To British Columbia Premier, Christy Clark, who takes "inspiration and the courage to make tough decisions from the Bible" -- it must come as a shock that her once promising political career appears to be coming to an abrupt end.
Earlier today, B.C.'s young Finance Minister and Deputy Premier, Kevin Falcon, resigned both positions effective immediately. The right-leaning MLA was appointed to the position having lost to the Premier just a year ago in a divisive leadership contest. His departure is a huge blow to the Premier as she tries to appease and embrace the right wing section of British Columbia and failing miserably.
In recent weeks, many MLAs have announed their resignations including Bill Barisoff, Dave Hayer, Murray Coell, Kash Heed, Kevin Krueger and Harry Bloy. B.C.'s Minister of Education George Abbott is expected to follow suit later on this week.
The Premier was once a rising star in her Liberal party both federally and provincially. When she became Premier, she made history as the second woman Premier of her province and now, just in over a year, the longest serving woman Premier of her province. Her stature is now beginning to be lost just mere months away from an expected BC provincial election.
The fact is that, her leadership style and lack of clarity has made her irrelevant and incompetent at best. As a result, it has helped the once damaged provincial NDP from the left and the Conservative Party from the right a real claim at a future government. She has tried to shed her lifelong centrist image and has embraced a slew of conservative causes while hiring a number of Harper staffers as well as pollsters as her trusted advisers.
This happened while totally ignoring her political base within her own Liberal base who cheered and supported her when she won the leadership over Kevin Falcon in a bloody contest last February. For them, she represented the progressive and safe political middle that was the reason she became leader and by default Premier. From the get go, she looked like a Premier who panicked and confused her supporters, foes as well as the electorates when she became a turn coat and became something she is not.
As a "conservative" Liberal premier, she has been anything but Conservative when it comes to tax payers' money. The British Columbia Office of the Comptroller recently revealed how the Premier charged $475,000 in expense credit cards in just a year. This was double what her predecessor spent previous to taking over the position. These charges included spending of thousands in a number of over the top restaurants in Vancouver including $3,267.66 at Ferris Oyster Bar in Victoria and $2,279 at Bishops in Vancouver.
Former Premier, Gordon Campbell, reported office's expenses that totaled $205,000 and $195,000 the year before that.
In politics, authenticity matters most. Her one time supporter Warren Kinsella recently wrote how "Authenticity is the most prized commodity in politics, even in Winlaw, where cellphones don't work and no one seems to care so much. Clark - who was always a card-carrying federal Liberal, and even worked for a cabinet minister in Jean Chretien's government -- has tried for months to persuade everyone she isn't at all what she used to be."
Often times, electors are generous enough to over look minor shortcomings with their money. They are wise to look at the bigger picture over small mistakes. However, what they do not forgive is lack of authenticity.
Ernie Eves in Ontario learned it the hard way. Premier Clark does not poss authenticity and that is why she will not be Premier for long.
Follow Samuel Getachew on Twitter: www.twitter.com/GetachewS