Revenge of Zalmoids: the B.C. premier has become a self-proclaimed loose cannon whose approach to the job is: 'Ready! Fire! Aim!' (British Columbia's William Vander Zalm) (column)

Last week's resignation of Mel Couvelier, British Columbia's embattled finance minister, drove the last spike into Bill Vander Zalm's political career. The Zalm, who once said that "being premier is my dumb job ... I'd much rather be a singing and movie star," is about to have his wish.

Paradoxically, the problem is not the quality of the Social Credit government, which has been as good or as bad as most of the country's other provincial administrations. Its scandals have been relatively minor, its economic policies effective enough to keep the Pacific province out of harm's way in the current recession. The trouble has been entirely Bill Vander Zalm himself. The B.C. premier has become a self-proclaimed loose cannon who pays scant attention to his own advisers and recognizes no boundaries between church and state. With 11 resignations already on record and more to come, his cabinet consists mostly of marginal misfits, former and future talk-show hosts, used-car salesmen and rednecks from bumper-sticker country. …

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