What will it mean if Premier Christy Clark isn't able to call an election this year?
An early provincial election would have allowed Ms. Clark to seek a mandate from the electorate while her premiership is still in its honeymoon period. It would have also allowed her avoid running in a by-election and provided an opportunity to add her own supporters to the Liberal caucus. But, as a result of the federal election, it's now less likely a writ will issued in this province before 2012. As such, Ms. Clark will have to get on with the business of governing rather than continuing to play at electoral politics. That will put the premier's stakeholder relations and caucus management skills to the test. And it will force her to add depth to what has hitherto been a comparatively shallow policy agenda. It remains to be seen whether the premier's new administration is up to either task.
The provincial New Democrats want British Columbians to believe Ms. Clark is a copy of Premier Gordon Campbell - attempting to preserve some of the hostility that existed toward her predecessor. Will this attempt succeed?
The New Democrats' effort to define their opponent before she has time to define herself is politically laudable. But it's uncertain if there are enough similarities between Ms. Clark and Mr. Campbell to sustain the argument they're cut from the same cloth (at least at this point in her administration). As such, the New Democrats might have been better advised to pick up where her opponents in the Liberal leadership race left off - characterizing Ms. Clark as a shallow, opportunistic political tourist.