FACE TO FACE: They agree Christy Clark has been bad - but who's better?
For once, my colleague opposite and I agree on a political matter. We both believe Christy Clark has been a disaster as B.C.'s premier.
While it may sound harsh, I don't know how else to describe her one year reign of mediocrity.
Shortly after being elected, our honourable premier flip-flopped on her promise to call an early election.
She rewarded members of her leadership campaign with cushy, high-paying jobs; remember former news-reader Pamela Martin's six-figure salary to do "outreach?"
She lost the HST referendum and failed to efficiently put a plan in place to replace it.
Her government inconvenienced parents and students by not getting a deal done with the teachers.
She continues to play musical chairs with her staff, not for the benefit of taxpayers, but because this federal Liberal wants to appear more conservative.
She has played games with the voters in Port Moody-Westwood by not calling a byelection even though it has been without an MLA for five months.
And one year after a fractious leadership contest, she remains unable to unite her party.
So, where do we go from here?
My colleague is touting Adrian Dix's Dippers. Apparently, he continues to believe a high-tax, high-spend regime wouldn't have a negative impact on the economy. (I think he still believes in the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy, too.)
For me and thousands of other right-leaning voters, however, the decision about who to support in the next election is a difficult one.
My Liberal friends are fond of saying, "A vote for the BC Conservatives is a vote for the NDP." They argue the BC Conservatives will split the right-of-centre vote and allow Dix an easy road to the premier's office.
That kind of boogyman argument is full of holes.
First, who anointed the BC Liberals the voice of the right? That's a distinction that needs to be earned and this party, particularly under Premier Clark, does not deserve it. Moreover, 48% of the eligible voters stayed home during the last provincial election. I would bet many stayed home because there was no legitimate right-wing alternative to the BC Liberals.
Now there is an alternative: John Cummins' BC Conservatives.
The BC Liberal party has a lot of people I like and respect. But it's clearly time for a change.
Andy Radia is a Coquitlam resident and political columnist who writes for Yahoo! Canada News and Vancouver View Magazine. He has been politically active in the Tri-Cities, having been involved with election campaigns at all three levels of government, including running for Coquitlam city council in 2005.