KAMLOOPS — It's interesting to see the crux of the upcoming provincial election campaign emerge even before the writ has been dropped.
The debate will certainly be focused on the BC Liberals, who have become a political dynasty in this province, and one that doesn't show any signs of weakening.
The question of the campaign will pit solid economic management against ambiguous-at-best ethical practices.
No one can argue that the Liberal government has been anything less than a steady hand on the province's bank account.
While our friends in Alberta and Ontario struggle, BC keeps humming along, attracting investment and maintaining low unemployment numbers.
There are threats in the softwood lumber sector and indications the LNG picture may not be as rosy as first promised, and childhood poverty remains an embarrassing scourge.
But to most, Christy Clark and company have proven relatively adept at stickhandling economic issues like the delicate balance of the foreign real estate investment climate.
On the other side of the coin is the ruling party's dubious approach to ethics.
The party is alleged to have turned a blind eye while individual donors serve as proxies for their wealthy lobbying interests.
The RCMP is now investigating.
But the Liberals have faced ethical questions prior to elections before, and it hasn't hurt them.
Remember the ethnic outreach 'quick wins' scandal of 2013.
That rolled off Clark like water off a duck's back.
Will the 'wild west' approach to fundraising deflect off Clark on May 9, too?
The smart money says it will.
As long as the economy is running well, it seems British Columbians are willing to hold their noses to the scent of ethical scandals, and continue putting a checkmark beside the name of their local BC Liberal.