Premier Christy Clark's decision to govern British Columbia rather than call an election might end up feeling like a self-imposed jail sentence for the new Liberal leader. Her administration will be constrained in several ways. First, there's the economy. It's not going to get better. It's probably going to get worse. That means her government will be taking in less money. So she'll likely being doing more cutting than spending between now and when she hits the hustings.
Then, there's her cabinet. Ms. Clark has said she wants her ministers to have more power. But many of the MLAs she's got are accustomed to taking direction from her predecessor Gordon Campbell, not acting independently. So she can't count on them for policy ideas. That's a problem for Ms. Clark because I don't think coming up with such ideas is one of her strengths.
So British Columbians could be looking at 18 months of being governed by an administration that doesn't have much money and very few new policies - something that won't increase Ms. Clark's chances of winning the next election.