Why can't people take a joke? Why can't people take Christy Clark?
I don't mean to suggest that our premier is not to be taken seriously. Some folks take her so seriously they want her to resign and go back to mothering her Hamish again.
It's a sad feature of politics — and I don't think it's new — that when leaders are hated for whatever reason, anything they do to try to rescue themselves turns out to be counterproductive.
Unpopular office-holders, apparently, can't even make jokes.
Victoria's Chief Constable, Jamie Graham, was rebuked when heading the Vancouver force for leaving, as a joke, a bullet-riddled target on the desk of the lady city manager.
Clark's apparently off-colour joke last weekend was to suggest that no one reads Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer anymore, or listens any more to CKNW, the radio station for which she worked before accepting the Liberal leadership and, coincidentally, the premiership of this province.
Palmer is too much a gentleman not to take criticism himself. But the anchor of the radio station accused the premier of disloyalty to the outfit that gave her the "platform" from which she jumped back into politics.
Clark made another joke Aug. 3 that offended political sensibilities — mostly, I suspect, male.
The event, in Delta, was one of a series of ladies-only events that she's held around the province. She quipped that "we kick all the men out" because "conversations happen differently" when only women are present.
"We're taking over, ladies," she declared, tongue, of course, in cheek.
Irrepressible bloggers accused her of "gender" discrimination; political scientists agonized over what this earth-shattering event would do for increased participation by women in politics as if women's suffrage itself was at stake.
I don't believe the premier's concern is that more of her gender run for office and leap at political ceilings.
Her concern was that more women vote for her next time, if an election can't be avoided in May.
Support for Liberals among women, according to the latest Angus Reid poll, wallows at 15 per cent compared to 53 per cent female support for the New Democratic Party.
Clark has indicated she thinks that polling outfit is a bit of a joke itself. But it seems to reflect a mood that any political leader would want to address — by, among other things, talking to women who might be too shy to say what they think in front of we alpha types accustomed to setting the political agenda.
The premier will also be trying to cultivate support among ethnic and other identifiable political groupings.
It was reported that she took a break from her vacation Aug. 5 to meet with organizers of the gay pride parade in Vancouver, though the lady was not for marching. Apparently she had a vacation "schedule conflict."
Not so NDP leader Adrian Dix and half a dozen of his MLAs. They "marched the full route," said his chief of staff proudly.
That gay outing appears to be one of the few times Dix has appeared in public lately. And when he does have something to talk about, it tends not to be reported widely.
Voters who want to get rid of Clark pay little attention to the socialist who's waiting, like an invasive American bullfrog, in the reeds.
The B.C. Liberal Party executive has decided to avoid the "logistical hassle" of a leadership review at the party's October convention that could be embarrassing for her. And she seems determined to run in Vancouver-Point Grey again.
Clark can't quit because quitting's what girls are expected to do when things get tough. She has to remain, chirpy, to the end.
B.C voters tend to choose jokers to be premier — even NDP ones.
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