Prediction: the B.C. Liberals will be punished for the disgusting attack ads on Adrian Dix
Today, I went out to B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix's health-policy announcement at the South Granville Seniors Centre.
As he was laying out his party's position, I couldn't help but marvel at what an example he has become to children across the province with Type 1 diabetes.
It's an incredibly challenging illness, requiring tremendous courage seven days a week.
Dix and others with this disease must inject themselves several times a day with insulin and regularly prick themselves to test their blood sugar.
That's because their immune system kills the beta cells in the pancreas, which produce the hormone necessary to absorb blood sugar.
But insulin injections and food consumption are a tricky combination. That's because if glucose levels rise too high over sustained periods for a long time, the blood becomes almost gooey, threatening internal organs, including the heart, liver, and kidney. That's in addition to the higher risk of amputations, blindness, and other horrors arising if levels are too high over many years.
If the levels fall too low, there's a risk of falling into a potentially fatal diabetic coma.
When blood-sugar levels go wonky, it can make you cranky, fatigued, and affect your concentration.
Despite this, Dix is on the verge of becoming the premier of British Columbia. And throughout the campaign, he has refrained from personally attacking his oppponents.
It has been an impressive performance, as anyone will tell you who knows the truth of what it's like to live with Type 1 diabetes.
So what has been the B.C. Liberals' response? They've created a front group to run a bunch of horrific-looking ads designed to make Dix look like a gangster.
The Progressive Conservatives tried this type of dirty campaigning in 1993 against Jean Chrétien when he was poised to defeat Kim Campbell. The close-up in one advertisement highlighted the Liberal leader's facial deformity, which was caused by Bell's palsy.
It backfired on the Tories, who were reduced to two seats in the general election.
The B.C. Liberals actually think that their friends' attacks on Dix's character will help their cause.
But the longer this campaign goes on, Christy Clark's party is seeming to be increasingly irrelevant.
As Dix takes the high road and trots out new policies on job training, education, health, and the environment, the B.C. Liberal leader has very little new to say.
Sure, she talks about the government becoming debt-free while heading a regime that has raised the public debt. And there are flights of fancy about the export of liquefied natural gas and an oil refinery that will never be built near Kitimat.
Soon, I suspect, she'll be unemployed.
When your friends' ads go thermonuclear on an opponent like the Progressive Conservatives did on Chrétien, it's usually a sign of desperation.
I can't wait to hear the post-mortems on May 15 from all those B.C. Liberal MLAs who will soon become ex-politicians. Especially those from the safest B.C. Liberal seats that will fall to the B.C. NDP.
No doubt, some of that chatter will focus on the anti-Dix ads and why they were such a failure.