07/11/2013 10:19 EDT | Updated 07/11/2013 12:45 EDT

Christy Clark Byelection Win Shows Full Control Over Party: Opinion (TWEETS)


Get in line: that's the message B.C. columnists are sending to any remaining dissidents in the governing Liberal party after Premier Christy Clark won a resounding victory in Westside-Kelowna on Wednesday night.

Gary Mason at The Globe and Mail said the byelection, which saw Clark take more than 60 per cent of the vote, represents the first time that the premier has been in full control of her party, after years of internal grumbling and an inside movement that planned to dump her after the May election.

She can now focus solely on governing, Mason writes, and no longer has to be in full-time campaign mode. Meanwhile, the opposition NDP is in disarray, trying to re-define what it is and who it represents.

Andy Radia at Yahoo! Canada News said much the same thing, calling Clark the "indisputable leader of the B.C. Liberals" after leading the party to a shocking fourth straight election win, taking more seats than even the 2009 election.

"Maybe it's time to put down the swords and join the party," he wrote.

Les Leyne at The Times-Colonist reflected on Clark's "up-and-down electoral career," which has seen close calls at the ballot box: her narrow 1996 Port Moody-Westwood riding win of two per cent; Sam Sullivan beating her for the Non-Partisan Association's 2005 mayoral nomination; beating Kevin Falcon for the Liberal leadership; and finally, losing her Vancouver-Point Grey seat to the NDP's David Eby last May.

"She’s a born campaigner. Now she has to settle down to governing," Leyne wrote, echoing Mason's statements.

Vaughn Palmer at the Vancouver Sun had tough words for the NDP, which is currently undergoing an internal review to find out how they managed to blow a 20-point lead in the provincial election.

He pointed out that the review panel still hasn't been set up, eight weeks after the election, and that the party is trying to pull off a careful balancing act that would incorporate input from labour, women, the LGBTQ community and at least one person from outside the province.

Palmer said the terms of reference for the review itself are a study in an inability to focus, with emphasis on disparate matters such as fundraising, stakeholder engagement, communications, selection of campaign leadership, and much more.

"Either way, the panel, at its boldest, can only suggest a roadmap for the future. It will be up to the leader to discover if the NDP will allow itself to be led in that direction," he wrote.

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Christy Clark Byelection Win (TWEETS