FACE TO FACE: Gordon Campbell is getting the Order of B.C. Too soon?
Iam deeply indifferent about whether Gordon Campbell deserves the Order of B.C. In fact, the instrument has not been invented that could measure my indifference.
It is, however, difficult to be indifferent about how enthusiastically and quickly he is being forgiven. The scandals of other B.C. politicians have stuck to them like glue yet Mr. Campbell, driven from office by furious British Columbians, is not only forgiven but lauded, all within months of his ouster.
Talk about a Teflon man. Mr. Campbell has transcended Teflon and moved to Calphalon, that new, more incredible non-stick stuff everyone is gaga over.
Gordon Campbell did not retire.
He didn't leave because after 10 years of collaborative and prudent stewardship of the province it was time to give someone else a chance.
He didn't step down out of concern for the BC Liberal party or to spend more time with his family.
Gordon Campbell was forced from office by the bipartisan disgust of 91% of the citizens of B.C., a citizenry unanimously fed up with HST dishonesty, an autocratic leadership style and a BC rail scandal so Hydra-headed that the very survival of his party was in jeopardy had he stayed.
With the ink barely dry on his resignation, Mr. Campbell was chosen by Prime Minister Stephen Harper as Canadian high commissioner to the United Kingdom, an anointing of almost papal proportion, complete with the most opulent of digs.
The mind boggles.
If that weren't enough, scant months after our collective disgust drove him from office, we want to give him the Order of B.C.? How did he go from frog to prince in but a wink?
In contrast, former NDP premier Glen Clark evokes an ire undiminished after 12 years out of office. We still almost unanimously chant about fast ferries and sundecks at the mere mention of his name.
And what of Mike Harcourt, whose resume, civic and provincial, is arguably better than Mr. Campbell's? Is the Order of B.C. in the works for him?
It's not Joe and Mary Six-pack who have forgiven Gordon Campbell - we're still furious. The rush to launder and glorify his legacy is not a grassroots movement and speaks volumes about whose interests Mr. Campbell represented during his tenure.
Face to Face columnist Jim Nelson is a retired Tri-City teacher and principal who lives in Port Moody. He has contributed a number of columns on education-related issues to The Tri-City News.