Protest outside Christy Clark's home is unlikely to sway the public
There's no faster way to turn a political figure into an object of sympathy than by holding a protest outside of his or her home.
This year, an online poll by the Irish Independent revealed that just 15 percent who approved of these types of demonstrations.
Heather Humphreys, an Irish politician who supported expanding access to abortion, was targeted in this way by Catholic activists earlier this year. They left crosses near her residence covered in red paint. It's hard not to see something like this as intimidation.
Similarly, demonstrators showed up at Conservative cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith's home after cuts to housing benefits. Did it help their cause? Not likely.
Also this year, about 100 people gathered outside the home of Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach, who has taken a hardline on immigration. It gave the right wingers an opportunity to crow.
Here in B.C., antipoverty protesters did nothing for the poor by holding a rally outside then-premier Glen Clark's home in the 1990s.
These types of actions aren't that unusual. So we shouldn't be surprised that some antifracking activists decided to set up a rig outside the home of Premier Christy Clark today in Vancouver.
The move was widely condemned on social media.
One of the province's leading critics of Clark's energy policies, UBC professor George Hoberg, tweeted that he "strongly" objects to targeting politicians at their homes.
It's a stupid tactic. Politicians can slough it off by claiming that their apolitical kids or spouses or grandparents or tenants don't deserve this type of abuse.
The neighbours invariably complain to the media about these demonstrations, further undermining the protesters' cause.
People who cook up these ideas think they're being clever.
In fact, they're torpedoing the efforts of people like Hoberg to advance their cause. His effective actions, which didn't consist of carrying a placard outside Clark's home, are a major reason why voters of Vancouver–Point Grey rejected the premier in the last election.
Meanwhile, one of Canada's most vociferous advocates of the fossil-fuel industry, right-wing Calgary broadcaster Ezra Levant, has put it this way: "What else will police allow eco-criminals to do? Pie her in the face? Torch her car, Rexton-style?"
Score one for Clark, and zero for those who want to create the momentum that's necessary to avoid a climate catastrophe.