May 15, 2013
VanRamblings is recovering from the New Democrats' devastating loss to the B.C. Liberals' incalculably unexpected (and undeserved) win at the polls on Tuesday evening, and their relentlessly negative, fear-based campaign.
Over the next 48 hours, we'll give some thought to what happened during the course of Decision BC 2013 that resulted in Tuesday night's disastrous loss for the interests of the majority of British Columbians, what it means for B.C. going forward, what the NDP must do to better engage the voters and actually bring them out to the polls to vote for Change for the Better (turnout at the polls was slightly better in 2013 than was the case in 2009, at just a titch over 52%), whether Adrian Dix — who we believe could have been the leader of a generation for British Columbia — should remain as leader of the BC NDP, what the NDP loss means for how political campaigns are run going forward, and more.
For now, though, we'll rest, while we attempt to recover from the deep feeling of loss we feel at what might have been.
One final thought for now: as we have aged over the years, VanRamblings has become more sanguine about the unfolding of the events which impact on our lives — still, we will not give up the fight, for we live to fight another day. Rather, at this time, we simply require a period of reflection to measure the impact of our collective loss, to put that loss into perspective, and determine for ourselves how we will proceed in the times to come to work for change, to continue our work towards a fairer and more democratic society, where everyone might feel engaged and empowered enough in their lives to become a part of the change that must be, to better represent our hopes, our dreams, our aspirations for ourselves, for our families, our neighbours, the province, the country and the world.
May 13, 2013
Éric Grenier's 308.com final British Columbia election prediction, May 14, 2013
Éric Grenier — the Canadian statistician, sabermetrician, psephologist, and writer — has developed a system for forecasting political party popularity, and during election campaigns, outcome predictions for provincial and federal campaigns. To that end, as of this morning, Monday, May 13th — employing all of the polling data from Abacus, Angus-Reid, Ipsos-Reid, Forum Research and all other pollsters sampling voter intent in the province during the Decision BC 2013 post-writ election period — Mr. Grenier continues to predict a 92.7% chance of an NDP majority government as the outcome of the British Columbia provincial election, even if by a slimmer margin than was the case at the outset of the current election period.
As Mr. Grenier suggests in his latest column for the Globe and Mail ...
"Despite a spell of new polls heading in different directions injecting a good deal of uncertainty into what to expect from tomorrow's election in British Columbia, the B.C. New Democrats remain the favourite to win and form the province's next government.
Based on current polling levels, Mr. Dix appears safely in majority territory with a projected 45 to 56 seats, above the 43 seats needed to form a majority government. Christy Clark's Liberals are projected to win between 26 and 40 seats, while up to four independents should be elected. These numbers are virtually unchanged from the last forecast, while the precise projection of 48 seats for the NDP and 36 for the Liberals (along with one independent) is the same.
For those who can't get enough of this, here is Angus Reid's election eve polling data — a poll conducted over the weekend for CTV and the Globe and Mail — indicating the NDP are holding steady, with a commanding lead.
Meanwhile, Ipsos-Reid has released their final British Columbia 2013 election polling data, indicating that the BC NDP currently has the support of 45% of decided voters in BC, maintaining an 8 point lead over the BC Liberals, who are at 37% support. The Green Party is at 9%, followed by the BC Conservatives at 6%, with all other parties / candidates coming in at 3%.
UBC's Sauder School of Business 2013 British Columbia Election Prediction Market forecast
Hedging its bets some, the Globe and Mail — which came out on Friday with an endorsement of the B.C. Liberal / Christy Clark administration, an endorsement The Tyee calls murky and error-ridden — also has the Sauder School of Business conducting an election prediction market, the results of which may be seen in the graphic directly above. Both the Sauder School of Business and 308.com predict a New Democrat majority government.
Milton Chan's Election Prediction Project 2013 British Columbia election outcome prediction
Meanwhile, Milton Chan weighed in on election eve, with his prediction of the outcome of the 2013 British Columbia provincial election. Mr. Chan, too, predicts an NDP majority government in Victoria, but by a relatively slim margin. By clicking on the graphic above, readers can access Mr. Chan's riding-by-riding breakdown for each of the 4 regions of the province — Vancouver, Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island, and the Interior.
As Decision BC 2013 draws to a close, there are more media, pundits and political watchers who are weighing in on the outcome of the election, and as is the case with the Election Prediction Project, providing a riding-by-riding analysis. Although the predictions below differ from Éric Grenier's riding analysis, there's just as much likelihood that any one of them could be as accurate, or even more accurate, than the esteemed Mr. Grenier.
- First up, there The Tyee's predictions for ridings across the province where, according to the folks working on The Tyee's riding prediction analysis for B.C., "We have analyzed the polls, mulled over elections past, and peered into our crystal ball to bring you our predictions for which candidates will win which ridings. These calls are divided up into likely wins and definite wins, with some ridings deemed too close to call, the predictions no means set in stone." Too late — the election is almost upon up. At this point, one would have to consider The Tyee's latest set of projections to be their final riding-by-riding predictions for the outcome of the 2013 British Columbia provincial election.
- Next up, there's Bernard Schulmaan's B.C. Iconoclast website. Mr. Schulmann weighs in with this riding-by-riding analysis, and following his careful analysis believes "the NDP will win 57 seats, the Liberals 22, independents 4 and Greens 2," a more hopeful analysis if you're an NDP supporter than any of the other prognosticators reporting out above.
- Sacha Peter, at BC2013.com, predicts 59 seats for the BC NDP, 21 seats for the BC Liberals, 1 lone seat for the BC Conservatives, 1 elected Independent, and no elected BC Green Party members.
- And finally for now, there's the indefatigable Alex Tsakumis, who believes, as do other pundits, that we are on the verge of an NDP majority government, as he predicts 58 seats for the NDP, only 21 seats for the Liberals, with 5 independents being elected to the legislature in Victoria, along with 1 member of the Green Party of B.C. Here is Mr. Tsakumis' riding-by-riding prediction, which he promises to update at 5pm on election day.
Well, that's what we've got so far, folks. We'll know final election results Tuesday night.
In keeping with VanRamblings' consistent exposition of our prediction of the outcome of the 2013 British Columbia provincial election, we continue to believe that the BC NDP will secure a majority government with 54 seats in the legislature, followed by the Liberals with 30 seats, with the final seat going to Independent Vicki Huntington in Delta South. Could be a few seats fewer for the NDP, could be a few more. We'll know Tuesday night.
May 11, 2013
Final weekend of BC election, NDP widens lead: click on picture above to hear CTV BC report
A new Angus Reid Public Opinion survey released Friday suggests the B.C. New Democrats have stretched their previous seven-point lead to nine points, with just hours to go before the provincial election. Forty-five per cent said they either intend to vote NDP or already have at an advanced polling station, compared to 36 per cent hoping for another Liberal term.
Overall, 30% of respondents said Adrian Dix would make the best premier, an increase of 4% over the last poll conducted at the beginning of May, while 25% favoured Clark, an increase of 1%. The online poll was conducted on May 9 and 10 among 808 randomly selected B.C. adults. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5%, 19 times out of 20. Another poll is due to hit on Monday, the day before British Columbians head to the polls.
And, if this Vancouver Sun editorial represents their final word on the 2013 British Columbia election, it pretty much amounts to an, albeit backhanded, 'endorsement' of the BC NDP, a recognition that the NDP's "Change for the better" message has even reached the beating hearts and minds of the otherwise conservative editorial board of Vancouver's newspaper of record.
Meanwhile, Eric Grenier at ThreeHundredEight.com, has continued crunching the numbers, accumulating all polling data published this past Friday from Forum Research, Ipsos-Reid, Hill + Knowlton and all other pollsters tracking the intentions of voters across the province of British Columbia, and has come up with the following, final weekend, pre-election chart respecting the popular vote projection, and how that will likely turn into seats for the two main parties following Tuesday's British Columbia provincial election.
Unless the bottom falls out of the BC New Democrat campaign over the weekend, or Christy Clark manages a Lazarus-like resurrection in the final hours of the campaign, British Columbians will be looking at a majority British Columbia New Democratic party government come Tuesday evening.
BC Election 2013: Ridings to Watch on Election Night
From Milton Chan at the Election Prediction Project to Doug Ward at The Tyee, and Eric Grenier at 308.com, reports on the ridings that will make the difference in who forms government come Wednesday morning, May 15th, have been rife. Eric Grenier has gone a step further than either Mr. Ward or Mr. Chan, and predicts riding-by-riding the outcome of Tuesday's election.
Employing Grenier's statistical data, here's a breakdown of both the ridings to watch on election night, May 14th — by region of the province — and the probable vote percentages for the candidates in each contentious riding.
Vancouver — ridings to watch Tuesday night
Vancouver Fairview. Current MLA: Liberal, Dr. Margaret McDiarmid.
Projection: A 70% chance that the NDP's George Heyman will claim victory on Tuesday night, taking the riding away from the Liberals, and incumbent, McDiarmid. 308.com projects 48.9% support for Heyman, leaving McDiarmid registering only 38.4% support in the riding. The NDP have long predicted a win in Vancouver Fairview for the former president of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU), and currently on leave from his job as executive director of Sierra Club BC.
Vancouver False Creek. Current MLA: Liberal, Mary McNeil.
Projection: According to 308.com, former Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan has a 73% chance of winning the riding, with a projected 44.7% of the vote, leaving NDP newcomer Matt Toner trailing with 32.1% support. The Green Party of BC will register a projected 17.6% of the vote, a better showing for the Green's Daniel Tseghay than is the case in any other Vancouver riding. If by some miracle, Vancouver False Creek should flip to the NDP on Tuesday evening, NDP headquarters will experience paroxysms of joy untold — not too likely an outcome, though.
Vancouver Fraserview. Current MLA: Liberal, Kash Heed.
Projection: Says Eric Grenier at 308.com, there's a whopping 83% chance that this riding will turn to BC NDP candidate Gabriel Yiu on Tuesday night, with a projected 52.7% of the vote against his B.C. Liberal challenger, parachute candidate Suzanne Anton's 33.5% support. Yiu, who lost to Heed by only 784 votes in 2009, questioned the fairness of Heed's election — in 2011, Heed's campaign manager, Barinder Sall, plead guilty to election overspending, receiving a court-imposed $15,000 fine, 1 year probation, and 200 hours community service. The incident caused Heed to resign as Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General in the Liberal cabinet.
Vancouver Langara. Current MLA: Liberal, Dr. Moira Stilwell.
Projection: A 62% chance that Vancouver-Langara will be a BC Liberal win for incumbent, Dr. Moira Stilwell. 308.com predicts 45.9% for the Liberals, and 39% for BC NDP candidate, George Chow. NDP apparatchiks working within the riding reveal riding support for Mr. Chow is great; apparently, the polls indicate otherwise. If Dr. Stilwell goes down to defeat Tuesday evening, political observers will know that a BC NDP rout is underway.
Vancouver-Point Grey. Current MLA: Liberal, Christy Clark.
Projection: According to 308.com, NDP candidate David Eby has a 64% chance of defeating incumbent Christy Clark, the current Premier. Grenier's crunching of the numbers projects 46.9% support for Eby, and 39% for Clark, a decisive win for the BC NDP. Doug Ward, in The Tyee, writes ...
The NDP hasn't held this affluent riding since 1991, when Darlene Marzari was sent to Victoria in the Mike Harcourt victory. Former premier Campbell won four consecutive victories here, but his victory margins were moderate — except for the 2001 anti-NDP blowout. Eby nearly scored a shock upset win in the 2011 byelection, losing to Clark by only 564 votes. The NDP expects, based on the polling, to move beyond its usual base here of renters, left-wing university professors, and baby boomer professionals and retirees who attend the Vancouver Folk Festival. A former Campbell fundraiser in Point Grey was seen at a recent Eby dinner, which says something.
Of the Vancouver ridings, the BC NDP is projected to pick up all but two of the eleven seats up for grabs on election day, with the Liberals registering wins in only Vancouver-Quilchena and Vancouver-Langara. And even at that, contact from senior members of the Vancouver-Langara campaign teams over the weekend, from both main parties, suggest a win for the BC NDP in Vancouver-Langara is quite possible, as the race is close — regardless of 308.com's imprecations on the matter to the contrary, which would mean a win of 10 of the 11 seats in Vancouver going to the BC NDP.
Opposition to Kinder Morgan expansion, turning Vancouver into a major oil export harbour: BCNDP benefits from stand. Click on graphic for more info on Justason Intelligence poll
The BC NDP have employed a multi-pronged strategy in the 2013 British Columbia provincial election.
Where in 2009, under leader Carole James, the NDP rejected Gordon Campbell's carbon tax proposal, causing the NDP to lose both the environmental vote and the election, no such mistake is occurring this time around. For background, you'll want to read Charlie Smith's latest thoughtful commentary in the Georgia Straight.
From the outset, BC NDP leader Adrian Dix told voters that the NDP would challenge in every riding across the province, and they have, in the Fraser Valley, the Okanagan and the North, in addition to their traditional metropolitan Vancouver and Vancouver Island strongholds. Dix was also clear that the NDP would go after the votes of those who traditionally stay away from the polls on election day: the largely disenfranchised ethnic and immigrant community, and the votes of those under the age of 30.
Even though we agree with our friend Mike Klassen that we'll likely see a voter participation rate at or around — and perhaps even below — 50% across the province — an even more likely outcome given the projected inclement weather, which almost always has a depressing effect on voter turnout — VanRamblings will still predict that in 2013 the young vote and immigrant community vote will hit record levels, as proved to be the case for second-term President, Barack Obama, in the 2012 U.S. election.
Now back to elucidating the provincial electoral ridings that are most in contention, from here on in, outside metropolitan Vancouver city.
Metro Vancouver / Fraser Valley — ridings to watch Tuesday night
Burnaby Lougheed. Current MLA: Liberal, Harry Bloy.
Projection: Says Eric Grenier at 308.com, there's an astounding 83% chance that this riding will turn to BC NDP candidate Jane Shin come election night, with a projected 54.1% of the vote in the NDP column against neophyte B.C. Liberal challenger, Ken Kramer, who is set to register a relatively paltry 34.3% of the vote. In 2009, Bloy edged his NDP challenger Jaynie Clark by 696 votes, with just shy of 50% of the vote. Not this time. Count Burnaby Lougheed as another pick up for the BC NDP, on their way to a majority government in the province of British Columbia.
Burnaby North. Current MLA: Liberal, Richard T. Lee.
Projection: Another pick up for the BC NDP, say both Milton Chan at the Election Prediction Project, and Eric Grenier, at 308.com. In 2009,
Burnaby North was a tight race, with the Liberals' Lee eking out a 548 vote victory. This time, NDP challenger Janet Routledge, the Fight HST Burnaby co-ordinator, will register 51.4% to Lee's projected 38.3% of the vote.
Coquitlam-Burke Mountain. Current MLA: Liberal, Douglas Horner.
Projection: In 2009, Douglas Horner beat his NDP challenger, Heather McRitchie, by a healthy 3,251 vote margin, registering almost 60% of the vote. In 2013, 308.com suggests the race is much closer, projecting a win for Douglas Horner over NDP challenger, Chris Wilson, two-time World Cup Champion in wrestling, and current Executive Director of KidSport Tri-Cities, by a 44.4% to 39.4% vote margin. This time around, BC Conservative Shane Kennedy could throw a monkey wrench into Horner's plan for re-election, with the popular local businessman taking enough votes away from Horner to effectively award the NDP a win in this riding.
North Vancouver-Lonsdale. Current MLA: Liberal, Naomi Yamamoto.
Projection: Incumbent B.C. Liberal candidate Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of Advanced Education in the Clark cabinet, is in tough against popular four-term City of North Vancouver councillor, Craig Keating, who holds a PhD in History from McMaster University and is currently a professor of History at Langara College in Vancouver. 308.com says there's a 53% chance that Keating will eke out a narrow victory, garnering 41% of the vote to Yamamoto's 38.1%. The last time North Vancouver-Lonsdale fell into NDP hands was in 1991, when economist David Schreck won the riding.
Surrey-Panorama. Current MLA: Liberal, Stephanie Cadieux.
Projection: Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development in the Clark government, moved to retired BC Liberal cabinet minister Kevin Falcon's old riding of Surrey-Cloverdale, where a win for her will be assured. In 2013, the NDP's Amrik Mahil looks to take 45.9% of the vote against Liberal challenger, Marvin Hunt, a popular a 23-year Surrey City Councillor, who's expected to garner only 36.6% support in the riding. According to 308.com, there's a 68% chance that Mahil will place Surrey-Panorama into the NDP win column, contributing to a BC NDP majority government.
Surrey-Tynehead. Current MLA: Liberal, Dave S. Hayer.
Projection: When Hayer, a Liberal MLA since 2001, resigned his membership in the B.C. Liberal party condemning the party, and the Premier, for their role in the ethnic vote scandal, Amrik Virk stepped in to replace Hayer. Not good enough, according to Eric Grenier at 308.com: in 2013, the NDP's Avtar Bains sports a 78% chance of trouncing his Liberal challenger in Surrey-Tynehead where he's expected to pick up a whopping 53.1% of the vote. Another pick up for the BC NDP to contribute to their majority.
Langley. Current MLA: Liberal, Mary Polak.
Projection: Mary Polak, the current BC Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure in the Clark administration, is expected to retain her seat in the legislature come Tuesday evening, according to Eric Grenier at 308.com but just. Let's have Doug Ward over at The Tyee explain ...
"This one features a battle on the right between provincial Conservative Party leader John Cummins and BC Liberal Transportation Minister Mary Polak. Cummins' natural political constituency is Delta, which he represented for many years federally. But Delta South independent MLA Vicki Huntington took that away, so Cummins switched to Langley, where he now resides, in his bid to become B.C.'s first Conservative MLA in over three decades. The New Democrats took 35 per cent of the vote here last time. It's a long-shot scenario, but an even vote split on the right could flip this traditional bastion of small-c conservatism to NDP candidate Andrew Mercier."
Polak, Cummins, Mercier, who knows? — guess we'll see Tuesday night.
Abbotsford-South. Current MLA: Independent, John van Dongen.
Projection: This one's a dog's breakfast. Former Liberal cabinet minister Van Dongen is running again in Abbotsford-South, but this time as an Independent — where he's expected to take 27.2% of the vote. Where does that leave high-profile Liberal candidate Darryl Plecas in his bid to retain the seat for the B.C. Liberals? Potentially on the outside looking in, according to 308.com. Plecas, and NDP candidate Lakvinder Jhaj, are in a virtual tie, with 36% of the vote likely going to Plecas, and 36.7% of the voter support apparently headed in the direction of Jhaj. We'll see Tuesday.
Chilliwack. Current MLA: Liberal, John Les.
Projection: Count Chilliwack as another pick up for the BC NDP, although it's gonna be a squeaker. 308.com projects 33.5% of the vote going to BC NDP candidate, Patti MacAhonic — a former Executive Director of the BC Wildlife Federation, and recently Executive Director of the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce — leaving her B.C. Liberal challenger and former B.C. Conservative stalwart, John Martin, trailing with 31.4% of the projected vote. Like we said, this one's gonna be a squeaker, whoever emerges as the winning candidate on Tuesday evening. Here's what Doug Ward, over at The Tyee, has to say about the Chilliwack race ...
"The New Democrats won the adjacent riding of Chilliwack-Hope for the first time ever last year thanks to vote-splitting on the right. The NDP hopes to do it again in this Bible Belt riding, which they have also never held. The BC Liberal candidate, John Martin, had nothing good to say about his party last year, when he was the Conservative candidate in Chilliwack-Hope. "The BC Liberals are in free fall," he declared last spring. But Martin has changed his tune in this contest, which pits the college criminologist against NDP candidate Patti MacAhonic, former executive-director of the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce, and Conservative Chad Eros. Again, the NDP will need a strong Conservative showing for MacAhonic to come up the middle.."
Politics in the Fraser Valley just gets curiouser and curiouser.
Chilliwack-Hope. Current MLA: BC NDP, Gwen O'Mahony.
Projection: On a Tuesday night that's looking more and more like the night of the big hurt for the B.C.Liberals, Christy Clark can take some solace in 308.com's forecast that 2012 Chilliwack-Hope by-election winner O'Mahony will lose the seat to her Liberal challenger, Laurie Throness, longtime Ottawa-based Chief of Staff for now retired Chilliwack Fraser Canyon MP Chuck Strahl. Throness should pick up close to 50% of the vote at the polls on election day, May 14th, leaving O'Mahony with only 39.4% of the vote.
Maple Ridge-Mission. Current MLA: Liberal, Marc Dalton.
Projection: BC NDP's Mike Bocking, who's run and run again in Maple Ridge-Mission, is set this go-round to claim victory, with a projected 46.7% of the vote against Liberal incumbent, Marc Dalton, who according to 308.com, will garner only 33.1% of the vote on election night. Another pick up for the BC NDP, another seat in the legislature to add to their majority.
After the jump, readers will find information on the ridings to watch in the Okanagan / Kootenays, the Cariboo-Thompson and the North, and over on Vancouver Island, all of which promise provocative outcomes.
May 10, 2013
In terms of the latest poll results — the final poll results before Tuesday's provincial election — today's anticipated release of polling data by both Angus Reid (for CTV / the Globe and Mail), and Ipsos-Reid (for Global BC and the Vancouver Sun) are expected to tell the tale of where we're headed come election day, May 14th. But, really, do you honestly believe that even if the polls shows a tightening of the gap between the ruling BC Liberals and the hard-charging BC New Democrats, that the result of 28 days of 2013's headlong electioneering will culminate in a BC Liberal majority in the British Columbia legislature? Not bloody likely.
Still, because the gap is closing, as has long been expected would be the case, those of us looking for change — and VanRamblings believes we comprise a majority of British Columbians — will have to make damn sure that today and tomorrow, at the advance polls, or on election day, Tuesday, May 14th, that we get our tookeses to the polling station located nearest to us, and cast that decisive ballot for change. There is no sitting on your duff at home, no "migosh, I have so many more important things to do, the playoffs are on TV, blah blah blah." Whatever it takes, whether you bike to the polls, walk, take the bus, drive your car or get a ride with a friend, the 2013 British Columbia provincial election is a crucial election — never has it been more important for you to make certain that you get yourself, your family and your friends to the polls, and cast your ballot.
Geoff Olson, The Courier: 20 reasons why I'm not voting Liberal
Seems that it's not just the folks in the 801 Club, and former Chief of Staff to BC Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell, Martyn Brown, that want Christy Clark to resign, there's a columnist for Vancouver's Courier newspaper who's weighing in with a raft of maddeningly indisputable reasons that Christy Clark and her discredited BC Liberal party have got to go.
"The B.C. Liberals: 1) Ripped up legally binding, negotiated contracts in the public sector; 2) Closed courthouses; 3) Rolled backed employment standards legislation; 4) Introduced a $6 "training wage" at $2 an hour lower than minimum wage; 5) Introduced a bill for reducing the minimum work age to 12 years; 6) Expanded provincial gambling; 7) Closed hospitals, cut beds and shut long-term care facilities; 8) Laid off nurses and health care workers and privatized services, 9) Handed Pharmacare and MSP operations over to a U.S. firm, Maximus, which had been fined twice for failing to reach contractual targets; 10) Shut down or reduced funding for independent offices like the provincial Ombudsman, the Information and Privacy Commissioner, and Elections B.C.
Whew. Hang on, 10 more ....
11) Cut air and water quality protection; 12) Gutted the Forest Practices Code; 13) Lowered standards for wildlife protection; 14) Presided over the expansion of industrial fish farms; 15) Eliminated the Independent Office of the Child, Youth and Family Advocate; 16) Broke the promise not to introduce the HST and withdrew it only after massive public outcry; 17) Unveiled under-projected, treasury-sucking megaprojects, from the $900 million Vancouver Convention Centre to the $560 million renovation and retractable Asshat for B.C. Place; 18) Failed to resolve questions about the B.C. Rail sale, including the $6 million payout for Basi and Virk's legal fees; 19) Failed to supply details on the funding cut to provincial drug safety evaluations by the UBC-based Therapeutics Initiative; 20) Recently approved a misleading print ad for 24 Hours designed to resemble a front page news story."
Now, Olson's 20 reasons for not voting BC Liberal in 2013 constitute a damning indictment of the BC Liberals, and offer 20 very good reasons why British Columbians must reject the BC Liberal party in this election. But ...
Olsen's 20 unassailable reasons for rejecting the BC Liberal party hardly hold a candle to indefatigable Victoria-based political columnist Laila Yuile's 146 reasons the Liberals have just got to go, as she writes ...
"The BC Liberals have fostered an environment of deception and secrecy in the BC legislature, one where the less the people know about what is going on, the better it is for their party.
Our current Premier, Christy Clark, played a large role in many of the most drastic changes to the province's most vulnerable citizens, while she was a young MLA mentoring under Campbell. It's important to remember that while Christy Clark has tried to rebrand the BC Liberal party as "new" and different from Gordon Campbell, how different and new can they be when all the same names, faces and donors are still there? Deals aren't made in the legislature, but in the back rooms of restaurants and behind closed doors.
British Columbians must not be fooled by cheeky smiles, glib responses and a well-oiled, big money campaign."
Hmmm. One is simply left to wonder if the opprobrium expressed by most of B.C.'s fourth estate, and informed political class, will have the intended effect on voters come election day? Let's hope so, for all our sakes.
C'mon back over the weekend, when VanRamblings wraps our coverage of Decision BC 2013, reviews the ridings to watch election night, points you in the direction of the reality checks conducted by the media on the election commitments made by the leaders running for office, and as always, more.
In the interim, readers who wish to catch up with VanRamblings' coverage of the British Columbia election over the course of the previous 23 days, simply have to click here for a full accounting of Decision BC 2013.
May 9, 2013
As reported by Jas Johal on Global BC's evening NewsHour, an organized movement to oust Christy Clark as BC Liberal leader has already begun in the upper echelons of the provincial governing party.
Called the 801 Club — symbolizing 8:01 p.m., one minute after the election and the minute when the movement plans to begin the process of putting pressure on Clark to step aside, the club — made up of party members and business leaders — has already created 801 buttons, as can be seen in the video clip above, to signify the serious intent of the movement.
The 801 movement not only wants to rid the party of Christy Clark, but those that surround her, as well, including her brother, Bruce; ex-husband and BC Liberal organizer Mark Marissen; the 2013 Liberal party campaign chair Mike McDonald; and current Liberal party president, Sharon White.
Gordon Campbell's former chief of staff, Martyn Brown, says the scandals that the Clark Liberals have endured are self-inflicted and speak to Clark's rudderless and ethically-challenged leadership of the BC Liberal party.
"When you look at one thing after the next, it's just a bad series of judgements that fall directly in her lap," Brown told host Simi Sara, at 12:38pm, on her afternoon CKNW talk show.
"There is no escaping that, and this just brings it home in spades to people that it is the Premier's judgement that is at issue here."
Day after day, in the Georgia Straight and in The Province newspaper, Brown has challenged Clark's questionable leadership of the BC Liberal party, and her time in government as the unelected Premier of the province.
Why would Brown consistently position himself on the attack against Clark in everything he writes and tells any broadcaster or journalist that will interview him unless he is, in fact, one of the charter members of the 801 Club, working in concert with business leaders to ensure that a person who better represents the interests of the business community will replace Christy Clark after a resounding defeat at the polls next Tuesday?
Piling on today on—the increasingly beleaguered—Christy Clark, high profile BC Liberal Daniel Veniez, who writes in his Georgia Straight commentary ...
"I'm progressive, but not of the ideological left, and pragmatic, not of the doctrinaire right. I am a moderate and in the sensible centre ... I have never voted NDP in my life ... In British Columbia, voters have only two parties to choose from. On May 14, I am voting B.C. NDP. There are two reasons for that. The first is Christy Clark. The second is Adrian Dix.
Clark's gaffe-prone, content-free, divisive, and ethically challenged tenure as unelected premier of B.C. has been well chronicled.
The core of her relentless electioneering is anchored on a fantastical notion that B.C. will be "debt free" in 15 years through liquefied natural gas. This is based entirely on the incredibly dubious premise that the stars of a volatile and highly cyclical commodity business will align exactly as she predicts. The reality is that none of us — including those within the industry who would make these multibillion investments — has the foggiest clue whether any of this is fact or fiction. But common sense should tell us this: Clark has made a career out of smoke and mirrors ... the "debt free BC" slogan of her campaign is yet another whopper from Clark, whose entire government has been punctuated by advertising, gimmickry, and endless photo-ops, culminating in this election with a slogan that simply defies all credibility ..."
Dix is a refreshing change.
He's a humble and quiet man, not given to exaggeration nor to fits of narcissism. Not a "natural" politician, Dix is nevertheless obviously comfortable in his own skin. Well read and well briefed, Dix knows his files, understands the machinery of government, and has a great appreciation for what government can and can't do. Dix has tried to do politics differently and has waged an honourable campaign.
As premier, Adrian Dix will restore honesty and substance in Victoria.
He'll bring sober, deliberative, and collaborative leadership to the premier's office. He'll attract good people from across the ideological spectrum. He'll govern the province as he has his own party: by appealing to all of us to come together to solve the problems of British Columbia. He'll work hard to restore faith in our public institutions and trust in the competence and professionalism of government.
All of us want competent, honest, and accountable government that appeals to the best in all of us. Adrian Dix will do that. That's why the NDP is getting my vote on May 14.
If the voters don't do the job next week by ousting Christy Clark from her far from safe seat in the legislature representing the riding of Vancouver-Point Grey, while at the same rejecting her BC Liberal party at the polls, it is clear now that there are forces within the provincial, right-of-centre governing party that are well-prepared to do that job for us.
On the ethically-challenged front, Christy Clark scored a one-two punch on Day 23 of the provincial election campaign.
Early on Wednesday, Christy Clark's off-the-rails BC Liberal campaign released a pointed and misleading Adrian Dix attack ad, employing footage of the the televised debate. Only problem, though, is that the Clark campaign and the BC Liberal party signed a legal agreement with the broadcast consortium that organized the televised debate that her campaign, and the Liberal party, would not use footage from the debate in partisan political advertising.
The debate footage, it should be noted, is also the property of the broadcast consortium — CBC, CTV and Global — and, as such is copyrighted material. Les Staff, news director at CTV who was writing on behalf of the consortium, wrote a formal letter to the Liberal campaign ...
"The program was aired with a copyright at the end of the broadcast. The political parties involved agreed that no use of the copyrighted broadcast would be allowed for any political purposes," writes Staff.
"I have a good faith belief that the use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law," he continued. "Please have this copyrighted material removed immediately."
As of this writing, early on Thursday morning, Clark's ethically-challenged Liberal campaign has refused to remove the offending YouTube video.
To make matters worse, for the dirty-tricks-driven Liberal campaign, word was leaked on Wednesday that former senior advisor to Premier Christy Clark, one Kim Haakstad — yes, that very same Kim Haakstad who was forced to resign her what was supposed to be, non-partisan, civil servant position in the Premier's office, amidst allegations that she led a partisan BC Liberal initiative, paid for with taxpayer's money, to identify votes for Christy Clark and the Liberal party, in what became know as the "ethnic vote scandal" — is now "volunteering" on Christy Clark's campaign in Vancouver Point Grey. Martyn Brown almost had a coronary as he related his severe misgivings about how it came to be that Liberal party campaign chair Mike McDonald, and "her poor judgement knows no end" Christy Clark herself, had allowed the discredited and dismissed Ms. Haakstad to play a role in the re-election of the Premier, in her very own riding!
So, let's see where we're at here in the waning days of Decision BC 2013.
Let's take a minute to review the election press coverage this week, and who it has favoured — in this, the final full week of the election campaign — and how that coverage is likely to affect the latest election poll results that'll be released tomorrow, and more importantly, how coverage of Christy Clark will affect the outcome of next week's crucial provincial election.
- Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer reminds his 300,000+ plus readers of Christy Clark's central role in promoting the hated HST
- The Vancouver Sun's Peter O'Neil suggests that a Premier Adrian Dix would have more in common with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, that they'd get along better than is the case with Christy Clark, and that the relationship would be more productive for British Columbia. To top it off, the Vancouver Sun provides sympathetic coverage of Adrian Dix's and the BC NDP's policy on eradicating child poverty
- Former chief of staff to Gordon Campbell, and the fellow who ran the BC Liberal campaigns in 2001, 2005 and 2009—yes, Martyn Brown—hammers Christy Clark, column in and column out, in The Straight, The Province, and on any TV or radio station that will air his views on Christy Clark's "ethically challenged" BC election campaign
- Prominent Liberal Daniel Veniez, in his commentary in The Straight, calls Christy Clark's tenure in government, "gaffe-prone, content-free, divisive, and ethically challenged"
- With 5 days to go in the election campaign, Global TV runs a lead story telling it's 680,000+ dinnertime newshour viewers that not only the NDP, but the BC Liberals themselves, want Christy Clark gone
The writing is on the wall for the soon-to-be-ex Premier, Christy Clark.
Even the most apolitical British Columbian — for whom politics is a mere afterthought, or an intrusion — must now realize that we are on the verge of witnessing the bloody end of the Christy Clark era in BC politics.
Interested in reading VanRamblings' coverage of the British Columbia 2013 provincial election from Day 1 to the present just click on Decision BC 2013.
May 8, 2013
The advance polls open today across British Columbia, in this most important 2013 provincial election. Wednesday through Saturday this week — in advance of Election Day, Tuesday, May 14th — from 8am through til 8pm (local time) each of the four advance polling days this week, Elections BC has provided to you the opportunity to exercise your franchise.
Don't know where to vote in your local riding? Simply click here for the location of the advance polling station closest to where you live. There is no more important role that you can play in the life of our society than casting a ballot for the candidate of your choice, enfranchising yourself, your family and your neighbours, by participating in the grand democratic engagement that defines what it means to live in a free society, in a country and a province where your vote counts, as you play your part in helping to determine where the province in which you live and prosper is headed over the course of the next four years.
BC Election 2013: Where BC is Headed Over the Next Six Days
As can be seen in the latest UBC Sauder School of Business Election Market prediction, above and to the right, British Columbia is headed to a majority New Democrat government, a change from 12 years of the corporate friendly policies of the BC Liberal party, to a more balanced NDP-driven economy, where the needs of working families — and the most vulnerable among us — are taken into account when determining public policy.
Change is always difficult. But in 2013, amidst near economic chaos across the globe, change is necessary in order that the priorities that best fit the needs of the vast majority of British Columbians are well-tended to, where your needs, and the needs of your family, your friends, your co-workers and your neighbours emerge as priority concerns to those whom we have elected to represent us in the seat of power in Victoria, as British Columbia moves fitfully, yet inexorably forward through the 21st century.
Martyn Brown, the B.C. Liberals' public campaign director in the last three elections, has weighed in again on where he thinks British Columbia will find itself on election night, where we are now, and where we're going.
"The B.C. Liberals are still hovering in the low 30s, well below the NDP, with a week to go and little obvious room to grow. The NDP's strategy is sound and has worked to help put that party in the lead so far. I believe it will prevail ... (British Columbians) want a new type of positive politics that doesn't sink to the gutter. They want an approach that isn't all about running people down or that is utterly wedded to partisan hyperbole and fearmongering, as Dix used to engage in before he was the NDP leader, and which remains a defining feature of Clark's DNA.
If Dix can round out the last week by appearing more energized and more passionate in his drive to lead B.C. forward, he can show people a new dimension to his character that inspires trust and confidence in him. The latest polls should certainly give him new impetus for a heartfelt appeal that shows he's more of a fighter than most people have given him credit for being. Anyone who has watched Dix at his best in the Legislature over the years knows that he has the potential to be devastating, with wit, humour, and sheer political smarts.
If anyone should be feeling pangs of panic at this point, it should be the B.C. Liberals. They are still at least 10 to 13 points from any serious shot at winning, given the NDP's sizable lead, its more evenly distributed geographic support, and its more motivated voter support base.
As things stand, the NDP is unlikely to lose any of the 35 seats it won in 2009, with the possible exception of Cariboo North. The best the Liberals can really hope for is to hang onto seats they currently hold, at least half of which are all potentially vulnerable ... I like the NDP's odds, to put it mildly. Hopefully, the prospect of a horse race will help motivate all British Columbians to cast their ballots."
And thus we in British Columbia move towards a new government in Victoria, an end to Liberal governance, and an end to Christy Clark's reign of error, towards an NDP government representing the interests of all.
Canucks eliminated in four game sweep. Calls for change abound
The Vancouver Canucks went down to ignominious defeat in overtime, in the fourth game of Round One of their Western Conference Stanley Cup quarter final. As the headline on the Vancouver Sun reads, "Canucks swept out of NHL playoffs by Sharks, with likely sweeping changes to come." And so, change will come, not just within the Canucks beleaguered, playoff averse organization, but across the province of British Columbia, as well.
British Columbians do not want more of the same, whether it be Christy Clark and her far from merry band of tired, old Liberals, or the can't get it done Alain Vigneault, whose job is on the line. Don't expect Vigneault back with the Canucks next season. Don't expect Clark to take her seat in the legislature as Premier, post May 14th. Clark has as much hope of either retaining her position as Premier, or her seat in the legislature as representative for the riding of Vancouver-Point Grey, as Vigneault does of finding himself behind the Canucks' bench come September. Not a chance.
Where are the leaders campaigning today? Adrian Dix, B.C. NDP: Summerland, Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, Armstrong, Kamloops; Christy Clark, B.C. Liberals: Maple Ridge, Burnaby, New Westminster, Surrey; John Cummins, B.C. Conservatives: Vernon; Jane Sterk, B.C. Greens: Victoria, Vancouver. More information will be provided as it becomes available.
Full VanRamblings election coverage available by clicking Decision BC 2013.
May 7, 2013
The inevitability of change looms large on the horizon.
As much as the pollsters want to turn the 2013 British Columbia election into a race to the finish line, in fact that's not what's happening at all. The people across this vast province of ours continue to hanker for change, whether that be adding a couple of Green MLA's to the ledge for the next term (Andrew Weaver and Adam Olsen), or a couple of Independents (Vicki Huntington and Arthur Hadland), plus a surfeit of NDP MLA's — including 'always a bridesmaid, never a bride' NDP candidate for Maple Ridge - Mission, Mike Bocking — but make no mistake, change is on the way.
As can be seen in ThreeHundredEight's graphic at the top of today's post, the BC NDP are looking at somewhere in the range of 48 to 56 seats, while the Liberals continue to trail with 36 to 42 seats, not in majority range, and out of contention for government. Sure, there's still six days to go in Decision BC 2013, but the writing is on the wall, Adrian Dix and the NDP have stepped up their game — finally deciding that it's time to hold the BC Liberals' feet to the fire — BC Conservative leader John Cummins has picked up his game in the waning days of the campaign, while BC Green Party leader Jane Sterk focuses on winning at least one seat in the legislature. Ms. Sterk knows that a portion of the Green vote will evaporate on election day, as many of her Green supporters will vote strategically, for the NDP.
Vancouver-Point Grey Becomes a Bellwether Riding in 2013
Vancouver's Point Grey riding has been represented by a Liberal premier for more than a decade, but that nearly changed in 2011 when the NDP's David Eby came within 564 votes of unseating Christy Clark in a by-election. Now, with Clark and the BC Liberals trailing in the polls, many believe the riding is Eby's to lose, offering a hint at how the rest of the province votes, too.
"It's a David and Goliath story of sorts, although I am much taller than Christy, so I am not sure the metaphor totally holds," says Eby. "It's challenging for me running against the premier. She's in the news every day, she's spent a huge amount of money on advertising. Our response has been—since we didn't have that kind of budget—to knock on as many doors as possible and talk to as many people as possible in the riding."
And so David Eby, the NDP candidate in Vancouver-Point Grey, and his legion of door-to-door canvassers who've knocked on every door in the riding in one mightily impressive example of the NDP's superior "ground game" — and let's not forget unprecedented mail-in ballot support from the many thousands of UBC students resident in the riding, as efficient and focused a campaign as VanRamblings has ever witnessed, with campaign manager Kate Van Meer-Mass in full control, with a first-rate voter contact phone bank co-ordinated by Sean Antrim that runs morning to night, and a volunteer organization by Gala Milne (not to mention, stalwarts Mary Tenny, John Yano and Indra Roodal, among many, many other volunteers working together in Vancouver's western most riding) second-to-none in our current BC election campaign — making the race to win the hearts and minds of the people of Vancouver-Point Grey, one to watch election night.
BC Election 2013: News of the Day Heading Towards May 14th
The story of the day, so to speak, on the campaign trail on Sunday night and for much of Monday, was the cynical re-emergence of adulterer and political chameleon, Gordon Wilson, a one-time leader of the BC Liberals, one-time head of the Progressive Democratic Alliance, then an NDP cabinet minister in the government of Premier Glen Clark, and now—apparently—a born again BC Liberal. The head just swims. You can watch Wilson's endorsement of Christy Clark (really?), at the end of the story in the link above, or better still you can hear BC NDP leader Adrian Dix's take on Wilson, and more importantly, the critical issues in the 2013 British Columbia election, by clicking on the link below, for an interview conducted by Rick Cluff, with Dix, broadcast yesterday morning on CBC's Early Edition.
Who knows what's going on at British Columbia's newspaper of record, The Vancouver Sun? First up, one week to go to election day, and we have Vaughn Palmer reminding his 300,000+ readers about the HST, and the BC Liberals' role in this boondoggle that brought down a Premier, quoting Martyn Brown, former Chief of Staff to Gordon Campbell ...
"The last thing British Columbians expected from the Campbell government, which had made personal income tax relief — and household tax relief — so central to its vision, was a tax shift that would increase their tax burden, especially in the midst of a recession," wrote the premier's then chief of staff Martyn Brown in a devastating analysis-cum-mea-culpa self-published last summer.
"The HST was an issue of such broad public importance that it should never have been imposed without any prior consultation, let alone only weeks after an election, and in direct contradiction to the governing party's stated position. It represented such a significant shift in the tax burden from businesses to individuals that it was not on a scale that would have ever been right to impose it as a done deal."
"No mandate. A betrayal of the electorate ..."
Next, The Sun's Peter O'Neil suggests that ...
Ideological differences notwithstanding, an Premier Adrian Dix-Stephen Harper relationship could be a productive one. Political insiders say there are many similarities between Harper and Dix that may help the two hit it off despite clashing ideologies. Both are bilingual and former Parliament Hill staffers who grew up during the same era in major multicultural urban areas. Dix, who turned 49 on April 20, is the son of a couple who ran an insurance business in Vancouver. Harper, who celebrated his 54th birthday on April 30, is a Toronto native and the son of an accountant.
Harper and Dix are knowledgeable sports fans with a deep understanding of Canadian political history. And while Dix is far less reserved than Harper, neither man could be mistaken for glad-handing extrovert politicians like their current principal rivals — Christy Clark and Justin Trudeau. And Harper, according to some of his former cabinet colleagues, respects straight-shooting politicians with clear and unwavering principles, and who approach relations in a business-like fashion. Dix has tried to telegraph to both B.C. businesses and his own party members that he'll advocate a moderate agenda with no big surprises.
O'Neil then goes on to write that BC Liberal leader Christy Clark ...
"has just as frequently frustrated the federal Conservatives, most recently on Sunday when she once again turned her nose up at two oilsands pipeline proposals to the B.C. coast that are considered by Ottawa to be in the national interest. If Clark manages a stunning come-from-behind victory on May 14, British Columbians can assume more of the same — continued federal-provincial tensions on the oilsands pipelines issue and occasional flare-ups like the Kitsilano Coast Guard closure dispute."
And in the newspaper's pièce-de-résistance for the day, The Sun quotes BC NDP leader Adrian Dix reminding British Columbians of the BC Liberals' failure to help suffering children during their dozen years in office.
"Eight years leading the country in child poverty and the Liberal party is offering nothing except misleading comments and attacks," Dix said of the province's child-poverty rate ... Here's what I find offensive. I say Yes to LNG. I say yes to mining. I say Yes to forestry. I say Yes to film and television. I say Yes to tourism. But here's what I say No to. I say No to doing nothing when children suffer."
Hmmm. Do you think that the folks over at the Vancouver Sun know something we don't? Like maybe, just maybe, Adrian Dix and the BC NDP are set to win a majority government next Tuesday, May 14th?
BC Election 2013: Where The Leaders Will Be Tuesday, May 7th
Christy Clark will spend the day campaigning in Fort Nelson and Kitimat, doing her level best to keep the North in the BC Liberal fold, while preventing the BC Conservatives from gaining party stature in the British Columbia legislature.
- 8:15 a.m.: Fort Nelson - Tour of Spectra Energy (Alaska Highway)
- 9:30 a.m.: Fort Nelson - Event at Northern Rockies Regional Recreation Centre (5500 Alaska Highway)
- 3 p.m.: Kitimat - Event at Coghlin Park
- 9:30 a.m.: Fort Nelson - Event at Northern Rockies Regional Recreation Centre (5500 Alaska Highway)
Adrian Dix has a morning rally in Sidney, over on Vancouver Island, as well as rallies in the afternoon (following lunch, of course), a roundtable, and in the evening, a bit of Round 1, Game 4 Vancouver Canucks vs the San Jose Sharks Stanley Cup playoff watching, first in Richmond, then in Vancouver, and finally in Delta. Guess we know what Dix will be doing between periods.
- 8:05am: Sidney - Campaign announcement with candidates Lana Popham, Rob Fleming, Carole James, Maurine Karagianis, Gary Holman, Jessica Van der Veen & John Horgan, Tulista Park (5 St .& Ocean Ave.)
- 11:40am: Richmond - Campaign event with candidates Frank Huang, Gian Sihota, Scott Stewart, Richmond campaign office (8980 No. 3 Rd)
- 12:45pm: Vancouver - Chinese community luncheon with candidates Jenny Kwan, Gabriel Yiu, George Chow, Frank Huang at Yue Shan Society Headquarters (37 E. Pender St.)
- 5pm: Surrey - South Asian media round table with candidates Bruce Ralston, Jagrup Brar, Harry Bains, Sue Hammell, Amrik Mahil, Avtar Bains, Gabriel Yiu, Sylvia Bishop, Nic Slater, Raj Chouhan at Grand Taj Banquet Hall-Queen Hall (8388 128 St.)
- 6:45pm: Delta - Canucks Game with supporters and candidate Sylvia Bishop at one20 Pub & Grill (8037 120 St.)
- 11:40am: Richmond - Campaign event with candidates Frank Huang, Gian Sihota, Scott Stewart, Richmond campaign office (8980 No. 3 Rd)
BC Conservative leader John Cummins will campaign in the Okanagan.
- 10am: Penticton - Announcement of support for region's health care facilities, with candidate Sean Upshaw, at Carmi Coffee House Salon and Spa (595 Carmi Ave.)
Green Party of BC leader, Jane Sterk, will continue her door-to-door canvass in her home riding of Victoria-Beacon Hill, as well as ...
- 7:45am: Victoria - Rush hour wave, Cook and Pandora
- 11:30am: Victoria - Nurses Appreciation Party, Royal Jubilee Hospital
- 2pm: Victoria - Mainstreeting, Cook Street Village
- 6:15pm: Victoria - Social Service all-candidates meeting at First Metropolitan United Church
Full VanRamblings election coverage available by clicking Decision BC 2013.