B.C.'s fixed-election-date law has always been a gimmick. The law sets a date, but also allows a premier to call an election whenever he or she feels the time is right.
Premier Christy Clark has spent months toying with this lever of power, publicly warning her caucus to "be ready" for a fall election, as if something other than her say-so could trigger one.
So across the province, organizers, volunteers, fundraisers, candidates and MLAs have been focused on preparing to campaign. We learned Thursday it was all for nothing.
It turns out Clark wants to wait the better part of two years before asking the people for a new four-year Liberal mandate. For many, it's a relief to learn we won't have four plebiscites in one year. But Clark should have made up her mind much sooner, allowing people considering an entrance to politics - or a move from municipal office - to plan their lives.
More importantly, she should have let legislators concentrate on the jobs we pay them for. Two capable Liberals walked away from government under pressure to commit to an election that now won't happen. This was completely avoidable.
It's still early days for Clark. Now she has time to find her feet and bring forward some actual policy. But her dithering over an election does reinforce the notion that hers is a government without a clear vision for where the province needs to be in four months, let alone four years.
Now more than ever, B.C. needs a plan.