Clark’s departure leaves Kelowna West voiceless

Liberal leader and local MLA once said “success is not for quitters.”

So where did my MLA go?

Am I the only one a tad miffed right now with our infamous former MLA and Premier Christy Clark?

When Clark announced last week she was tossing in the towel and quitting politics my neighbourhood and other residents in the Kelowna West riding lost more than a premier and leader of the B.C. Liberal Party – we lost our MLA.

She was our supposed voice in Victoria, the person my riding elected to represent us. She was the one we trusted to fight for our needs and express our views.

We live in what was “Christy’s Thumb”—not to be confused, though nearly identical in spawning mechanism to “Gracie’s Finger”—a Social Credit riding manipulation in Vancouver from many elections ago.

Exactly why the narrow thumb-shaped strip of land thrusting from Kelowna shores all the up to the Capri area of Kelowna is electorally connected to, and included with, land and people across the lake on the Westside is beyond me. No one I ask seems to know either.

Regardless, we are stuck with the decision and thus empowered with casting a vote in Kelowna West . Which we did in the 2013 election. We elected Liberal Ben Stewart.

Good ole Ben—popular fellow, smart man, great family.

Then Christy came along and took Ben’s spot because even though her party won that provincial election, she lost her own Vancouver seat.

Ben graciously stepped aside, later taking a diplomatic job in exotic lands. No one asked the voters of Kelowna West what they wanted, of course. And Christy won the subsequent byelection.

We did not see much of Christy, not like other MLAs from here but that was more than understandable and there is little doubt we benefited in various ways by having the premier “living” in our riding.

In 2017 election Christy won the riding again, legitimately in her name, however her party got slightly out-punched in the big rematch. Christy, apparently did not like the results of the game and announced last Friday she was taking her ball and going home – wherever that is.

In her brief resignation speech, while stepping down as leader of the Liberal Party Christy never even mentioned her abandoned riding.

Her spot in the legislature is now vacant. Premier John Horgan has six months in which to call a by election for her seat.

Christy’s absence reduces the opposition ranks from 43 seats to 42 compared to the NDP/Green tally of 44.

Following her announcement various Liberal members pontificated great praise for Christy, several suggesting she was being unselfish and bravely thinking of the party’s future.

If so, she has a strange logistic way of doing it. Strategically her quitting now only widens the seat difference to 44-42 until the by-election, allowing the NDP more room to get possible decisions pushed through. In addition the Liberal ranks will now play the self-destructive divide and conquer game over the role of leadership. Such competitions never strengthen a party in the long run.

As well, there is an assumption that Kelowna West is a walk-away win for the Liberals. While that is perhaps a relatively safe bet, nothing is for sure in B.C. and right about now the trust factor has dipped dramatically for riding residents.

Sadly, her last political move reflects a petulant attitude of, do-what-I say-not-what-I-do.

Christy Clark failed to listen to her own pep talk from last year. During her throne speech in February 2016, she boldly and proudly declared “success is not for quitters.’

•••

One place you will not find any quitters is at this weekend’s fundraising boxing event. Set for Saturday night at Rutland Centennial Hall, more than a dozen boxers from beginners to silver-glove level scrappers will step into the ring for a good cause.

Hosted by the Urban Bull Dogs and MadKatz Boxing Club, funds raised will go towards the aid of children who have been victims of violence, sexual assault, rape and human sex trafficking.

Tez and I are attending to cheer on great friend Lindsay Stilborn, so hopefully we’ll see you there.

Doors open for the event at 6:30

For more info check out the website at www.madkatz.ca

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