RUSHTON: It’s not nice being outside, facing the cold

Last Thursday morning the mercury was almost in minus double digits, the windchill forcing the felt-temperature into the -20s, and I was standing outside in PJs, rubber moccasins and a jacket over my bathrobe.

Last Thursday morning the mercury was almost in minus double digits, the windchill forcing the felt-temperature into the -20s, and I was standing outside in PJs, rubber moccasins and a jacket over my bathrobe.It wouldn’t have been so bad had I just been doddering to the gate to get the newspaper, but my exposure to the elements was relatively long term, thanks to my new puppy.One of the duties relating to ensuring the hardwood floor remains free of doggie detritus is that, immediately after his breakfast, pup must be taken outside. Unfortunately, a puppy’s desire to play overrules the calls of nature for an interminably long stretch, and to ensure the duties are done, I’m required to stand outside in weather cold enough to freeze appendages off a brass monkey.Lesson learned, the next day long johns went under the PJs and snow boots clad the feet while enduring another lengthy wait. It is surprising the joy felt when the dog finally squats, enabling a return to the warmth of the house and cup of hot coffee.So, Saturday evening as I sat by the fire watching TV, I could empathize with most MLAs and cabinet ministers as they felt a distinct chill run through the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre when the numbers eliminated their potential benefactors in favour of Christy Clark.Like Iraq a few years ago, shock and awe were the order of the evening as Clark one by one knocked off the opposition to become the (designated) next premier of British Columbia.Yet, they shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, throughout the run-up to the leadership contest, there were always women’s names touted as the favoured candidate – Christy, Carole Taylor, Diane Watts.The people wanted change, and they got it.That Christy ran a very smart campaign didn’t hurt, and her team targeted all those ‘little’ ridings in the north and interior, winning them against the mass sign-ups that dominated the urban ridings, thanks to the weighted vote system. I’m not so sure that system is fair … why should a district that has many people be out-voted by a handful in some rural backwater?However, that is what the BC Liberals chose to do, and despite the ‘fairness’ or lack thereof, it was clear during the entire leadership race that the majority of British Columbians wanted a ‘new’ face in the premier’s chair, and they got one with Christy.That, I am certain, has created a great deal of anguish among current cabinet ministers who thought by aligning with one of the others, they’d keep their jobs.With a new sheriff in town, everything is now up for grabs, and if I were Christy I’d reduce the size of cabinet by at least half a dozen, and dropkick some of the deadwood who have recently sat around the table of power.That would not only make government more efficient (and smarter) it would reduce costs – and that always looks good.Interestingly, only one lowly and largely unknown backbencher – Harry Bloy – had the smarts or strength of character to support Christy from the outset. He will likely get a reward, such as being named to the prestigious position of Speaker. Harry gets his elevation, and Christy gets to keep him out of cabinet.As for all the others (with the exception of those who sought the leadership job and will without a doubt join Ms. Clark on the executive council), I can guarantee they are feeling the chill I had while waiting for the pup. Some will get to return to the warmth of power, some (perhaps deservedly) will remain outside in the cold, reflecting on their future.markrushton@abbynews.com