It was October 30th when a friend who happens to also be a regular pundit as well, messaged me about the American election,told me how sick he was feeling of it all and that he hoped Clinton wrapped it up.
“I have a gross feeling that he is going to win…”
I could imagine his face while reading that, but his disbelief came through loud and clear in his response… “But his ground game is so terrible… prediction sites say his chances are low but still a chance…”
You see, when it comes to any election, I have never really paid attention to polls. They really and truly mean nothing to me. What I go on is two things: gut instinct and a knowledge of the kind of people in different areas and what they are saying without words. And I told him that… and then this:
“People are odd. He appeals to many people’s inner base. I see that even here…one friend was lost when he posted something about Trump and proudly admitted he was pro-life. This from a progressive man…or so many had thought. But Trump made him feel safe in revealing that along with a few other tidbits.
And while he said he appreciated my perspective I know he didn’t think it was correct. Until I messaged him last night during what was a shocking result for many. And when I posted on facebook people still did not believe that it was possible… until it really was.
Shades of the last BC Election when everyone predicted the BC NDP were going to win… except a week before the race I joined Philip Till on his then morning show and said if they didn’t get their act together they could very well lose. And everyone said I was crazy. And then they lost, miserably.
I’ve learned a lot over the years about politics in BC specifically, but more so about the people in this province who vote. For a province known to be full of lefties, we generally vote right. And a lot of people couldnt figure out why.
It was on a trip home to PG that I really realized what it was all about. After listening to and talking with my readers from every corner of this province for so many years, one thing was clear. Voters here are very conservative even if they claim to be lefties, and I use the word to mean cautious. They would rather vote for the devil they know than the devil they don’t. And when presented with an alternative that is generally less than inspiring… well you get more than a decade of BC Liberals in charge.
It’s human nature and that is what makes a pollsters job so hard. Because even here in BC, people may tell their friends they don’t know who they are going to vote for… or say they are going to vote NDP, but when they actually get to the voting booth its a big cross for the Liberal candidate.
Trump made it ok for every person who had been secretly harbouring some inner racist feelings, to express it. He said the words far too many wanted to say. It was more than just sticking it to the man, to the government machine, it was all about making people feel like they have been right all these years and God Bless America get the damn migrants out.
When the results started coming in last night and it was clear Trump was going to be the next president, I took to social media:
What it has become reduced to now is this. We have the BC NDP lead by John Horgan who in my opinion, has far too many on board who are far too comfortable sitting in opposition. Why do I say that? Because of the back room antics going on in different ridings around BC and the strong smell of desperation that goes with it. The inability to take a firm stance on some issues. And the direction some of their organizers are taking on social media tells me that whoever is handling that aspect still has not, after all these years, schooled them on using social media effectively.
But the biggest problem I see for the NDP is their inability to look past the end of their nose to truly understand the voting public beyond and outside their base. I have written extensively on this over the last couple of years to no avail. The message some voters in this province who are undecided and reach out are getting is this: We know we can’t win your riding so we really don’t care about you. And you will never win that way. Ever.
Perhaps that is a truth some don’t want to hear and many will deny, but that’s fact. You want to win an election? Every single vote matters. And respect that their vote is theirs, and not for you to tell where to put it. Don’t tell voters that if they vote Green they are splitting the vote. It’s their vote remember? You are not entitled to it… you have to earn it.
And clearly my friends, the BC Liberals have been earning those votes regardless of what it takes to get them. Or regardless if those votes result in unfulfilled promises again and again. People do not always vote for what is good for them,they often vote for who makes them feel good. And with money flowing prior to an election, Ms. Clark does that very well.
That is my message for the NDP. You want to be bold? Stop listening to whoever is helping you lose more than a decades worth of elections. It’s not working for you. And it certainly isn’t working for the state of the province. To be successful you need to evolve as the world evolves and the NDP federally and provincially remain stuck in a bygone era with little appeal to most non party voters. And truly, it doesn’t have to be that way but when things stagnate…
For progressive voters in BC, let the lesson of Trump resonate long and loud. Clark uses the same tactics but to a lesser degree. Fear the party of NO. Fear the Forces of NO. Fear the nineties. We are gonna have a billion zillion jobs and make BC Grow. Gonna grow that economy. Get those jobs here for your kids in BC. To herd them all you’re gonna need a lot of cowboys one tweet read from someone at the Liberal convention last weekend. One paper even called her out for for talking about studies that didn’t even exist. You really do have to fact check everything. Just because an elected official says it, doesn’t make it true.
And like in the US, the voters here eat it up too.
So, while the US progressives mourn and point fingers instead of looking in the mirror for some self-reflection, you have some work to do.