12/26/2012 12:45 EST

BC Top Political Moves 2012


Turmoil is a good word to describe B.C. politics this year.

The B.C. Liberal government is in a tailspin heading into the 2013 election. Ipsos-Reid puts the party's approval rating behind the opposition NDP at 45 to 38 per cent. The numbers come after a series of high-level resignations, a conflict of interest complaint against Premier Christy Clark and an ongoing fight with Alberta over the Northern Gateway pipeline.

The only consolation for the governing party is that the Conservatives are doing even worse, at nine per cent approval and dropping.

But the year's biggest political moves didn't just involve our bickering provincial parties. At the federal level we saw MPs take strong stands on divisive issues like the shark fin debate, as well as great progress made by one party that was dismissed in the past.

See our choices for top moves in B.C. politics this year:

Top B.C. Political Moves in 2012

10) Harry Bloy quits cabinet

B.C. Liberal MLA Harry Bloy was Christy Clark's only supporter in caucus during her bid for the leadership of her party. He was appointed to her first cabinet but resigned after he admitted to sharing a reporter's email with a party supporter.

9) Green Party's strong showing In Victoria byelection

The NDP fended off a strong challenge from the Green Party in the race to be Member of Parliament for Victoria. Donald Galloway was boosted by endorsements from David Suzuki and Farley Mowat. He came within 1,151 votes of eventual winner Murray Rankin.

8) Alice Wong eats shark fin soup

Richmond Conservative MP Alice Wong went out for a bowl of shark fin soup amid calls to stop serving it in Chinese restaurants around Metro Vancouver. She later issued a statement saying that "legal" shark fin is OK, and that the Tories have no intention to make it illegal.

7) John van Dongen quits Conservatives

Former Liberal John van Dongen resigned from the B.C. Conservative party after leader John Cummins survived a leadership review. More recently, he laid a complaint against Premier Christy Clark with the conflict of interest commissioner for her alleged role in the sale of BC Rail.

6) Christy Clark's revolving staff door

It's not hard to confuse the entrance to Christy Clark's office with a revolving door at a hotel. Ken Boessenkool resigned as chief of staff in September after an "incident of concern" and communications director Sara MacIntyre left her post in October.

5) Kim Baird defeated In Tsawwassen election

Kim Baird served as chief of the Tsawwassen First Nation for 16 years before being defeated in a September election. It was a surprising loss after she successfully negotiated a treaty and oversaw the approval of a major shopping mall on her people's traditional territory. The election, however, has been voided according to the Vancouver Sun and Baird will run again.

4) Dissidents challenge John Cummins

B.C. Conservative leader John Cummins had a heck of a time trying to control his party. A group of dissidents called for a leadership review at the party's AGM but Cummins survived the vote. Members who spoke out against him were expelled.

3) NDP acts against status quo

Matt Toner over Constance Barnes. George Heyman over Geoff Meggs. The reluctance of the B.C. NDP to pick established candidates to run in the 2013 election suggests a major shift inside the party.

2) B.C. Liberals flee sinking ship

Kevin Falcon. George Abbott. Blair Lekstrom. Those are just a few names that won't be on the ballot for the B.C. Liberals in the 2013 election.

1) Christy Clark's Northern Gateway demands

Christy Clark started a war of words with Alberta Premier Alison Redford when she demanded greater royalties for B.C. from the Northern Gateway pipeline.