Endorsements just window dressing

Keeping track of who supports who in the provincial politics leadership races is like watching hockey trades.

Keeping track of who supports who in the provincial politics leadership races is like watching hockey trades.

Whether it’s former NDP leader Joy MacPhail endorsing Adrian Dix, as happened last week, or Liberal leadership hopefuls Christy Clark, George Abbott and Kevin Falcon jostling to get people in their corner, political endorsements mean little to the average citizen.

Unless they are a political junkie or a voting member of either party, most people are really only interested in how they’ll be personally affected by a new premier and opposition leader.

In many ways it seems a fool’s game, this courting of support by candidates and flaunting of endorsements from current and past MLAs, business leaders and other high-profile individuals and organizations.

Unlike the NDP, whose membership deadline has passed, the Liberals have until 5 p.m. Friday (Feb. 4) to sign up new members. Doing so increases their chances of becoming the next premier — a job with much more cachet than opposition leader.

The six Liberal candidates, four of whom are in cabinet, are quick to try and make a splashy media event every time they add a name to their lists.

People can expect plenty of fireworks the next few days. Clark has just one endorsement from a current MLA yet leads the polls among committed party members. She has pulled out the stops, posting a membership deadline clock on her website like some soon-to-expire eBay deal.

As with the hockey trade deadline, the shuffling of allegiances means little to the average political fan. We’re waiting for playoff time — the Feb. 26 Liberal leadership convention; April 17 for the NDP — when the games actually mean something and the action gets interesting.

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