B.C. Premier Christy Clark wins byelection: It’s time for her doubters to stop doubting

Most Liberals in British Columbia were in a jovial mood on Wednesday night following Premier Christy Clark's convincing byelection victory in Westside Kelowna.

The byelection, of course, was needed because Clark was unable to win her seat in the general election eight weeks ago.

Clark won Westside Kelowna with 62.7 per cent of the vote; the NDP's Carole Gordon finished a distant second with 29.7 per cent.

Most Liberals were rejoicing, but not all.

There continues to be a small contingent of B.C. Liberals that still haven't accepted the results of the 2011 leadership race where Clark beat out former Finance Minister Kevin Falcon.

This somewhat anonymous crew doesn't like Christy Clark and never will.

Some of them were part of that '8:01 movement' who were looking to replace Clark minutes after they were supposed to lose the general election in May. The Liberals won, so the anti-Clark 'brigade' was out of luck.

They were again buoyed by the prospect of Clark losing the by-election in Westside Kelowna. This mischievous bunch wondered what would happen if Clark didn't win.

If she didn't win — the Clark critics queried — how could she ask yet another one of her MLAs to step aside for her?

What would would her caucus think: Wouldn't there be questions about her leadership?

Luckily for Clark, the Liberal Party and the Liberal caucus, those are questions that will never need to be answered.

[ Related: B.C. Premier Christy Clark reverses decision to give senior staff big raises ]

If it wasn't clear before, Clark is now the indisputable leader of the B.C. Liberals — the free enterprise option in the Province.

That 'indisputable' moniker is deserving because of what she's accomplished.

Under Clark's leadership, the B.C. Liberals won there fourth straight majority with more seats and almost an equal share of the popular vote. That's virtually unheard of across the country.

As Clark said on Wednesday night, her byelection victory puts an exclamation point on that election.

She didn't just win, she even bettered the percentage vote of her predecessor, Ben Stewart who had stepped aside for her.

[ Related: Christy Clark goes from outhouse to penthouse in popularity poll ]

Clark has had her share of setbacks and gaffes — what politician hasn't?

Losing the HST referendum, the Ethnic-gate controversy, and some her unscripted moments have been embarrassments for her and the party. And certainly, she should be criticized for those.

But for the B.C. Liberal anti-Christy Clark gang, 2011 is long gone and since then Clark has taken 'team free-enterprise' to lofty heights.

Maybe it's time to put down the swords and join the party.

(Photo by Andy Radia)

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