Congratulations, Premier Dix. The second and final leaders’ debate in the 2013 provincial election wasn’t even half over, and I could see that Clark had blown it: same old, same old … even though the polls, including one released a few hours before the tv debate, have shown the Liberal 1990-s attack style campaign strategy has NOT been working.
And then there were her gaffes:
“You would take the money from the many to spend it on the few,” Clark spat at NDP Leader Adrian Dix. And who were “the few” she was talking about? Kids living in poverty!!! What kind of a politician ,let alone a premier, would dismiss a question on why BC has the worst child poverty record in Canada (or second worst, depending on who you believe) by marginalising poor children as “the few” and clearly not as important as “the many” … those of us enjoying the better life?? Yikes!
And that wasn’t all.
The Liberal leader, in a carefully scripted attack point, suggested an NDP government would “rob Peter to pay Paul” as opposed to the Liberal plan to provide jobs for “both Peter and Paul”.
But the punch-line, which actually made me laugh out loud, came several minutes later, when Dix, noting since 2011, BC has lost 34,800 jobs. “Neither Peter nor Paul are working!” Dix delivered. Clearly ready for not only Premier, but The Tonight Show too.
And to his credit, the NDP leader answered clearly “Yes” when asked if he would favour decriminalization of marijuana possession, while Clark slid around the question and did NOT answer.
The Liberal Leader did score points, I thought, on the Kinder Morgan question, Dix’s handling of the issue, his other candidates stances on the matters of not only pipelines, but fracking and coastal traffic.
But they key here is that, a poll released just hours before the tv debate, reported the NDP still maintained a 22 per cent LEAD over the Liberals: so Clark had to not only EQUAL Dix in their face to face battle, but actually TOP him by a huge amount to have a chance at keeping her job. She did not.
And what was different here, in the tv debate, is that … unlike the radio debate last week … the two other leaders, John Cummins of the Conservatives and Jane Sterk of the Green Party were just bit players in the real dogfight. They both nipped at the heels and occasionally made it up to the ankles of the two major combatants, but even then, they seemed to challenge and cause more discomfort to Clark for her government’s record, lack of accomplishment and credibility than Dix.
The key for the NDP leader, though, is that Dix was NOT scary. (Which, of course, means he really is not …or is doing a great job of hiding it!)
A little nervous in the beginning, but even on the question of his own discredited actions that cost him his job in the 90s while working for then-premier Glen Clark, Dix did not skate around … admitted his mistakes (at age 35) and said he had learned from them …and that’s why he has avoided attacking others with negative ads. His handling of that may even have turned a potential campaign negative into a positive.
Clark simply need to shine … and did not. So much for her being “a great communicator”.
Barring any “late-breaking news” it’s all over but the voting.
And then Adrian Dix will be BC’s new premier.