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HomeOpinionA filibuster and a hail mary for the BC Liberals last stand

A filibuster and a hail mary for the BC Liberals last stand

Bob Mackin

Just because Premier Christy Clark’s speaking notes contained the word “Humble” in big letters at a May 30 news conference does not mean she will actually be humble in June. 

Expect the opposite. She knows no other way. 

Remember that when the Legislature returns and a throne speech is delivered. 

The transition from BC Liberal rule to a Green-supported NDP minority government will not be quick. It may not happen at all. 

Clark on May 30.

Lame duck Clark has too many reasons to drag this on through summer and beyond, especially when the likes of Kevin Falcon, Andrew Wilkinson and Sam Sullivan are exploring leadership bids. 

Too many corporate donors who paid into the Liberal war chest ($21.3 million raised since the start of 2016!) will want to see returns on their “investments.” There are contracts to award and megaprojects to continue, such as the $3.5 billion (plus $8 billion interest) Massey tunnel bridge replacement and the $9 billion Site C dam. More paycheques to write for patronage appointees and Liberal-leaning mandarins. There are hard drives the Clark Clique will want to erase and paper to shred, for fear of political foes and the public learning how naughty they’ve been since 2001.

You see, after the throne speech, there is traditionally the debate on the throne speech. It will not be a one-day exercise. 

Ask yourself these questions. Would you easily allow for your demotion? Would you agree to have your pay and perks cut, only to see your adversary across the aisle suddenly become richer than you? 

The Duchess of Dunbar will naturally resist and she will be anything but humble.

Clark and the 42 others in her caucus will use as much time as they can to pontificate. They’ll remind the NDP and Greens that more British Columbians voted Liberal, even if it was by just over 1,500. Oh, they’ll certainly miss the three Liberal cabinet ministers that were defeated (four, if you count junior minister Naomi Yamamoto), but that won’t stop career politicians Rich Coleman and Mike de Jong from their usual antics. 

NDP and Green members will reciprocate with their critical takes on Liberal corruption and cronyism. They will no doubt remind the Liberals that 60% of voters wanted change and chose parties other than the Liberals. And on it will go. 

The last three throne speeches under a Clark Liberal majority featured between 33 and 37 MLAs standing up and bloviating over several weeks. 

A filibuster of epic proportions will happen when the Legislature resumes.

The Liberals will ultimately control when the confidence vote is called and you just know they’ll use every trick in the book to have one more member on their side in the chamber than their Green and NDP opponents. B.C. could be stuck with the Clark Clique for months to come. If you’re a Green or NDP supporter, get your protest signs and marching shoes ready. 

Good thing that the Legislature advertised in February for contractors to upgrade the air conditioning system. Expect a long, hot summer in the capital. 

Of course, all the above would be a moot point if Clark simply adheres to her new year’s resolution to “be there more for her son,” Hamish, and cedes power to a Premier John Horgan.