A long walk in the sand

After taking what he described as a "long walk in the snow," federal Liberal leader Pierre Elliot Trudeau announced on February 29, 1984 he was leaving politics. So some provincial Liberals are hoping Gordon Campbell will take what they're calling a "long walk in the sand" while vacationing in Maui, announcing his intent to resign sometime in the New Year. Hoping, because no one seems certain whether the premier actually wants to quit.

Asked by CKNW's Sean Leslie if he'll run in the next election, Premier Campbell said, "Yeah. Do you plan to be here in 2013?"

That was back in September, when an Angus Reid Strategies Inc. poll showed 75 percent of British Columbians opposed him doing just that.

Since then, the polls haven't changed much. So has the premier's response to such questions?

Mr. Campbell recently told the Times Colonist's Lindsay Kines, "I'm going to try and finish off the stuff I started. But it won't be up to me; it will be up to everybody else."

For a leader known for leaving nothing up to "everybody else," that's somewhat surprising.

But, if that's the case, whom is the premier referring to?

British Columbians may have re-elected the Campbell administration. But they've never been especially fond of the premier.

It's rumoured at least some caucus members want to see Campbell gone. And there's dissent among the Liberals' business backers.

So if the premier really is leaving his future up to "everybody else," he'll soon be packing his bags.

But if that does happen, what will it mean for the Liberals - a party whose policies in government are set by the inclement interests, associations and friendships of its leader?

Having no grassroots to speak of, the Liberals are little than more than a vessel for corporate interests and contributions.

So will that vessel, which is floundering in the polls, capsize without Premier Campbell? And if someone does succeed in righting it, what direction will the party take?

It's the answers to these questions that could define the coming year in politics and determine the results of the 2013 election.

And it could all come down to whether the premier decides to take a long walk in the sand to ponder what "everyone else" thinks he should do - or, more likely, just make up his own mind.

4 Comments

Gordon loves being the center of attention. He will hang around until either his own party tells him to get lost, but let's have a few more polls first. If the big show starts showing high numbers of debt, they might give him a big send off. He can always use the old. More time with my family, line. But we are all just guessing as the guy keeps having visions , most of which be breaks so I wouldn't bet one way or the other. I would, for one love to see him sworn in and on the stand for the BC Rail case.

Well, I think the Premier will have to go due to declining polls, BCRail, time for a fresh start and wife retiring. But he will make his own decision.

Of course, there has been for some time and always will be the very real thrill/threat of Premier Mary Polak.

If Her Maryesty Rockette Polak of Langley demurrs, we can always have Premier Kevin Falcon beak off and do burnouts.

If the smart people could rule the world, Sean Holman would get the job.

I think Premier Campbell will really, truly have to go in the near future. Bad poll #s, peak will be 2010 Olympics & Paraolypics, family will demand an end and caucus is growing restless. Carole Taylor may decide to get catty and implode the Campbell Tower of political support to get to the top. There is also absolutely nothing stopping PMSH from making Gordon Campbell a Canadian Senator or Ambassador to help resolve this growing problem on his BC flanks.

Of course, regulars know - barring my upset at EIBI cuts - I pine for three words:

Premier
Mary
Polak

...becuz I'm a libertarian.

Gordon Campbell will have to be forced out. He will not leave on his own. Hopefully, he will be replaced by a Premier who is a democrat and will actually listen to what British Columbians have to say before making precipitous decisions like the HST, "gold plated" pensions for MLA's, etc. However, as the BC Liberals have only Campbell "yes men" and "yes women" in their ranks, BC voters will have to another political party for a different kind of Premier.

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