How does she do it?
That’s what I think every time I see a clip of B.C. Liberal leader Christy Clark on TV. After 20 years working in politics and around politicians, having heard and doled out my share of spin, even I am amazed by her ability to continue to spout the same half-truths day after day with a straight face.
The media has tried to correct her and the B.C. Liberal campaign’s constant propensity to mislead people. In reality check after reality check, news organizations including CBC News, CKNW and Canadian Press have found the party’s facts to be lacking.
Voters were served another round of the “say anything” campaign when Clark appeared on the CKNW radio debate.
Clark said she has spending “under control,” when we know that her government has been racking up the debt faster than any government in B.C. history. She claimed her government is about “lowering taxes,” while they raised both income and corporate taxes in their 2013 budget. She repeatedly claimed that her B.C. Jobs Plan is working, when Statistics Canada says B.C. has the second-worst job growth rate in Canada.
After the debate, she went toe-to-toe with journalists in a scrum, arguing that bond agencies have said that “the Liberal budget is balanced,” when she knows full well that the Dominion Bond Rating Service said they expect the B.C. Liberal budget to have a $1.7 billion deficit.
The saddest part of all of this, of course, is that this kind of calculated spin is the kind of thing that turns people off from the political process. In an age when we are trying to keep voter turn out from dropping below 50 per cent, we should expect better from our politicians.
The B.C. Liberals are, of course, continuing to make false claims because, after 12 years in power, they seem to be out of ideas. These misleading campaign missives will no doubt just reinforce the feeling many people have that the Clark administration “say anything” approach is more about campaigning than about governing. The voters will have the last say as to whether or not their strategy is working on May 14.
Marcella Munro is an NDP strategist and a Principal with Earnscliffe Strategy Group. Connect with Marcella on Twitter at @marcellam.
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