Hodge: Current leader crop has little appeal to voters

Christy Clark is visiting K-Town next week, an indication, perchance, that she recognizes not everything is lovely in lotus land.

With a provincial political election on the horizon, one should not be shocked or dismayed to learn that the ‘leader’ of the tattered B.C Liberal Party, Premier Christy Clark, is visiting K-Town next week.

An indication, perchance, that the anointed one recognizes that not everything is lovely in lotus land.

Of the three current reigning MLAs in the Kelowna ridings, the only one who may be sitting somewhat comfortable at this point in the parade is Steve Thomson (Kelowna-Mission). The other two local MLAs, Ben Stewart (Westside-Kelowna) and Norm Letnick Kelowna-Lake Country), have reasonable cause for concern.

Unless one has been asleep or hiding under a large rock, it’s no secret the provincial Liberals have done a long and ugly leap on to their proverbial  flag poles and the political impalement has not been pretty.

However, the current scenario is far from a new view for B.C. voters. We have seen this sordid dance numerous times over the past 60 years or so when one apparently promising political party hacks and slashes its way to the top of the public popularity charts largely based on the stumble-bum, shoot themselves in the foot antics of their opponents. Victory through apathy.

Quite clearly, neither the NDP or the Conservatives will win the next election – the Liberals are simply going to lose.

‘Only in B.C.,’ multiple media members have mockingly mentioned for what seems a millennia

Yet, as boggling as the cycle of ineptitude of the party in charge has been in B.C. politics, even more staggeringly strange has been the trend of short-term planning and visioning by every other political group in the province.

For at least half a century now, one provincial party after the other has failed to show any long-term vision or planning within their own party.

Petty party ‘leaders’ have not had either the brains to actually plan a successor in advance of their own demise.

One can only surmise such lack of forethought is simply a protectionist or insecure decision (or lack of decision).

Almost every election, when a party is either in danger of losing their lofty tower or attempting to scale it, a last minute panic attack takes place to find a suitable ‘leader.’

That disastrous lack of planning used to be a trademark of the NDP party, however, the past decade or two it has become epidemic in all parties.

This election is the perfect poster child of that situation.

Not one of the three major parties has a leader worth their own weight in salt.

Clark inherited her captaincy in a mutiny of sorts, and both the NDP and Conservative leaders have dubious track records and about as much charisma as an egg-salad sandwich.

Not one of the three is truly a leader nor the sort of strong person that captures the imagination of voters.

The term leader is an interesting subject all unto itself. It conjures a variety of definitions and interpretations depending upon whose perspective and in what capacity the term is used.

For instance, a spiritual leader can be both very different and yet eerily similar to a military leader.

Whenever I hear the term leader, the first line that pops in my head is one dear old dad use to pontificate on a regular basis in reference to his WWII days: “When it comes to leadership its simple – lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way.”

Perhaps that’s a mantra all our political parties should be forced to adopt.

For many Canadians, and certainly for B.C. residents, whenever there has appeared to not be a clear or outstandingly trustworthy party to vote for during an election-voters decide to look to the leader and not the party for a decision on where to place their X.

In the current provincial tag-team match voters are once again left with little to choose from—even with that consolation round option. Such a ‘none-of-the-above’ result leaves voters two possible actions: Go to option three and choose ‘the best’ candidate running in their particular riding—or not vote at all.

Sadly, the latter has won out far too often in the last several elections.

Fortunately, in the three ridings around Kelowna area, we do have some interesting characters to choose from in the upcoming battle royal.

I am confident the majority of them will be rolling out their election campaigns full strength in the next few weeks. Let the rhetoric begin and may a potential reason to vote raise his or her head.

In my column next week: Defining leadership – what’s it really all about?


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