Tag Archives: BC Election

Oh Joy…The NDP

John Horgan, BC-NDPI always like it when things work as planned. The BC Liberals lost a non-confidence vote. The Liberal Premier went to the L-G and apparently asked for a dissolution of the Legislature and a new election. The L-G said she’d think about it, did, and called the leader of the NDP to form a government.

Now it would have been much more fun if Christy Clarke had refused to resign and had to be dragged from the Premier’s office by…well who actually? It was a fun dinner table conversation last night. But the fact is that John Horgan, with Green support, can command a majority in the Legislature and is going to be Premier.

We will now go through the ritual period in which the NDP will discover that the cupboard is bare and there are no dollars to fund whatever grand promises the NDP has made. And then we discover whether the NDP, in its current incarnation, is rational or driven by ideals. If the former the promises will be put off for another and better day, if the later the debt will balloon and in a matter of a couple of years BC will be broke.

It was long past time for a break in the Liberal hegemony in BC. Not because the Liberals were especially awful; rather because they had long since lost the thread. Where they should have been going gangbusters for growth they imposed dumb carbon taxes and fretted about social licence for LNG and pipelines. Time to get real and recognize that the Greens hold the cards.

To win the Liberals need to lose Clarke. They need to lose the silly, unscientific, Green agenda. They need to come up with an actual, conservative, pro-business, leader and they need to erode the NDP/Green lock on the urban vote.Winning will be about defining and selling a clear pro-growth agenda. But it will also be about actually noticing that the insanity of the BC real estate market, the huge barriers to family formation, the anti-resources bias baked into the bureaucracy, all needs to change.

The good news for the Liberals, or the party which succeeds them on the right, is that the housing market (and the rental market) is about to collapse in a spectacular style. Which will make the urban vote both actually poorer and, eventually, feeling poorer. And that collapse will happen on the NDP’s watch. (It will not be their fault but they will carry the can.) People who were once “rich” and are now underwater on million dollar mortgages will want a way out. Serious economic growth is that way out.

Righty policy wonks in BC need to be gearing up for what happens when the bubble bursts. How should the right position itself to take maximum advantage of a near certain crash?

There is no point in trying to defeat Horgan and the Greens at the moment. Wait for the collapse and then push hard.

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Is it Something I Said?

Pooktre-man-tree-shapeSince moving to Vancouver Island twelve years ago we’ve lived in Oak Bay, the Cowichan Valley and North Saanich. All three ridings seem to have gone Green tonight.

My own sense is that Green voting is a class and virtue signifier. Oak Bay and North Saanich are very, very well off communities. Cowichan is less affluent but it is very much a retirement world where people live on not terribly generous pensions. But they are fairly secure knowing that their cheques will come.

These three ridings are also, compared to Vancouver and its suburbs, remarkably white.

The NDP and the Liberals have a see-saw battle in the Chinese and Sikh communities. In First Nations communities both parties are competitive. (I note that the winning Green candidate in my riding is a First Nations person named Adam Olsen.) But the Greens are currently confined to largely white enclaves.

Now, here is the thing: in 40 ridings the Green Party broke 15%, in 17 they broke 20%. They ran second in 6 and won 3.

There are two losers tonight: the Liberals and the NDP. And there is one winner: the Greens. They managed to split the NDP vote and likely cost the NDP a majority government.

However, where the NDP and the Liberals have no obvious room to grow their electorate, the Greens have a very good shot at expanding theirs. The fact is that the people who shop at Whole Foods, send their kids to “French Immersion” if they can’t afford private (not for racist reasons of course) and think recycling is an act of benediction are legion. They used to vote NDP, now they have an alternative.

Andrew Weaver may be a lousy climate scientist but he is not an unintelligent man. He can count (so long as it does not involve climate change time series) and there are six ridings where the Greens came second. A rational, non-coalition, support of the Liberals would let him pass legislation of greater consequence than a ban on mandatory high heels for women in serving jobs. The Liberals, who will likely be reduced to a rural rump despite having likely won the most seats, are basically being elected by BC’s version of “deplorables”. ¬†Nice people think they are a bit, well, common.

Dr. Weaver, well educated, Oak Bay resident and articulate guy that he is should be able to target those nice, white, very liberal people and peel them away from both the Liberals and the NDP. Plus, Weaver has the children who have grown up on Green ideology masquerading as education.

One winner tonight: the Greens.

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