Premier Christy Clark has announced she will wait until the scheduled election date of May 2013 to face off against the opposition at the polls.
After months of speculation, Clark denied she changed her mind about an early election because of the defeat of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) or recent party polling.
In statements she made in various media interviews, Clark pointed to the unstable world economy and the many British Columbians indicating they do not want another election this year.
Both during the leadership campaign and since being elected, however, Clark had questioned whether she has a sufficient mandate to govern for two years until the next election date.
Cariboo-Chilcotin NDP candidate Charlie Wyse says he is convinced Clark has flip-flopped on the election decision because her own polling results show the B.C. Liberals would not be able to win an election.
“I happened to have been in Vancouver … and I, along with other nominated NDP candidates and the NDP caucus, was introduced to British Columbians. It was later that day that [Clark] announced there would not be an election.”
Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett says she is very pleased Clark has “listened to the public,” and is going to hold an election on the legislated election date.
“I haven’t had anybody come running in to me and say, ‘Have an election.’ I’ve had people come to me and say, ‘We need help’.”
Barnett adds Clark made the right decision and she commends her “immensely” for recognizing the government needs to get to work on jobs and the economy first and foremost, as well as on health care and education.
“I’ve heard people say, ‘If there is an election, I won’t go to vote. I’ve listened to people yapping about recall for two years; I’ve heard people with petitions; I’ve seen people with referendums; I’ve been through a federal election; and now, I’m just going to go through a local government election. I don’t want to hear it again’.”
BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix says the government’s unpopularity after the two-year HST furor and its lack of new ideas are the reason for the reversal.
“We have gained momentum and support at the same time as the B.C. Liberals have floundered under confused leadership and the absence of an agenda beyond salvaging the HST.”