On this day in 1986, Bill Vander Zalmwon the leadership of the B.C. Social Credit Party and became Premier of the province. The man was a PR nightmare, making outrageous statements about natives and welfare recipient. The Socreds delegates knew what they were getting: Vander Zalm had already demonstrated his poor political instincts by taking an editorial cartoonist to court.
Vander Zalm ended up resigning in 1991 over a real estate scandal. Since then B.C. voters have been changing Premiers as often as possible in the hope of finding one that is sane. Re-electing Gordon Campbell was quite a leap of faith, or a realization that he’s as good as they’re going to get.