Back before May 14, most people thought the B.C. Liberals had as much chance of winning an election as they had of selling voters a non-existent bridge.
Fast forward a few months, and Premier Christy Clark is back in the driver's seat - somewhat literally, some would argue. That bridge is back as well, and the two combined in a recent piece of political theatre that Clark excels at when the premier announced plans to build a bridge to replace the Massey Tunnel.
In terms of sheer political chutzpah, Clark has few rivals. Her "go big" announcements rarely lack audacity.
Knowing that, it shouldn't be surprising that her transportation leanings are less about studies and TransLink funding formulas and more about a big 'ol hunk of concrete, something that people in the vote-rich suburbs can get behind.
It can certainly be argued there are more pressing, and indeed smarter ways for the province to spend its transportation dollars. Answers to questions about the cost of a bridge, funding sources and environmental issues were all missing from the announcement.
Predictably, the NDP criticized the bridge sound bite as a premature substitution for planning or policy. Encouraging more car commuters is certainly not what many finer minds on transportation issues would advocate.
But Clark is pointedly aware those finer minds aren't the ones who voted for her at the ballot box.
For Clark, the grand gesture of political showmanship will always trump the details. Even with a winning mandate, Clark remains the consummate campaigner, who never forgets what - and who - propelled her over the top.
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