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REPORTING · 26th August 2011
Merv Ritchie
During a media presentation this afternoon Premier Christy Clark was repeatedly asked if she would rule out a Fall election. She performed political speak, avoiding direct answers at every turn. When cornered by the last questioner, after the previous two and more, asked the same question she ended with;

“I will absolutely answer that question for you but not this afternoon. Thank you very much everybody.”

One media representative referred to the presentation made by the Finance Minister who spoke earlier. Minister Falcon had stated elections causes instability.

Clark replied in electioneering style attacking the NDP stating ‘Adrian Dix is instability’ calling him the architect of the financial policies of the 1990’s.

“What the Finance Minister said, to put it in context, was elections cause instability, whenever they are called,” stated Clark, “An election, sooner, later, in between, would cause instability for the financial market. That’s always what happens. And I think we need to ask ourselves in British Columbia why does it cause particular instability in this province when an election is called. The answer to that is the alternative we face, which would be tremendously destabilizing for our economy.

“Adrian Dix is the man who is the architect of the economic policies of the 1990’s. That’s the alternative that we will face whenever an election is called. And that alternative is what causes the instability in the markets.”

Dix responded to this in a follow up media presentation when we asked him about her attack on him.

“I understand it was a bad day for the Premier, and so she thought she would give me a new title, that of architect, I’ve been promoted to Architect. The reality is that we had two percent growth under [the Liberals], three percent growth under the NDP, two point eight percent growth under the Bill Bennett Social Credit government. And if you go right back to the Pattullo administration [BC’s 22 Premier, 1933 to 1941] you’ll require that to find a government that has done as poorly on the government, on their own terms, as this one has.

“So, I just think people are focused on what will happen now, I mean I understand Christy Clark is constantly politicking but what I want to do is present a plan that makes sense for people in 2011 and I think that when people hear her do stuff like that on a day when her government has been repudiated by this massive vote of the public I think that they think that that’s just a little bit of politics as usual.”

Dix pointed out more than 150,000 people voted yes over those who voted no.

When Christy Clark was asked directly, “will you rule out a Fall election?” she spoke about the fixed election date and spoke about her plans as the Liberal Leader and job creation.

“You’re not ruling it out” she was challenged again, and again, “Why not just rule that out?”

And then in an obscure comment that revealed just exactly how serious Clark and the Liberals may be in considering holding a Fall election she stated, “I am going to be focused on the creation of jobs until May 2013, if that’s when the election is held. And until the day before the election is held, I’m going to be focused on that whenever it’s held. So this question, this idea, this dichotomy, that you draw between whether or not you can govern and not know when the election is at the same time I think is wrong.”

These statements would leave any listener with clear questions as to the premiers’ election intentions.

Clark continued with the obfuscation, “We’re going to be focused on job creation.”

The media all piped up;

“Why won’t you rule it out”,

“We’ve all asked the same question and you won’t answer it.”

“Election speculation started with you.” stated one media person referring to her own statements during her run for the leadership of the Liberal party.

“You raised it in the first place.” stated another.

It was obvious Clark had been looking at the numbers of the HST vote results closely, constituency by constituency, even though she stated she hadn’t considered it closely.

The first question she faced was worded similar to this, ‘Coming off of a defeat like this, could you and your party actually win an election this fall?’

Clark responded, “I don’t know that the two results are connected, I mean I don’t see a great correlation between the communities where the HST turned out to be more unpopular and the Ridings that have historically been held by free enterprise parties, so I think there are a whole lot of different interesting things at play in the way people voted. I’ve certainly met a lot of BC Liberal supporters […] who also didn’t support the HST.”

And it is true; the results of the HST vote will take much time to comb through. Much like Donny van Dyk, however, who ran for the Liberals last Provincial election in the Skeena electoral area, Clark has a very poor grasp on politics. Ridings are a Federal government boundary term. In provincial elections, the electoral areas are called Constituencies.