|The ancient Indian book The Kama Sutra illustrates many sexual positions - and Christy Clark's HST positions too, according to opponent George Abbott!|
|George Abbott laid the Kama Sutra slam on Christy Clark|
Bill Tieleman's 24 hours/The Tyee column
Tuesday February 8, 2011
By Bill Tieleman
“Pleasures also bring a man into distress, and into contact with low persons; they cause him to commit unrighteous deeds, and produce impurity in him.”
- The Kama Sutra
B.C. Liberal Party leadership candidate George Abbott accuses opponent Christy Clark of doing the “Kama Sutra” with her various positions on how she would handle the Harmonized Sales Tax.
And while many voters head to Wikipedia to discover Abbott is referring to a book of explicit sexual poses , a cat named Olympia belonging to one of Clark’s senior volunteers turns up on the B.C. Liberal membership list.
Abbott is outraged -- he meows: how many other fake feline Liberals may have been recruited?
Then Abbott’s campaign coughs up a stinky fur ball on the carpet -- admitting its Ontario political advisors Campaign Research -- the folks behind right-wing Toronto mayor Rob Ford - secretly created a Kitties4Christy.com website to ridicule Clark -- but days before the story was even uncovered. Abbott puts Kitties4Christy.com in the litter box.
It sounds like some serious rat fornication is going on, to use a more polite term for the dirty tricks practiced in politics against opponents.
Then there are Abbott’s claims that Clark’s HST position was out of the ancient Indian sex manual.
"She [Clark] is adopting really the Kama Sutra of HST positions here with now many, many different interesting variables to her position on the HST," Abbott said last week . "She is desperately reaching for solid ground here after a series of miscalculations on the appropriate position on the harmonized sales tax."
And fellow candidate Kevin Falcon joined the Clark Kama Sutra chorus.
"Thank goodness she moved away from that position because I think a five-minute discussion with almost anyone in this province would have told her that was an ill-informed position to be taking," Falcon said.
"I think there is a little bit of a 'ready, fire, aim' approach that's sort of taking place," Falcon added in also criticizing Clark’s suggestions that she would hold a snap election after becoming premier and add a new public holiday in February.
"You can't be making these kinds of public commitments without discussing it with anyone," he said.
Meanwhile Falcon trotted out more corporate tycoons backing his campaign than you would find at a U.S. Republican Party fundraiser, while simultaneously boasting he’s signed up 17,500 new B.C. Liberal members by the February 4 deadline.
And “Open Mike” de Jong proudly says he’s convinced 10,000 British Columbians to join the B.C. Liberals to support his candidacy, which is exactly 10,000 more people than ex-cabinet minister de Jong has persuaded to back him amongst B.C. Liberal MLAs. Zero would be that number.
[Zero is also the number of MLAs backing forgotten leadership candidate Moira Stilwell, another ex-cabinet minister, and zero for outsider Ed Mayne, while just one lonely MLA supports Clark -- Harry Bloy.]
Both de Jong and Falcon say most of their signups came from the South Asian community.
And surprise, surprise -- Gulzar Cheema, a prominent Indo-Canadian and former B.C. Liberal cabinet minister -- has launched efforts to block their party from using a weighted voting system so each riding has an equal voice in the leadership contest.
That weighted voting system would mean, of course, that having more than 5,000 new Liberal members in Surrey-Newton -- which had only 200 before Campbell resigned -- would get the same 100 votes for leader as a rural Liberal riding with just 500 members.
Cheema is -- shockingly -- a supporter of de Jong, but swears Mike still backs the weighted voting system that will be either approved or killed at a special convention February 12 and needs two-thirds support to pass.
And Cheema, who sat at the same cabinet table as most of the candidates, amazingly told The Province’s Mike Smyth that some of them may be lying in public about backing the weighted vote.
"I think there are some candidates who say they support it, but they secretly don't," Cheema said. "They are secretly hoping that it fails."
Yikes, that makes Olympia the B.C. Liberal cat look like she’d be a more honest leader!
Clark’s campaign won’t disclose signup numbers -- but surprisingly their chief organizer in the Indo-Canadian community is Amar Bajwa – one of the so-called “Basi Boys” who worked with David Basi, the convicted B.C. Legislature Raid case defendant, to take control of federal Liberal ridings to support Paul Martin’s insurgency against former Prime Minister Jean Chretien.
Yes, the B.C. Liberal Party has found itself in a strange position indeed, one that may need considerable lubrication and difficult contortions to get out of.
The sticky situation is the potentially disastrous break up of a party that has managed under Premier Gordon Campbell to keep personalities, federal party allegiance and a wide range of political ideologies from spinning out of control.
But not now.
It’s not just the dirty pool being played to win the leadership -- it’s all about the future direction of the party and the province.
And that’s why it’s far nastier than the B.C. New Democrat contest, It’s about trying to stay in power.
The next battleground in this political war will get more fur flying than just a single feline’s party membership -- it’s going to be an ABCC effort -- “Anybody But Christy Clark”.
Why? Clark is still the frontrunner in Ipsos Reid polling that shows the on-leave CKNW talk show host would far more electable than Falcon or Abbott, the two other serious contenders, although the number of people paying even scant attention to the race is dubious.
The poll favouring Clark includes not just the general public but B.C. Liberal voters too.
Abbott and Falcon are already working hard to erode Clark’s support -- and so too is Clark herself, albeit unintentionally.
The goal of the two long-time senior cabinet ministers is to paint Clark as a lightweight who talks a good game on air but lacks the gravitas to actually govern a tough province.
It’s actually a pretty convincing argument. Clark’s two cabinet portfolios during Campbell’s first term in government were both busts – education and children and families – while in her role as deputy premier she is only now known for sitting at the cabinet table when B.C. Rail was privatized in 2003.
Clark had no problem totally alienating the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and many parents, but who couldn’t? By the time Clark was involuntarily moved by Campbell to the ministry of despair -- children and families -- she had no notable achievements in education.
After a few dismal and unnoticed months in her new portfolio Clark up and quit to “spend more time” with her then three-year-old son. But less than a year later she was running to be Vancouver mayoralty candidate for the Non-Partisan Association.
Another failure -- the high profile Clark was beaten by 69 votes by Sam Sullivan, the low profile city councillor. Ouch!
But Clark landed a lucrative job at CKNW, renegotiating an allegedly substantial raise just before announcing the political bug had bitten once again to run for premier.
Abbott and Falcon want to paint Clark as a “political tourist” – which is easy when she offers them the brush so willingly.
Clark has opened her campaign to several key B.C. Legislature Raid figures. One is B.C. Liberal insider Patrick Kinsella – her two-time election campaign chair or co-chair. The other is her brother Bruce Clark, whose home was searched by police and confidential B.C. Rail government information was found there, while she has steadfastly rejected any public inquiry calls into the case.
Her initial HST position -- to hold a free vote in the B.C. Legislature to presumably reverse course completely and kill the tax without holding the binding referendum promised by Campbell -- was ridiculous, given that every B.C. Liberal MLA who voted for the HST last year would have to vote against it while Clark herself was sitting in the visitors’ gallery watching.
But Clark had her own comebacker that punched Falcon and Abbott squarely in the face and hard over the HST.
"It's pretty rich for any of the cabinet that was sitting there through this whole HST fiasco to be accusing anyone else of a flip-flop. What I've been trying to do is try to fix part of the problem that they created by doing what they refused to do," Clark responded.
"The reason we're here is because of the way the government did the Kama Sutra on the HST," she said, although Clark wisely avoided saying B.C. consumers were the ones who were actually screwed by the new $2 billion tax.
The wild card in all this is former attorney general de Jong.
Clark hasn’t announced how many new Liberals she and membership campaign chair Pamela Martin -- the ex-CTV news anchor -- have signed up with extensive organizing and radio advertising, excluding cats of course.
But it’s likely substantial. And if “Punjabi Mike” de Jong, as R. Paul Dhillon calls him in the Indo-Canadian The Link newspaper , were to fold his tent in favour of Christy before the vote, she could potentially be B.C.’s next premier.
If, that is, she and de Jong can surreptitiously kill the party’s weighted vote proposal so one-member one vote is triumphant.
Even de Jong delivering his second choice votes to Clark in exchange for a reciprocal deal could do the trick.
On the other hand, if de Jong were to back Falcon before the vote or on second ballot, Clark will likely have to try and resurrect her radio career.
Could de Jong back Abbott? Very unlikely because Abbott has called for a third party review of de Jong’s signoff of the $6 million legal fees paid to lawyers for the two ex-B.C. Liberal ministerial aides who made surprise guilty pleas in the B.C. Legislature Raid case – David Basi and Bob Virk.
But it still could happen -- especially if the weighted vote proposal passes. De Jong could surprise Clark and Falcon by supporting Abbott, reasoning that his membership signups could deliver several ridings in the Fraser Valley to Abbott, giving him a good chance to win.
Cats, rats, prevaricating candidates and the Kama Sutra -- that’s how this province’s next premier will be chosen under the B.C. Liberals’ strange rules.
After that, even the previously divided New Democrats may seem like the picture of unity and decorum.
You can read a feature profile of me in this month’s BC Business magazine now on newsstands or online.