Will Christy Clark run for the leadership of the provincial Liberals?
Increasingly, this seems to be a possibility. In the absence of a definitive statement by Ms. Clark on whether she's interested in succeeding Gordon Campbell, supporters have actually begun organizing for a potential leadership bid. And since there is no other caucus outsider or female candidate among those most likely to run for that position, she's under mounting pressure to step up to the starting gate. As we've already noted, if she did so, that could substantially alter the race's dynamics.
Does Carole James's strong-armed handling of dissent help or hurt her?
Ms. James won plaudits for first expelling Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson and later going on the attack against her critics. But that behaviour doesn't square with her self-branding as being someone who does "politics differently" and "works hard to bring people together."
Indeed, James supporters seemed to use a strong us-versus-them approach at this past weekend's provincial council meeting - even though it was considered likely delegates would vote down a contentious resolution proposing a leadership convention in 2011. That approach was perhaps best seen in the handing out of pro-leader scarves and buttons that visibly isolated dissidents - something one attendee described as "visual intimidation."
As a result, even though such tactics seem to have played well externally, that may not be the case internally - eventually prompting dissidents to quit the New Democrats or get out of politics entirely. So Ms. James could find herself heading a party with an increasingly narrow membership base.