Wednesday, May 15, 2013

So What Happens If The Seatless Premier Loses Byelection(s)?

Last night the BC Liberals shocked the world and won a large majority, the only snag being that Premier Christy Clark failed to win her own seat. Now she'll have to ask one of her elected members to quit so she can run in their riding in a byelection. The big question is what happens if she loses? Will she have to ask someone else to quit, then run in another byelection? Or could she just do her entire term from outside the legislature?

This could yet get embarrassing for Christy, who is running a party with a long list of things they have done to piss people off. Being in power for that long means there will be a continuously growing mass of actions and inactions that have angered the voting public. Whoever runs against Clark in the byelection will have plenty of ammunition for reasons voters should punish the party. Voters who choose to punish the Liberals won't have to worry about electing NDP government. Voting against Christy Clark in byelections will not make "Tricky Dix" the new Premier.

Wherever Christy does decide to run, the BC Conservatives should pour everything they have into that fight. Find the highest profile person possible, preferably someone who lives in the riding. Get out all the volunteers, call all your financial contributors, even take out a bank loan if necessary. Let's put a Conservative into the BC legislature.

Liberals Win, Christy Loses

Those pundits who late Tuesday night declared Christy Clark to be a new "political giant" and "comeback kid" might have wanted to stay up a little bit longer to see if she won her own seat before declaring her to be a historic champion. Most party leaders who win a majority government also win their own seat, right? Most of the people who actually had Christy Clark on their ballot voted for someone else, even as the non-NDP party won a majority.

If this BC election result proves anything, it is that negative advertising works (most of the time). The NDP refused to run attack ads for most of the campaign, while the Liberals ran continuous attack ads since Christy came to power. I guess winning a majority gives her power even if she did not win a seat in the legislature? It seems stupid that the NDP would select a leader who was kicked out of government for forging documents. There has to be enough candidates to choose someone with a clean slate.

I won't lie, I voted NDP in this election. Not because I wanted NDP government, but because I strongly believe our ruling party needs to be replaced. The Conservatives completely choked. That was the party I wanted to vote for, but they did not earn it. It was a complete disaster. John Cummins, nice guy though he may be, is done. I voted Liberal in 2009, even after the carbon tax, and I have felt like shit about it ever since. You could write a book on how the BC Conservatives squandered this campaign from the beginning, starting with fundraising.

I can only hope Christy quits after her own loss and goes back to the radio, but I know that won't happen. When I went to bed, the NDP led Vancouver-Point Grey by 316 votes with 140 of 147 polls reporting.

Friday, May 10, 2013

I Voted NDP...

I honestly never thought that I would say this, but today at the advance polls in British Columbia's provincial election, I voted NDP. This would not have happened in a perfect world, but the biggest priority for me in this election is ousting the ruling Liberal Party from power and this is the most efficient way to do so. It was more about a strategically placed protest vote than about me converting to socialism. There was always the option of spoiling my ballot like our absent-minded Premier Christy Clark did, but ultimately I preferred to vote for the party with the highest probability of kicking Christy out of office.

The BC Conservatives have no chance at all in my riding, furthermore they have but a minimal chance in any electoral district. Their attempt at fundraising was a disaster, giving them very little money to run a campaign. There were no commercials, very few campaign signs, and they received very little media coverage. In my riding, there were zero Conservative signs. There wasn't even a Conservative candidate until the 2nd week of the election (and even then his entire campaign seemed nothing more than a Twitter account). Most people in BC won't even know the name of their local Tory candidate until they see it on their ballot on election day. That's not how you win an election.

If the NDP are able to win next week, that will be better for the long term future of the BC Conservative Party. They need to shake loose some donors from the Liberals, a task far easier to do when the Libs don't control the levers of power. I'm not normally the type to demand a change in leadership after a single election, but John Cummins will need to be replaced. They need someone with enough personality to raise money, which is sorely needed to run a campaign. I live in a riding that is held by the Tories federally, and yet we didn't even have a Tory candidate until day 10 of the campaign? This election date was set 4 years ago. I didn't hear or see a single advertisement. That's an F. You can't just open a Twitter account and call that a campaign. I'm sorry.

We will see if the NDP pulls out a win here. When the NDP is running government, opposition campaign platforms write themselves, and the federal NDP tends to struggle in BC when their provincial counterparts are in power. The Liberals deserve a few years in the penalty box. If you live in a riding where the Conservatives actually ran a respectable campaign, then by all means give them your vote. But if you're in a situation like mine and you are deeply disappointed in an absentee campaign, I strongly recommend voting for the party most likely to remove the Liberals from power.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Justin Trudeau Walks On Water; New Poll Shows

**Newsflash** The Federal Liberals have a new leader, and their polling numbers have improved. This happens every single time they pick a new leader, they get a poll bounce. It even happened for Stephane Dion! Shortly after Ignatieff's coronation, new polls had the Liberals in majority territory. Two years later, Iggy didn't even win his own seat. We have seen this scenario play out time and time again, and now we are seeing it again.

It is important for national political pundits not to read too much into this completely expected polling trend. The longer Trudeau runs the party, the more mistakes he's going to make. One of the advantages to having no leadership experience is never made a mistake leading the entire political machine (leadership mistakes tend to have more severe consequences). Trudeau has however, spent enough time in the public eye to have made a number of ridiculous statements on video, any of which should be fair game in political advertising (charity auctions notwithstanding).

Ignatieff had the same problem. He could not undo all the things he had written in books or said in the media, which provided most of the material for the so-called "attack ads", that were allegedly responsible for his spectacular downfall. If you want to call a 30 second clip of dumb things someone has said or written publicly "attack adds", then so be it. Pointing out that an opponent is inexperienced is not bullying, nor is repeating his statements attacking. That's just my opinion.

So why aren't we currently living under an Ignatieff majority? Once upon a time, that's what the polls said would happen.