Hodgepodge by Charlie Hodge – Aug 11, 2017

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So where did my MLA go?

Am I the only one a tad miffed right now with our infamous former MLA and Premier Christy Clark?

When Clark announced last week she was tossing in the towel and quitting politics my neighbourhood and other residents in the Kelowna-West riding lost more than a Premier and leader of the B.C. Liberal Party – we lost our MLA.

Our supposed voice in Victoria. The person my riding elected to represent us. The one we trusted to fight for our needs and express our views.

We live in ‘Christy’s Thumb’ not to be confused, though nearly identical in spawning mechanism to ‘Grace’s Finger’ – a Social Credit manipulation from many elections ago.

Exactly why the narrow thumb-shaped strip of land thrusting from Kelowna shores all the up to the Capri area of Kelowna is electorally connected and included with land and people across the lake on (aghast) the ‘West side’ is beyond me. No one I ask seems to know either.

Regardless, we were/are stuck with the decision and thus empowered with casting a vote last election day. Which we did.

We elected Ben Stuart.

Good ole Ben, popular fellow, smart man, great family.

Then Christy came along and took Ben’s spot because even though she was the winning Premier she had lost her own riding. (Hmmm – wait a minute).

Alas, Ben (and others) said he graciously stepped aside, later taking a diplomatic job in exotic lands. No one asked the voters of Kelowna-West what they wanted, of course.

We did not see much of Christy, not like other MLA’s from here but that was more than understandable and there is little doubt we benefited in various ways by having the Premier ‘live’ in our riding.

In this recent election Christy won the riding again, legitimately in her name, however her party got slightly out-punched in the big rematch. Christy, apparently did not like the results of the game and announced last Friday she was taking her  ball and going home – wherever that is.

In her brief resignation speech while steeping down as leader of the Liberal Party Christy never even mentioned her abandoned riding.

Her spot in the legislature is now vacant. Premier John Horgan has six months in which to call a by election for her seat.

Clark’s absence reduces the opposition ranks from 43 seats to 42 compared to the NDP/Green tally of 44.

Following her announcement various Liberal members pontificated great praise for Christy, several suggesting she was being ‘unselfish and bravely thinking of the party’s future’.

If so she has a strange logistic way of doing it. Strategically her quitting now only widens the seat difference to 44-42 until the by-election, allowing the NDP more room to get possible decisions pushed through. In addition the Liberal ranks will now play the self-destructive divide and conquer game over the role of leadership. Such competitions never strengthen a party in the long run.

As well, there is an assumption that Kelowna West is a walk away win for the Liberals. While that is perhaps a relatively safe bet, nothing is for sure in B.C. and right about now the trust factor has dipped dramatically for riding residents.

Sadly her last political move reflects a petulant attitude of, ‘do what I say not what I do’. Christy failed to listen to her own pep talk from last year. During her throne speech in February 2016, Christy boldly and proudly peacocked, “Success is not for quitters.’

***

One place you will not find any quitters is at this weekend’s fundraising boxing event. Set for Saturday night at Rutland Centennial Hall more than a dozen boxers from beginners to Silver Glove level scrappers will step into the ring for a good cause.

Hosted by the Urban Bull Dogs and MadKatz Boxing Club, funds raised will go towards the aid of children that have been victims of violence, sexual assault, rape and human sex trafficking.

Tez and I are attending to cheer on great friend Lindsay Stilborn so hopefully we will see you there.

Doors open for the event at 6:30

For more info check out the website at  www.madkatz.ca

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.

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