Christy Clark Plays Strombo for PR Fluff

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Christy Clark was on the George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight show last night. It was a real low-light of Strombo’s career as it ended up being a pathetic, softball, fluff piece full of PR for Christy Clark 2.0, the kindler, gentler version of the worker-bashing, deputy-premier to Gordon Campbell.

I presumed that Clark had arranged this interview to coincide with her announcement of the by-election that would get her into the legislature. But a truly happy coincidence was when the BC Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional Clark’s own education-bashing Bills 27 and 28 the other day. I expected Strombo to use that as a springboard to truly engage in a full interview. It didn’t come up.

What did happen was a solid clapping and screaming contingent in the audience when Clark arrived on the stage, so she certainly got some fans in.

Despite mentioning her fight with the education system a decade ago in his introduction, Strombo brought up healthcare with her, but she replied with the unsustainable myth, which is code for privatizing healthcare. She even had the gall to say that we’re “grown up enough” for the debate on healthcare sustainability.

This implies that people who don’t agree with the right wing spin of an unsustainable public healthcare system are not grown up, childish, irresponsible. It has been the right wing concerted defunding of the healthcare system through tax cuts that have impaired its ability to function. Now BC is the second-lowest funder of healthcare in the country, and we’re all suffering for that motivation to privatize.

Contempt is a trending theme of the federal election right now. This kind of contempt for the public healthcare system and those who support it is becoming a theme in BC politics as well.

The big message she wanted to spin throughout the province was that she isn’t mean, unlike how the BC NDP’s commercial about her contends. Anyone, citizens and workers, who have suffered under the abusive, illegal and unconstitutional legislation of the BC Liberal party, and its former education and MCFD minister, and its former premier, Christy Clark, know that this is one mean government.

Christy Clark’s delight and pride in her legislation is mean. But she wants to be our friend. She wants to win a by-election so she could sit in the legislature.

So on Strombo’s show she said she wants to increase voter turnout, but that reality TV celebrates nasty people. Frankly, the right wing politicians who are defunding and privatizing our public services are nasty enough on their own to have inspired a less than 50% voter turnout in the last BC election.

BC Liberal politicians who want to get rid of the public sector love voter apathy. Clark blaming reality TV is just spin. And it’s bad spin for anyone who has paid attention to the abuse the BC Liberal party has visited upon this province for a decade.

She will continue running the Conservative-Liberal coalition agenda regardless of how much she smiles or invokes support for the Canucks, which is how she ended her Strombo fluff piece.

In the end, Stroumboulopoulos got played. His inability to ask difficult questions to a highly controversial politician with a decade of contentious political positions has resulted in a spectacularly missed opportunity for him to not only avoid being played by Christy Clark’s spin, but for him to enhance his credibility as a valuable interviewer. The interview was a sad, sympathy-building exercise for a politician trying to rebrand herself as a kindler, gentler “families first” champion.

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website,

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6 thoughts on “Christy Clark Plays Strombo for PR Fluff”

  1. Dude, if her opponents are children…we already know what the BC Liberals do to children. It is a disturbing though, for a disturbing government that has for more than a decade demonstrated just how little it thinks of its citizens.

  2. The producers ask the audience to clap and cheer, it’s all very artificial.

    Also, I want to point out that George was comparatively very adversarial to Elizabeth May on the show just a couple days before.

  3. These people have won three mandates, and people like Strombo who fail to get at the ugly realities of what they’ve done join the whole media circus that let the Campbell government skate on the BC Rail file. I know I’m supposed to seek out analysis from the spectrum of opinion, but I can’t brook the dishonesty of so much of what passes for political dialogue. I won’t watch this garbage, nor read its equivalent in the press if I can avoid it. It’s too destructive to contemplate the chasm between the spew of these people and the circumstances that citizens face on a daily basis, whether they know it or not, and whether they recognize the causal relationships or not.

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