GRANT McKENZIE: Circling the drain

I’m starting to feel sorry for Premier Christy Clark as a new Angus Reid poll released shows her tied for least popular premier in Canada

I’m starting to feel sorry for Premier Christy Clark as a new Angus Reid poll released Monday shows her tied for least popular premier in Canada — not a great result leading into this May’s provincial election.

The NDP must be rubbing its collective hands with glee as its strategy of hiding Adrian Dix behind the sofa so that he doesn’t blow the party’s lead by sticking his foot in his mouth — or reminding us that, really, nobody is all that keen on him — is a rousing success.

The flailing Liberal party, on the other hand, has failed to show the voting public what makes Clark different from her predecessor. The public vote that led to dumping the HST in favour of a more expensive PST/GST tax was a classic example of the government failing to get its message out. Voters in B.C. are still upset about how former premier Gordon Campbell let them down, but the party never picked up a pitchfork to join in. As such, Clark has been drowning in past Liberal largesse and entitlement, and never managed to be seen by the electorate as her own person. It reminds me of when Kim Campbell took over from Brian Mulroney and, unfortunately, Clark’s legacy will follow in those same devastating footsteps that led to the complete demise of the federal Conservative party.

The upside, however, is that the Liberal party could use a good clean out and a return to basics where politicians are elected to serve the public rather than ignore them.

Another result that doesn’t come as a surprise, but is still rather shocking is a recent CBC survey that found nearly a quarter of nurses wouldn’t recommend the hospital where they work to their family or friends.

Now I’ve always found hospital nursing staff to have a low tolerance for bullshit (mostly because they just don’t have the time for it), so when they can’t recommend a hospital you have to know something is drastically wrong with our crippled health care system

In the survey for CBC’s investigative show, the fifth estate, more than 4,500 registered nurses from at least 257 hospitals responded. Nurses in B.C., Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador were the least likely to recommend their hospitals, while those in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Alberta were the most likely to do so.

Most telling, however, is that roughly 60 per cent of nurses said there was not enough staff for them to properly do their jobs. And the worst part is that this frustration quickly becomes a downward spiral. When people feel they are not able to do the best job they can because of stress, overtime demands and an upper management that is more concerned with budget cuts than making sick people better, the spiral spins faster and faster — and right now we’re circling the drain. M

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