Vancouver Zeitgeist
Reflections on Vancouver, British Columbia and other topics, related or not


Meet the new boss: TBA

Will the Green Weaver become the Grim Reaper
to B.C.’s brain-dead political elite?

May 12, 2017

BC ex-premier Christy Clark feigns victory after the May 9 2017 election


Amusing it was, in the wee hours of May 10, to look into which gang of self-serving nobodies got elected, only to find the answer was neither. That decision’s pending on absentee ballots, riding recounts and how well lust for power overcomes personal animosity in British Columbia’s behind-the-scenes machinations manipulations negotiations to create a government.

Then there’s the prospect of another election. Trouble is, if all went as per usual, the major parties spent all they had and more on the last one. Fundraising for another might be premature, especially if the Greens continue that embarrassing campaign against large corporate and union financing.

(June 1 update: On the other hand, consider this report from Black Press correspondent Tom Fletcher: “While the B.C. Liberals raised more money than they were allowed to spend in the formal campaign, the Greens and the NDP are likely broke if not in debt.” Then on June 9 the National Post reported that the Libs raised over $300,000 within 48 hours of the NDP-Green coalition announcement.)

With no such situation since 1953, no B.C. provincial politician has experience in the delicate matters of minority or coalition governance. Such a scenario would likely evade the abilities of dud ex-premier Christy Clark, her dud ex-cabinet and their dud advisers.

Clark’s election night behaviour just emphasized her difficulty with adversity. Her over-the-top mugging revealed her desperation to play Ms. Ebullient, the supposedly vibrant personality that’s her sole political asset. Much as she would no doubt like to, she doesn’t even possess the low cunning of Jean Chretien, the unintelligent but canny small-time hustler whom Mark Steyn so aptly labelled “the ward healer.” It was only Canada’s commitment to always, always, always suck up to Quebec that put that little shyster at the head of a G7 country. The photo-op queen enjoys no such ethnic advantage, even if she could match his very basic political skills.

Which she can’t. Neither can anyone else on her crew. So she might consider recruiting advisers from outside B.C. But that would entail relying on people who might not understand this province’s peculiarities. We already have enough such ignorance in our homegrown political culture, both B.C.’s politicians and not-up-to-much media.

Among BC Liberal possibilities is a challenge for the top job. Did sorely ambitious, Clark-defeated leadership candidate Kevin Falcon really drop out of politics for family reasons? Even if he did, could it be that those family reasons have been conveniently resolved?

This campaign addressed nothing of importance, at least not in any depth. Even so, B.C. politics could actually get interesting, if not for political ideas than for political maneuvering. Andrew Weaver would be the reason. His potential support for either of the other parties obviously comprises the wild card in this game.

Weaver’s Green leadership marks another departure from the Canadian “leftist” tendency, possibly out of a sense of moral obligation, to choose stupid women as leaders: Audrey McLaughlin, Alexa McDonough, Carole James, Adriane Carr and Elizabeth May. He also stands apart from B.C.’s usual crop of undistinguished career politicians for his accomplishment, even if it’s in the cynicism-inducing subject of climate change.

Maybe, like so many others, he’s just milking that cause célèbre for his own ambitions. But he at least appears to have convictions, another distinction from virtually all BC Liberals and most NDPers, the latter exceptions being ideologues who believe our society’s not destroying itself fast enough.

Another Weaver distinction is his ability, as a U of Vic prof who shared in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, to make roughly as much in pay and perks outside the legislature. Looked at that way, he needs this MLA sinecure less than just about anyone in B.C. politics.

Still he’s got an awful lot to gain, both by building public stature and—just maybe—pursuing sincere convictions.

(Another update: Weaver reportedly wants to bring the Commonwealth Games back to Victoria. For any number of reasons, from the stupid small-town boosterish bullshit to the hidden debt of presenting these events to the sick vicariousness of spectator sports to the very scary possibility of terrorism and—oh, by the way, can we guarantee no GHG emissions?—this Nobel Prize winner’s sounding like a very stupid, conventional, dumb-ass fuck-up. In other words, a stereotypical B.C. politician.)

How’s my blogging?