Members of the federal Liberal B.C. caucus may have been surprised by a deafening clap of thunder in the wee hours of the morning. It was sound of air rushing in to fill the void suddenly vacated by David Emerson: once a member of the party’s B.C. dream team, and now the latest fanged horror to creep into the ongoing Liberal nightmare.

Forgive New Democrats a few moments of wry chuckling. We might be laughing even harder, were it not for the stitches on those still-fresh wounds from when the Liberals convinced Ujjal Dosanjh, Shirley Chan and Dave Haggard to run with Mr. Emerson under the banner of the Natural Governing Party, where they would have a chance to actually Achieve Great Things.

Less than two years later, Chan is remembered mainly for the venemous (and unsuccessful) campaign she ran against Libby Davies; Haggard has lost for the second time running; and Dosanjh’s major accomplishments on behalf of public health care can be counted on the fingers of one foot – a tally that won’t change much now that he’s relegated to the opposition benches. Meanwhile, rounding out the team’s roster, neither Bill Cunningham nor Miles Richardson ever made it into Parliament.

So the Conservatives are tickled, the Liberals are seething and New Democrats are enjoying a little schadenfreude – except for Ian Waddell, the NDP candidate who lost to Emerson last month. He’s justified in feeling more than a little angry. So are all the voters of Vancouver-Kingsway who voted Liberal instead of NDP to stop the conservatives… and ended up electing one instead.

That must be what Jack Layton meant by Harper Liberals.