#IamLinda haunts Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberals

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      For political parties in the throes of an election campaign, weekends are particularly critical.

      That's because more voters are at home, which means the ground troops (i.e. campaign workers and candidates) are in a better position to meet them on the doorsteps and at local shopping centres.

      So it was an especially bad time for the premier to find herself at the centre of a negative news story over an encounter with one of those citizens.

      Last week, Sunshine Coast resident Linda Higgins approached Christy Clark in a North Vancouver grocery store to tell her that she wasn't going to vote for her.

      Clark brushed her off and didn't stick around to hear why.

      Then the B.C. Liberal leader's pals took to social media, falsely claiming that Higgins was a B.C. NDP plant.

      That's when the trouble began for Clark.

      Journalists from a variety of media outlets jumped in to speak up for Higgins, who told the Province's Mike Smyth that she simply saw Clark and approached her on impulse.

      Others have chimed in with their #IamLinda tweets to try to drive home the point that the B.C. Liberals are arrogant and out of touch.

      In an article entitled "Derailing Campaign Clark" former B.C. Liberal campaign manager Martyn Brown suggested that anyone who sees her should create a confrontation that will get the B.C. Liberals off their message for a day.

      "It only takes one person to get in any leader’s face," Brown wrote. "Doing that is almost certain to dictate their campaign coverage on the nightly TV news, and it’s rarely pretty. In fact, it usually overwhelms whatever message or announcement that leader was hoping would dominate the day’s news."

      There's no evidence that Higgins read Brown's column before she noticed the premier in the grocery store. And Higgins didn't even have time to get confrontational because Clark abruptly walked away before she had the chance.

      In the meantime, the anti-Clark mood on social media and in the comments sections on websites suggest that the B.C. Liberals are in trouble.

      If so, it shouldn't come as a huge surprise.

      Governments have a habit of losing power after one party leader wins three times and his successor wins one election.

      This happened to the Chrétien-Martin Liberals federally, the Doer-Sellinger New Democrats in Manitoba, the Romanow-Calvert New Democrats in Saskatchewan, and the Bennett-Vander Zalm Socreds in B.C.

      Gordon Campbell won three elections for the B.C. Liberals and the party won with Clark at the helm in 2013.

      If this pattern of 3+1 holds this time, Clark, Mary Polak, Rich Coleman, Mike de Jong, and Andrew Wilkinson will find themselves sitting on the opposition benches in the legislature.

      Then the real fun will begin when the B.C. Liberals hold a leadership contest.