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Sunday, May 10, 2009

The very liberal BC Liberals

So, what’s going to happen in the B.C. election on Tuesday?

The pollsters have consistently put the BC Liberals ahead among decided voters. But their margin over the NDP has generally decreased over the weeks. And my gut has long told me that the BC Liberals are in trouble, not just because of scandals, the gas tax, and Olympic over-spending, but also because they seem to have gone out of their way to alienate bedrock right-wingers. They’ve done a 180-degree turn on aboriginal affairs. They’ve defended the censorious BC Human Rights Act. And they’ve pushed ahead with the radicalization of the BC school curriculum.

The B.C Conservative party is running a few dozen candidates, mainly in Interior. Its leader, Wilf Hanni, is a lightweight. But its deputy leader, Chris Delaney (former leader of BC Reform and then the Unity Party) was a big-enough hitter a few elections ago to take part in a leaders' debate. Delaney is running in Penticton this time and says he is getting tremendous, positive response on one big issue: the proposed Recognition and Reconciliation Act, through which the Libs plan to give de facto control of the province’s resources to B.C.’s aboriginals. Vancouver-area media are oblivious to this issue, but Delaney says it's a huge one up country and is proving to be a real winner.

The B.C. Conservatives are also the only ones talking about reforming the BC Human Rights Commission, including getting rid of the Doug Collins provision. Good on 'em. I'm not sure they'll win any seats, but they'll take significant votes from Libs in several ridings and could, thereby, help clear the way for an NDP victory. Remember: four years ago, there were several very close seats. Just a few thousand votes going the other way, divided among these ridings, would have given the NDP the election.


Also of interest is the fact I talked to a fundraiser for the Liberals about a month ago and he said the downtown business community was (because of the recession and for ideological reasons) not donating nearly as much money as in past campaigns. They feel let down by the BC Liberals over its green agenda and the aforementioned Recognition Act. This fundraiser does a lot of lawyerly business with the mining industry and he noted that, despite all the pro-business talk from Campbell, new mine openings are stalled.

Personally, I am so upset with the left-wing Liberals that I will not be voting for them this election. There's no B.C. Conservative in my riding so, instead, I will likely vote for an old acquaintance, long-time Libertarian, Paul Geddes. Let the chips fall where they may.

My prediction: a result like that of 1996, when the BC Libs won the popular vote but lost the election.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on May 10, 2009 in Canadian Provincial Politics | Permalink



If BC has to endure another term or two of the NDP, I would much prefer the cause to be from otherwise Liberal voters swinging to Paul Geddes and company than another half-baked Conservative Party.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2009-05-10 10:51:37 PM

Several seat projection models are following the BC Election. The 6-model Avg indicates the Liberals have a 53-32 lead.

View a tracking chart of the race at www.trendlines.ca/electbc.htm

Posted by: Freddy Hutter | 2009-05-11 12:05:52 AM

Terry voting libertarian! That made my day. :-)

Pretty soon you'll be hyphenating yourself: Terry, O'Neill, conservative-libertarian.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2009-05-11 11:50:14 AM

I cannot disagree with the description of the BC Liberals' track record nor can I forget the disaster of the NDP. What is even more frustrating is that in my riding the choice is limited to the BC Liberals, the NDP or the Greens, which means no alternative.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-05-11 12:37:34 PM


Do any of your individual candidates have some redeeming qualities?

There's no shame in staying home from the polls when the options range from bad to worse. In fact, its commendable: why go along and signal your approval when if fact you oppose the attitude and actions of the entire political class?

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2009-05-11 1:19:41 PM

Alain, same for me. I can't vote for any of these liberal parties. So I spoiled my ballot.

As for the results, the NDP gave the election to the BC Liberals by sending away its Green vote to the Green Party with their opposition to the carbon tax.

Posted by: Faramir | 2009-05-11 2:04:16 PM

Kalim, the present MLA, of the BC Liberals, is not a bad guy and has responded to the extent possible (as permitted by his party) to local issues and concerns much more so than any past NDP MLA. When it comes to the HR situation and the carbon tax, he reverts back to the official line, and he probably has no choice. My disgust has to do with the BC Liberals and their present track record rather than with my local representative.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-05-11 6:06:29 PM

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