What was it about Christy Clark that made her such a polarizing figure in B.C. politics?
In the aftermath of Clark’s resignation, stepping away with the words “I’m done with public life,” Clark can be remembered as one of the most controversial leaders in B.C. history.
In this province and in this part of the province, it seemed you either hated her, or…was there another option? Judging by the number of letters and calls we received in the lead-up to the last election, Clark had her share of detractors right here in her riding. That she went on to win Kelowna West easily proved her prowess as a politician and showed she did in fact have support.
But why did so many people hate this lady that clearly was a fighter for our province and one of only a handful of women to ever be a provincial premier? On the world scene, Clark’s reputation was solid. She was seen as a champion for the province and a strong leader who advocated for B.C.’s best interests. At the same time the calls to get rid of her never seemed to end on the home front.
But was she any different than any other political leader? It’s almost a lose-lose proposition, going into politics. You can never make everyone happy, nor can you move mountains by yourself. As leader of the B.C. Liberals, Christy Clark never enjoyed the same popularity as say, her Okanagan team partners Norm Letnick and Steve Thomson.
Those two gentlemen seem to be riding a wave of popularity that will be hard to topple. They are hard-working, outgoing, community champions that both won their ridings easily. Was Clark not a hard-working community/provincial champion?
You don’t hear the same criticism of Letnick and Thomson. As cabinet ministers in the Clark government, Letnick was in charge of agriculture and Thomson was the minister for forests, lands and the rest of the portfolio. They walked step-for-step with Clark, as did the rest of the Liberals, making decisions as a team.
As leader, Clark took all criticism on the chin, as leaders do.
But the hatred that followed her seemed more fitting for one nefarious, narcissistic type of politician that is in all the headlines these days.
No, Christy Clark wasn’t the devil that so many portrayed her to be. She was a politician. Now she’s done with public life. Wouldn’t you be as well, if you had to put up with these endless personal attacks?