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.