“In the Maritimes, politics is a disease, in Québec a religion, in Ontario a business, on the Prairies a protest and in British Columbia entertainment,” — Allan Fotheringham.
The entertainment last week was provided by our premier and the BC Conservatives.
Premier Christy Clark was under fire from the media (mostly men) for her comments about the “sick culture” of Victoria and her decision not to have a fall session of the legislature. Then some guys at the provincial Conservatives got into it and it ended with MLA John van Dongen deciding to sit as an independent. And why not? Having a few more MLAs who are free to speak freely rather than being team players obliged to spout the party line might be a good thing for British Columbians. I got to wondering how the media would have covered Christy’s comments if she was a guy, or if the key players at the Conservative AGM were women.
Incidentally, my gold star for a female performance of the year goes to Green Party leader Elizabeth May. She’s not really a British Columbian, but she represents a B.C. riding and she surely is making her voice heard in the House of Commons.
Former Conservative prime minister Kim Campbell and B.C. Social Credit former premier Rita Johnson didn’t set the world on fire, but like Ms. Clark, they took over from male leaders who had messed up. NDP leaders Joy MacPhail and Carole James didn’t make premier but like Ms. May, Ms. MacPhail and Jenny Kwan did a remarkable job as the two lonely NDPers in the legislature for four years. I’m not a Christy fan, but nicknames bestowed on her by some male columnists/bloggers are tacky. The worst they ever called Gordon Campbell was Slash Gordon and he’s the one responsible for a lot of Christy’s woes. The press vilified former premier Glen Clark, but I don’t recall many mean nicknames.
Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.