WINLAW, B.C. — Here in British Columbia’s Slocan Valley, a 10-hour drive east of Vancouver, a useful lesson in political authenticity.
At Sissies diner on the main drag — where dusty pickups fill the lot, the Doors and Bob Seger are playing inside and the food is pretty amazing — nobody seems to be fretting about the ultimate fate of B.C. Liberal Premier Christy Clark.
“She’s as good as gone,” says one former Liberal voter. Ask why, she doesn’t hesitate. “She’s a phony.”
Authenticity is the most prized commodity in politics, even in Winlaw, where cellphones don’t work and no one seems to care so much. Clark — who was always a card-carrying federal Liberal, and even worked for a cabinet minister in Jean Chretien’s government — has tried for months to persuade everyone she isn’t at all what she used to be.
Now, Clark didn’t issue a press release claiming to be a born-again conservative, but she may as well have. In the months following her leadership win, Clark laboured energetically to look and sound like a hard-right conservative.