Clark sworn in, others just swear 0
There were two kinds of chairs to go with two kinds of ministers: one sort that folds up instantly, the other sort goes round and round in circles.
- "Bernard Woolley" in Yes Minister TV series
Premier Christy Clark put her own face on the 11-year-old B.C. Liberal government - and her foot on the throats of many veteran cabinet ministers.
Clark and her new cabinet were sworn in Monday - and the new premier was likely privately sworn at by enough Ex-ministers to populate a sizeable government committee.
And then there are all those not promoted from the backbench into her downsized 18-member cabinet.
The big question now is whether angry B.C. Liberal MLAs who are left out decide to leave caucus and join the B.C. Conservative Party or some other political entity, retire or just grumble.
Heading the list: ex-Finance Minister Colin Hansen - paying for helping former Premier Gordon Campbell impose the Harmonized Sales Tax - or for his last-minute endorsement of losing leadership candidate Kevin Falcon, now finance minister and deputy premier.
Clark would dearly love Hansen to resign and let her take over his Vancouver-Quilchena seat - one of the B.C. Liberals' safest.
Others taking a huge pay cut for being exiled from cabinet and could cause trouble include Moira Stilwell, who ran for leader before dropping out to support not Clark but George Abbott. Big mistake. Big price.
And it can't be easy for Margaret MacDiarmid, Murray Coell, Iain Black, Kevin Krueger and others to go from ministers to minions with no likelihood of returning to cabinet ranks so long as Clark remains leader.
While Clark and her supporters will put the perpetual happy face smile on her new government, seething tensions remain barely hidden.
In addition to the resentment of those left out, the dominant internal B.C. Liberal Party debate is whether Clark and her staff choices have shifted the so-called "free enterprise" coalition too far in favour of federal Liberals and against federal Conservatives.
Respected Conservative MP John Cummins is retiring to either run for B.C. Conservative Party leader or otherwise assist the party in the next election. This is not good news for Clark who fears a right-of-centre split vote that could let the New Democrats win the next election under their own new leader.
But many B.C. voters will not accept a federal Liberal premier, staffed by former federal Liberal candidates and supporters, implementing a federal Liberal-style agenda - including the carbon tax.
"Our government recognizes that it is time for a change," Clark said Monday.
What shape that change takes is up to voters, not Clark, however - and change is never predictable in B.C. politics.
Read more Tieleman at thetyee.ca. E-mail: email@example.com Website: billtieleman.blogspot.com