Last week, we suggested some reasons why British Columbia might have not have an election this fall. But there are still compelling reasons for Premier Christy Clark to want to go to the polls.
For starters, Ms. Clark performance in the province's highest office has been, at best, spotty. So, if that trend continues, her chances of winning the next election decrease the longer she's in the West Annex. In addition, questions remain about whether Ms. Clark has been able to improve her relationship with Liberal MLAs - only one of whom backed her bid to become party leader. As such, it would be understandable if the premier was anxious for a chance to replace some of those legislators with her supporters. Neither of these factors, though, provides Ms. Clark with a publicly acceptable reason to go the polls.
If the government losses the upcoming referendum on the harmonized sales tax, that could provide Ms. Clark with a pretext to call an election - comparable to a budget being voted down in the legislature. But it would be also be, to our way of thinking, a weak position for the government to campaign from.
Ms. Clark might also be able to create such pretext by saying she needs a mandate from the people to implement an ambitious policy agenda. However, she hasn't yet shown an inclination toward developing such an agenda. And any policy ambitions she might have will be compromised by the province's shaky finances and the lingering possibility of a double dip recession.