Christy Clark Stages a Coup

BC is in deep trouble: we now have a government that has no moral, no public and no legal legitimacy to govern.

Christy Clark’s government was NEVER elected by the people of this province, on the basis of any endorsed platform, program, promises or outlined plans for governing.

And she herself … before taking the premier’s oath of office, even said so … several times.

During the last provincial election held in this province, the people of  British Columbia, for better or worse, elected and endorsed a government under Gordon Campbell, complete with a party platform and a duly-nominated and elected slate of candidates. And when he later resigned in disgrace, and was replaced, HIS government died.

Christy Clark herself  has said that herself  many, many times: emphasizing that HER government is NOT Campbell’s government; HER cabinet is NOT Campbell’s cabinet; and, HER policies are NOT Campbell’s policies.

That’s why she HERSELF had also stated and always understood she and her government would need an early  province-wide public mandate to govern.

Clark was well aware that, in a by-election,  she had only been elected as an MLA for Point Grey… and she knew, even as a party leader,  that was  hardly enough of a legitimate mandate to bring in all kinds of programs and legislation affecting the entire province, everyones’ lives, and the laws that govern us.

Clark can’t have it both ways:  she can’t say she, and her government, are totally NOT that of Gordon Campbell; yet insist she has the right to govern right through the end of Campbell’s term because they’re really covered by the one and the same mandate.

Clark has NO mandate  from the people of the province to govern as premier … and to even THINK she can hold on to power WITHOUT A PUBLIC VOTE right through to May 2013 is tant amount to staging a coup.

BC’s democratic system, historical traditions, and responsible government have been trampled by the decree of a dictator.  It must NOT be allowed to stand: as an “interim” premier, Clark should have AT MOST one year to get her act together, before going to the public with a platform, a plan and her own slate of candidates to carry out that plan.

There MUST be an election before next summer.  Period!

Until she receives a legitimate, elected public mandate, I will no longer refer to Clark under the title Premier on this blog.  And I hope others …including the media … follow suit.

Harv Oberfeld

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37 Responses to Christy Clark Stages a Coup

  1. RossK says:

    And to top things off….She refused to make the announcement at a press conference where she might have to respond to real, actual questions.

    Instead, she granted select ‘exclusives’.

    Which, predictably, resulted in a catty media personality ‘Tweet-Fight’.


  2. neb says:

    Thx Harvey, it has irked me from day one that C. Clark has been referred to as the Premier of BC – NOT! And yes, she needs a mandate before she goes any further with turning this province inside-out…how much worse can it get ?

    (Response: It’s actually quite normal, in Canadian Parliamentary tradition, when someone resigns or dies, for a caretaker acting Premier or acting Prime Minister to assume the job to ensure a smooth transition. But they have NO right to seize power and avoid getting a mandate at the earliest possible opportunity. h.o)

  3. D. M. Johnston says:

    So right you are, but dictatorships, it seems, is what the people want.

    I think Ms. Clark will self destruct because all she has left are the Les’s, Heed’s, & Coleman’s of the world, who see politics as not serving the people, rather politics is to serve cronies and alike.

    Clark has no mandate, but Campbell, with only about 22% of provincial support had no real mandate either, but under our fractures system of government, he got reelected.

    Do not solely rest the blame on Clark, but blame the political parties, where politicians of all stripes refuse to change the rules of the game, because someday they hope to be in power and rule like despots.

    It’s like children plying marbles (do they still do it??), the kid with the most marbles wins.

    Until we change they way we elect people, the same old cronyism, corruption and tyranny will continue until, as another blog puts it, it’s pitchfork time.

    (Response: She’s also turning out to be a mirror of Campbell in another way as well: does anyone REALLY believe that she’s decided not to hold an election because so many British Columbians have told her to concentrate instead on improving the economy etc. ??? If the polls gave her a solid lead…we’d be gonig to vote in six weeks. h.o)

  4. DonGar says:


    Once again keeping it real!

    Just like Campbell I doubt we will see the legislature sit for more than a few days over the next two years. Clark will continue with all the backroom deals and giveaways and likely with more of a vengeance to punish those who voted down the HST.

    A truly sad time for BC.

    (Response: Dictators, of course, don’t like legislatures. But in this case, I question whether even her “majority” is now legitimate: we all know leaders rule supreme and there is simply NO public mandate for Clark’s little soldiers to march to their new corporal’s orders….no matter how many titles, medals and braid she bestows on herself. h.o)

  5. Henri says:

    Until she receives a legitimate, elected public mandate, I will no longer refer to Clark under the title Premier on this blog. And I hope others …including the media … follow suit. h.o
    I agree, so lets refer to her as the twat she is, rather than the Premier which she ain’t.

    (Response: No, there’s no need to lower yourself into the gutter with name-calling. I will just refer to her as Christy Clark or Clark. h.o)

  6. Rocker Rich says:

    Christy is making it up as she goes along. Does anyone really think that if polls improve by next spring that she won’t spout “special circumstances” and jog over to the L-G for an election writ?

    Having said that, I would have cut Ms. Clark some slack if, on Day 1 of her administration, she had announced her intent to govern for a year to launch a set of new initiatives.

    This would’ve given voters time to take the measure of this woman and properly assess whether she truly represented change from Gordo.

    I always thought Liberal Prime Minister John Turner erred when he vaulted into an election within about three months of succeeding Trudeau.
    A host of patronage posts to Grit MPs by the departing Trudeau meant Turner only headed a minority government. But he should have attempted to govern and put the onus on then-Tory leader Brian Mulroney and the NDP to force an election.

    (Response: I agree. I think if she said we’ll have an election in the Spring…most British Columbians would have given her that time to settle in, come up with plans for a program or platform to offer and in the meantime, just be a caretaker leader. But she has NO mandate to introduce major change to anything really. h.o)

  7. SB says:

    Its about more time to shred BC Rail paper and bury whatever else might look bad Clark is neck deep in the scams and if she cantw in she needs time easy to see whats going on now.

  8. I hate to disagree with you, Harvey.

    You are a brilliant man, and your blog is worth a daily read.

    But, in May 2009, we reelected the BC Liberal Party to another four year term. Just because the party leader was Gordon Campbell at the time, and is now Christy Clark, is irrelevent.

    We elect MLAs who are endorsed by political parties. Collectively, the party with the most seats in the legislative assembly is given the opportunity to form government; preferably it is with a majority of the seats.

    In general, parties have leaders. The leader of the winning party is given the opportunity to become Premier and form a government. If the leaders change hands, even every few months, that is fine.

    We directly elect MLAs, and we very loosely indirectly elect Premiers.

    As far as I am concerned, the BC Liberals have the legal right to govern until May 2013, regardless of who the leader is. Constitutionally, the BC Liberals should wait until May 2014, a full five years.

    And, why is it anyone’s concern as to whether or not Ms. Clark had caucus support when she ran for party leader?

    (Response: Well, we disagree on this one. Clark was elected as the MLA for her riding and party leader for the BC Liberal Party. True, there are precedents for leaders replacing previous leaders assuming the top office…but it is historical and Parliamentary tradition that such leaders do n ot hang on to that post for YEARS without seeknig public endorsement …even when they say they will “carry on the work” or their predecessor. And when they repeatedly say they will NOT carry on the path of the person they are replacing, then it becomes even more imperative that they seek a public mandate for the path they choose, before they’ve taken us all down that road. h.o).

  9. ron wilton says:

    Could Clark the usurper, be herself usurped if enough reformed Lieberal backbenchers crossed the floor to sit as Independents or Conservatives, to vote with the opposition to defeat the government on some issue and force an election?

    (Response: Yes… then the government could be defeated on a money bill and lose the confidence of the house. But WHO is abnout to cross that floor? h.o)

  10. cherylb says:

    It’s kind of pathetic to watch someone cling to power, legitimate or not, in whatever manner she can. She knows if she went to the voters she’d be out on her ear…..

    (Response: I suspect that’s why she wants to wait as long as possible…not the lie she spun about the public wanting her to carry on her work. Blah! h.o)

  11. Diverdarren says:

    Harvey, come on.
    “BC’s democratic system, historical traditions, and responsible government have been trampled by the decree of a dictator.”

    Dabbling in a bit of hyperbole are we?

    I agree, I don’t like the laws as it stands right now either, but Clark is acting inside the law. I mean if a person can legally be Premier of BC without being elected obviously we have written some poorly crafted laws.

    My issue is that you’re blaming one person for the ills of the society. (a running theme with your commentaries) Our laws allow these shenanigans in the legislature, don’t pillory her because she exploits our feeble system.

    I say the system’s busted and its time to fix the system. And it’s not just this one flaw in Provincial Statute, We have problems from the top down, federal/Provincial/Municipal.

    (Response: Of course, a little hyperbole. That’s part of my fun in blogging! 🙂 You’re right…the laws allow her to do what she’s doing, but I believe they allow a lot of leeway in case a leader is replaced by a fellow elected member because of illness, death etc. following the same policies. But when the new party leader, elected in a by-election, wasn’t even elected as part of the previous elected slate and sdays openly the policies of her predecessor qwill not be her policies …then she needs a public mandate a.s.a. p. to be the new premier. h.o)

  12. Mike Boileau says:

    I have always been astounded to see Politicians say one thing, blatantly in Public, to get elected and then turn around and do exactly the opposite. Remember how Gordy Campbell railed against MLA’s Pensions? How they would not take a pension, only to change the entire system for MLA’s after his second term? Let’s not forget the fact he was asked by the Restauraunt Association if he was about to bring in the HST. We all know what happened to that issue. Then we have Obama,….. he was going to close down Gitmo immediately, bring home the troops, ( for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize), then he turns around and increases troops everywhere plus starts more wars and kills many, many more people with those insideous drones?
    Now, Christy Clark, going on and on about needing a mandate only to flip-flop. What ever can we do about these dishonest Politicians? I know…..”Alternative Media…..BLOGS!”

    (Response: Well, the blogosphere is indeed growing in influence (take the HST fight for example … we BEAT the MSM high-priced ads and propaganda pundits campaign) and in terms of elections, more and more people are following the blogs AND the discussions on there. Politicians who fail to take that into account or try to ignore it are making a big mistake. h.o)

  13. Splendor Sine Occasu says:

    In other Commonwealth countries, leaders are routinely dumped and replaced by caucus without election, not by the party or voters (e.g. PM Thatcher).

    That said, I am disappointed that Clark will not be facing the voters anytime soon. However, I will look forward to the year-and-a-half long implosion of the BC Liberals! 🙂

    (Response: The big difference is that in those other cases, the new leader emerges from WITHIN the caucus has been elected and pwsrt of the caucus. But for a government (not opposition) to bring in a new leader who was elected in a subsequent by-election, it has not been considered acceptable for that leader to just stay on for years without seeking public approval as leader and/or the new direction he or she wants to take the government. Maybe Clark’s direction isn’t new …but just the same old, same old? h..o)

  14. Lee says:

    Gee Harvey. This is such a black and white, no-brainer that you haven’t even offered us any sporting room to disagree or even offer a slightly oblique opinion.

    She and her party MUST go to an election.

    AT what point do the helium-brained media understand this?

    (Response: Okay…just to encourage the debate you like: Clark would no doubt argue what she is doing is LEGAL and we are a country of LAWS …so there! To hell with principles, tradition and ethical responsibilities … or anything she said in the past. h.o)

  15. e.a.f. says:

    Who would cross the floor? I think any of the lieberal MLAs if they think Clark will take the party into the tank and have some backing from their corporate sponsors.

    This would mean clark would have to call the legislature to sit. I suspect she will avoid that at all costs and simply rule by idict.

    Clark will try to remain in her current position until she is forced to call an election. She and her annointed friends want their new jobs and integrity be dammed.

    Before Ms. Clark calls an election I suspect we can look forward to higher taxes on those of us who are not corporate sponsors, cuts to education–her kid is in private school-and health; the sale of B.C. Hydro and Ferries; and B.C. once again achieving the distinction of having the highest child poverty rate in Canada.

    Families First? Only if your family is a friend or corporate sponsor.

  16. sue says:

    Sort of lost in the fray is the fact that Ian Black, the MLA for Port Moody is gone to a new job in October.

    No fall election but no by election announced?

  17. Crankypants says:

    I too agree that she has not earned the right to call herself Premier of the province until she faces the electorate at large. As a matter of fact, she didn’t even have to seek a seat in the Legislature to become Premier. All she had to do is convince enough party members to put her in that position. All gaining a seat did was allow her to occupy a seat in the Legislature, while it was in session, rather than be a spectator.

    One thing I’m really not buying is her stated reasons for not going to the polls. When did she hold any townhall meetings dealing with this issue? How many unknown BC voters did she consult with? Maybe that is why she refused to face the media in the same come one, come all manner she employs during her many photo-ops. She was afraid that someone might actually ask her to supply some details.

  18. tony says:

    Here, here Harv! Great post! Christy Clark and Moamer Kadhafi have the same amount of credentials to govern!!!

  19. D. M. Johnston says:

    Our political system is one of convention and precedent, not law. Yes there are laws, but many are based on convention on Parliaments past.

    Until recently, Parliamentary law has been protected by men of standing and good morals and when caught with their fingers in the till, so to speak, exited (many with more than a slight push) if they got caught.

    Breaking convention was a great Parliamentary sin, well getting caught breaking convention is more accurate a statement.

    But Campbell was not of good moral standing and his DUI in Hawaii was just starters. Any previous Premier would have stepped down after being charged so, but not Campbell, whose lawyers did not find one Parliamentary reason to do so. That no Premier has ever been caught DUI, was quietly ignored.

    What Campbell did was provide the precedent that a sitting premier can stay in power if he was caught DUI and that being a criminal offense in BC, just makes it worse, by precedent now, a sitting Premier can remain in office if he is convicted of an offense that could be considered a criminal offense in BC!

    The Campbell Liberals brought an era of Tammany Hall to the BC legislature as there were very few actual laws governing how they ruled. The legislature ran on precedent and convention, no real written law and as such the Campbell Liberals did want they wanted, with impunity as any immoral mob would do.

    Clark is just carrying on the Campbell tradition of destroying Parliamentary practice, with her new odious political whims and immoral crew.

    With the Parliamentary system, there is no great book of rules and laws, rather who is in power abides by the golden rule: Those who have the gold – rules!”

  20. RS says:

    “The government could be defeated on a money bill and lose the confidence of the house.” HO

    Geeze HO. Wasn’t the result of the HST referendum enough of a $ thing that clearly demonstrates a lack of confidence in the “governing” (tongue firmly in cheek) party?

    I can’t see HypoChristy winning a snap election nor lasting until 2013. The Liberal snake pit must be writhiing.

    (Response: Nice try..but a referendum vote does not fall under the Parliamentary definition of a money bill. Too bad, eh? h.o)

  21. Gloria says:

    The BC people do not want a dictatorship What choice do we have? We have corrupt courts, corrupt judges, police, Elections BC and the media protects the BC Liberals. All we have to do is, look at the trial of, Campbell’s corrupt sale of the BCR trial. A farce so shameful and embarrassing, we cringe at it.

    If Christy had won the HST referendum, there would have been an election called. Losing the referendum, she would have lost, if she did call an election. Her team likely talked her out of it.

    It sounds to me, like the BC Liberals, have run out of money. There is a post on, Laila Yuile’s web site. Christy is begging for alms.

  22. Gary says:

    Watch here for more info on how Crusty won the leadership of the lieberal Party;
    Alex has promised to expose the dishonesty of Crusty and her crew in stealing pin numbers so the vote could be skewed.
    As to an election, she is not my Premier as I did not have a choice or a vote. Her arrogance ( shown here ; ) is just beyond the pale. I predict a caucus revolt and a very bleeding Clark in the new year. And when ( not if ) the Liberals implode, I will not vote Conservative if they take on any of the rats running from the sinking Liberal ship.

  23. RossK says:

    Regarding the floor-crossing issue….

    I would agree that that is not very likely.

    However, we will already have one bye-bye comin’.

    So, what would happen, if….

    If there were a few more over the next 18 months?


  24. PETE says:

    I’m not sure I want to go to an election every time a new leader is chosen. They are only one person in a party and the party can remove them if they become wacko (aka Gordo). Holding an election each time a new leader was chosen would result in party’s keeping their leaders in way too long for fear of losing an election.
    It seems to me, people are unhappy with the liberals more than their leader which I totally understand but I think there are better reasons to go to the polls. Don’t forget how dismal the recall campaign was…if people wanted an election they could demand it.
    Question, didn’t Christy or Bill Bennett state 80%(?) of people polled didn’t want a fall election…is there real data on that number?

    (Response: Thankfully, changing leaders in Canada or BC is not an annual event. But the reality is we now have a premier who says she has a different agenda from her predecessor, but has not been given a mandate by the people of the province to carry it out. Just voting two years later …after she’s possibly trampled on all kinds of peoples’ rights and taxed or spent the province into the poorhouse is not good enough. h.o)

  25. Henri says:

    PETE // Sep 2, 2011 at 9:10 pm Harv,can you reply to Petes Question, didn’t Christy or Bill Bennett state 80%(?) of people polled didn’t want a fall election…is there real data on that number?

    (Response: Haven’t seen any. h.o)

  26. Gary says:

    Good God Harvey, will the insults to us BC taxpayers never end ?

    (Response: That appointment is a complete insult to MOST British Columbians, who would NEVER have approved it in a referendum. It is little more than a Thank You by Harper for Campbell’s service to the federal government and BIG corporate Canada. h.o)

  27. BG says:

    It’s becoming common place for political leaders to behave like dictators and the mainstream media seems not to care. The mainstream media needs to be a force FOR democracy, not against it.

    (Response: The days of the crusading media on behalf of the public are mostly long gone. They represent their owners’ interests, big business and any government that supports big business. But the good news is they have lost so much of their impact: all their unbalanced “news” coverage, opinion pieces, pro-HST and pro-government editorials and pundits’ propaganda was rejected by most voters. h.o)

  28. neb says:

    I find this to be appropriate given our political situation in BC.

    Governments are never to be trusted. Remember this from WWII:

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Enjoy, this our last holiday w/end for some time 🙂

  29. Mike says:

    Premier Clark has made a careful decision based on several key issues, not the least of which is the economy.

    She, her staff, cabinet and caucus have rightfully decided to focus on jobs, families and keeping our province competitive and economically sound during tough times.

    Governing starts in October and it is time to move on until the next fixed election date.

    The chips will fall into place by then.

    BC needs strong leadership now more than ever and Premier Clark and her Cabinet have what it takes.

    (Response: Yes BC needs strong leadership. But it should be one who respects democracy, the Parliamentary system and the people’s right to vote and give both ANY new Premier and his or her agenda a mandate of approval. To say someo9ne should be allowed to premier just because his or her party selected them …witrhout a PUBLIC endorsement for two full years would not be tolerated anywhere else …at least in the democratic world. h.o0

  30. 13 says:

    Harvey, I always get a chuckle when I read your blog and you slam the BC LIberals. I voted for Ms Clark to become the Liberal leader. I voted for the BC Liberal party ever since I gave up all hope that the NDP would stand behind trade unions. Trade unions (private sector) ie Teamsters or CAW have almost no clout left in them. They have become dues colectors for poorly paid workers . But I am wandering off topic. Ms Clark is the Premier and as long as Dix and the NDP are on the sidelines she is doing the job that MANY British Columbians want her to do. She is keeping the NDP from gaining power. The longer she keeps them out of power the better chance the Liberals or Conservative party will have of keeping the NDP where they belong.

    (Response: Of course, I hope it gives you a chuckle too when I slam the NDP too, both federal and provincial! As for keeping them out of power, that is your right to try to do or to wish for …but I’m disappointed that to accomplish that, you are willing to throw away one of the most basic and cherished principles of democracy and the Parliamentary system…that a new leader oif ANY government MUST put forward a platform and seek a mandate from the public BEFORE carrying it out …not two years after! h.o)

  31. Lynn says:

    Response to: 22; Gary // Sep 2, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Absolutely Gary!
    Thank you for saying. Spread the word.
    Time for fresh faces with fresh ideas. To put common sense back into governing, no more status quo.
    No more business as usual.
    More of preserving of crown assets for the betterment of the future.
    I suspect Harper is rubbing his hands together in hopes of securing a Provincial Conservative Gov’t.

  32. cherylb says:

    Christy is simply Gordon Campbell in a skirt, lipstick and heels, no matter how often and how loud she shouts out that she isn’t. Witness her government permitting the awarding of the 2011 Order of BC to her predecessor; a man who not only doesn’t deserve the award, but isn’t even eligible for the 2011 one.

  33. r says:

    In addition to the @NoOrderForGordo Twitter account, there’s a “Gordon Campbell does not Deserve the Order of BC award” page on Facebook.

    That’s right, not eligible. From another petition by Cheryl McNevin Baron:

    According to the Government of BC’s own Order of BC website, nominations for the 2011 awards closed March 10, 2011, and “your nominee must not currently be an elected person with federal, provincial or municipal governments”.

    Gordon Campbell did not step down as MLA, clearing the way for Christy Clark to run in his riding of Vancouver-Point Gray, until March 14th. Thus, at the close of nominations he was “currently an elected person”.

  34. Carmen says:

    Harvey, an Ipsos poll from last Monday found that 51% disapprove of having an election this fall v. 34% who approve.

    It seems that all that I hear is “What’s the purpose/point of a fixed election date law if we don’t abide by it”?

    And another Ipsos poll from today found that “46% say they think the provincial government is doing a good job when it comes to ‘overall government performance’”.

    The Liberals obtained also 46% in the 2005 and 2009 elections.

    (Response: The fixed election applies when a government/premier is legally and duly elected. What Clark did was stage a coup: the public have NEVER given her a mandate to lead a government. h.o)

  35. CrabbyD says:

    That is ok. By then the cons will be up in support and split the vote with the other con party calling themselves Liberals and the NDP led by Dix will be the government..

    If I was a Socred err Liberal i would be choked. The longer she waits the more time Cummins has to siphon votes from the socreds err Libs…

    (Response: That’s a BIG problem for the Libs …the Conservatives and don’t be surprised if Clark’s declaration to wait until 2013 is just a sham and she’ll indeed go much sooner, using the teachers and the NDP support for them as an excuse to go….asking the public who do you support…the NDP and their union backers who want a fortune in increases or the Libs and their careful governance of taxpayers money. h.o)

  36. CrabbyD says:

    And another Ipsos poll from today found that “46% say they think the provincial government is doing a good job when it comes to ‘overall government performance’”.

    You should of not cut the cut and paste off so soon as the next sentence say 49% dis approve.

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