A recent public appearance by B.C.’s Liberal leader Christy Clark has turned into a social media coup for the B.C. NDP, after Clark had a brief interaction with a voter.
The incident occurred last week while Clark was at a North Vancouver grocery store to meet voters, reports CTV News. Sunshine Coast resident Linda Higgins was in the store and approached Clark.
“I would never vote for you because of what…” Higgins began, before Clark cut her off.
“You don’t have to. That’s why we live in a democracy,” Clark said, before turning and walking away.
“Yeah, thank goodness,” Higgins replied. “Hopefully you won’t get elected in.”
— Richard Zussman (@richardzussman) April 28, 2017
It didn’t take long for Twitter to erupt with a new hashtag inspired by the exchange: #IAmLinda. Many used the hashtag to voice their dissatisfaction with the B.C. Liberal government.
— Kate Eileen (@keileener) April 29, 2017
— Bettie Marchiori (@Gottateach4) April 29, 2017
— Melissa Farrance (@MelissaFarrance) April 28, 2017
#IamLinda because we need a premier who listens, and treats people as human beings- not as unwelcome interruptions to be dismissed.
— Rime (@Rimestar) April 29, 2017
— Jane2 (@Jane_2_) April 29, 2017
The Liberal campaign responded to the situation by accusing Higgins of intentionally disrupting the appearance on behalf of the NDP, something Higgins flatly denies.
“This was not set-up by the NDP — I’m not a member of the NDP or any other party,” Higgins told the National Post. “Nobody knew I was going to talk to Christy Clark. I didn’t even know it myself until I saw her. I’m not a political person. It was just an impulse thing.”
On Twitter, many people found the idea of the NDP planting someone at the store simply absurd:
— LifeontheFunnyFarm (@CaroleGillis) April 29, 2017
— Debra Burton (@dlburton) April 30, 2017
One day later, Clark addressed the incident. According to News 1130, Clark said she’s more focused on the undecided voter rather than those who have already chosen not to vote for her.
“She [Higgins] said she didn’t vote for me last time, she’s never voted B.C. Liberals, she never will and she’s not going to vote for me again. Perfect. That’s her right,” Clark said. “And if you never want to change your mind once about you want to vote from the time you started voting, that is your right in a democratic society.”
Meanwhile, Higgins denies she told Clark she had never voted for the B.C. Liberals, pointing to the footage of the exchange as evidence.