Please Advise! How Will Christy Clark Spend Her Political Retirement?

Or is she really not gone forever? Dr. Steve has thoughts on what the future holds.

By Steve Burgess 8 Aug 2017 | TheTyee.ca

Steve Burgess writes about politics and culture for The Tyee. Find his previous articles here.

[Editor's note: Steve Burgess is an accredited spin doctor with a Ph.D in Centrifugal Rhetoric from the University of SASE, situated on the lovely campus of PO Box 7650, Cayman Islands. In this space he dispenses PR advice to politicians, the rich and famous, the troubled and well-heeled, the wealthy and gullible.]

Dear Dr. Steve,

Premier Christy Clark has resigned and says she is through with public life. Do you think that’s true? And what do you think she’ll do now?



Dear Skeptic,

Poor Premier Horgan. You know how it is when someone gives you a gift and you really ought to say thanks? Maybe get them a little something in return? Or at least send a card? But the problem is you really don’t like this person very much and you’re not actually certain why they gave you this nice present in the first place? Awkward.

All the same, Christy Clark handed Horgan and his NDP/Green team a huge gift, not so much by resigning as premier but by quitting as MLA for West Kelowna. Just like that, a little breathing room in the legislature, like an air-conditioned patio on a smoky Vancouver day. Just send her a nice muffin basket, John. Or maybe a new set of speakers.

On the other hand, the NDP did give the Liberals most of their 2017 Throne Speech. That’s something. It’s a shame we will never see the socialist paradise promised in that utopian document.

And Clark? Is she serious about departing from political life? Politicians are like boxers, always retiring and then coming back when they find they just can’t stay out of the ring. You wouldn’t think taking punches all day long would be a hard thing to give up, but there you go.

New York congressman Anthony Weiner suffered public humiliation when it was revealed that he had been sending pictures of his privates to young women. But he came back to run for New York mayor anyway, because he felt he had more to offer, and also because he apparently wasn’t done sending portraits of his genitals via social media. The sexting thing didn’t work out for him, which seems strange now. Who knew American politicians could still disqualify themselves through creepy sexual behaviour? Try running for president next time, Weiner.

So will Clark get back into politics? Doubtful. Should she return it would not likely be as party leader, and there is certainly no groundswell to elevate her to the federal level. Shoeless Joe Jackson played semi-pro ball for years after being banned from the majors, but I don’t think Clark has that kind of love for the game. She was more about popping the champagne in the clubhouse.

What does the future hold for Clark? No doubt she’ll be looking for work — salary top-ups don’t go as far as they used to. The good news is, the Pacific National Exhibition time is coming up again. That’s always a good way to make some summer cash.

But which carny gig suits her best? Running the Whack-a-Mole booth would probably bring back too many unpleasant memories of scandal management during her regime. And despite the possibility of a massive payday, I doubt that she would volunteer for the dunk tank. But I could see Clark working the ring toss or the milk bottles, or especially the Wheel of Fortune. She’d be good at it. “Say, is your name Mark? No? Never mind, step right up, Mark. Your investment is sure to pay off handsomely.”

Clark would also be an ideal pitch woman for the PNE Prize Home. She would paint a picture of a veritable Palace of Versailles, a stately West Coast Xanadu, potentially yours for only $25 a ticket. Then the winner would end up getting a trailer. “Hey, it didn’t work out like I expected,” Clark would shrug. “No guarantees in the marketplace.”

The most likely future for Clark is a return to media. Maybe not right away — most calls to a Christy Clark open line program these days would probably resemble an uncensored Anthony Scaramucci interview. But give it time. The NDP/Green alliance will run into problems, as always happens. B.C. political honeymoons can be shorter than careers in the Trump White House. Pretty soon grumpy old people will be fondly reminiscing about how Clark made the trains run on time and she’ll be back on the air. Think of it as a little gift from Premier Horgan.  [Tyee]

Read more: BC Politics

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Get The Tyee in your inbox

Tyee Commenting Guidelines

Do not:

  •  Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully, threaten, name-call or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, downvote, or flag suspect activity
  • Attempt to guess other commenters’ real-life identities


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls and flag violations
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Stay on topic
  • Connect with each other


The Barometer

Which of B.C.’s proportional-representation options do you prefer?

Take this week's poll