your urge to once again explain to us why the HST is a good thing and how it’s going to contribute to the eradication of child poverty in BC. Could it be that you want to finally announce the termination of the $6 per hour training wage or the raising of the abysmal minimum wage from $8 per hour to $8.25 per hour? Whatever the reason Mr. Premier, I suspect most people will feel that it just isn’t good enough.
But it is getting close to Christmas and in the spirit of this special season, I feel obligated to wish you well and encourage you to find a hobby or interest that will keep you intrigued and re-direct your energies towards good works beyond the political arena.
President Carter joined Habitat for Humanity when he retired. Perhaps you might want to join him and others in building a couple of houses for some of BC’s homeless or in helping hand out food at the many food banks that dot this fine province. Whatever you decide to do, I truly hope that you find a way to put your skills to good use and contribute to the many charities that you helped become indispensable in BC.
Seasons Greetings Mr. Premier.
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