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The B.C. NDP's trouble with women

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The public will not punish Christy Clark for alleged misdeeds by her brother and her ex-husband, so give it up.  Stick to attacking her politics instead.

MY PREDICTION: Christy Clark will be anointed in February by the provincial Liberal Party as B.C.'s Next Premier.

Clark is looking like a shoo-in, despite any baggage she may carry, unless she blunders badly during the leadership campaign.  She has astutely recruited a high-profile woman as her campaign chair -- Pamela Martin, who recently moved on from a long career as a television reporter and suppertime news anchor.

This will underscore the weaknesses of the NDP, and particularly its inability to attract any female contenders in its own leadership race.

Like any party, the Libs will go with the candidate who appears most able to win the next election for them and she has a huge edge over the rest of the pack.  Internal rivalries between the federal Conservatives and Liberals in the organization will not determine the outcome.

NDP commentators like Bill Tielman are trying hard to argue that her candidacy is fatally undermined by connections with the corruption scandal surrounding the privatization of B.C. Rail that contributed to Premier Gordon Campbell’s demise.

It will hardly assist the NDP, which appears to be losing support among women voters, to try to bring down a female Liberal leader by saddling her with the blame for alleged activities of male relations.  It is difficult to imagine a more foolish (not so say unprincipled) strategy for the NDP than to launch an overtly sexist attack on a female Liberal candidate.

Here’s a hot tip for Tielman:  the public will not punish Clark for alleged misdeeds by her brother and her ex-husband, so give it up.  Stick to attacking her politics instead.

There has been a great deal of internal furor in the provincial NDP about the gender-parity rules for leadership in the party’s constitution.  The problem that another NDP commentator, former MLA David Schreck, has brought to the fore is that the rules require at least one of the three top positions (leader, president and treasurer) be occupied for a woman.  The president and treasurer are both men, so unless the party somehow recruits another female leader to replace Carole James, one of the other two must go.

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