With the election upon us tomorrow, I think it’s safe to say that when it comes to BC politics, I am still a hopeful cynic. Hopeful because I know change is possible,even if the BC Libs retain power tomorrow. Cynical because despite that, I also know that a lot lof what goes on in BC politics will never change either. More on this later.
Unlike last elections, I haven’t spent much time at all blogging during this one, spending the majority of time sharing info and thoughts on twitter. Why? To be honest as big as the audience is here, my reach is exponentially higher there -particularly among younger voters and undecided voters – both groups I personally want to see get out voting.
My goal even before the writ was dropped was merely to increase voter turnout,something I think is key to making any kind of political change happen in this province where voter apathy is just as big of an issue as our current corrupt government. In fact voter apathy is partly how this current government stays elected, in my opinion. They count on voters staying home. They count on the poor,disabled, marginalized and young voters – three segments most impacted by poor government policy – staying home.
We tried the movement #FreeRideToVote, asking Translink and BC Transit to offer free transit during voting hours on May 9th. BC Transit had done so before and was happy to consider again and several cities served by them in BC are offering free transit this election, including my new home in the Comox Valley. ( Yay Comox Valley!)
Translink cited costs as the reason why they couldn’t consider it, which is a bit of a lame excuse when you consider how much the premier spent on photography alone last year, and how much the Liberals spent on partisan ads before the writ drop, paid for out of tax dollars no less. So, we’ll never know if it would have helped get out the vote or not.. but I think it would.
It’s up to BC voters now, but I hope I have done my part in getting people engaged and interested in issues enough to at least inspire some to vote who perhaps didn’t vote before. Get mad at me for playing devils advocate, or for being critical of your party where and when it merits, but at least perhaps some will get fired up enough to vote.
One thing I have noticed in this election is that a lot of people who have never really followed politics before, have been getting engaged because of one issue or another in their community that spurred them to action.
And while that’s just incredible to see, it’s also important to keep in mind that vast thousands more never do that and probably never will until an issue hits home for them. Most I have spoken to were shocked to discover how long this has been going on.
This gets to the heart on how many people vote. They vote on issues. Whatever issue is most important to them, they will likely vote for the party that hits home on addressing it best. While it may not be the best way to consider a vote, the truth is very few people from what I can see, actually do look at the entire platforms.
What is more worrying to me, is that many people still have zero history of whats been going on in the legislature or BC politics for the past 4 years since the last election( let alone the last 16) and are making wrong assumptions or simply lack the knowledge or context of current events. When it comes down to what they see and are bombarded with in the 4 weeks after the writ is dropped, and before the actual election date, it’s often too overwhelming to make sense of who is right or wrong, whats a lie or truth. And in this election I have seen Premier Clark deliberately mislead or lie with a big smile on her face while pointing fingers. All I can do is shake my head, thinking of the people at home who may not know better.
Also concerning to me is that the vast divide in politics I have written about often, has definitely been driven deeper as people looked to Greens and other parties or candidates as an alternative to the NDP who have been unable to get significantly beyond a base vote for 16 years.
16 years. That should have woken their executive up years before this election writ because with all this ammo a slam dunk of the Libs should be a sure thing. It’s as if whoever crafted the campaign never even saw how the Libs campaign or why their campaigns work, but here we are the night before the vote and its so close that very few are calling it with confidence. You can’t be invisible in ridings for 4 years and expect to suddenly win everyone over in 4 weeks.
I have been very clear here that the BC Liberals need to go.
I have covered this government for a decade, documented misdeeds and know full well how the BC Liberals operated under Campbell and now Clark. Clark has been behind the impetus of Campbell era BC Libs who are more Conservative, who are now stumping for the NDP. But mark my words , I suspect they will be going right back to the BC Libs if and when Clark is no longer leader, which is why I put zero credence in their support. In essence they are trying to get some time to rebuild the corrupt brand that Clarks misbehavior has attached to the name.
That’s why many are saying to vote strategically. But that also comes with a very big obstacle that many NDP members refuse to acknowledge. Hard green voters will never vote for the NDP, just as hard NDP voters will never vote green…even in a riding the Greens are most likely to win to defeat a Liberal. And I am so terribly tired of that hypocrisy. And so are many voters, I believe.
As a non partisan voter, and someone who is still very much appreciative of Indies like Vicky Huntington, I voted NDP for a couple of reasons despite leaning more to the Greens initially this year.
1. Despite a very lackluster performance in every debate, the NDP candidate is still the best chance to beat the Liberal candidate in my riding, who really concerns me with some of the things he has said in debates and on his facebook page.
2. I cannot support a party whose leader is willing to work with the Liberal government or even hypothetically accept a cabinet post if offered.
Why? Because there is not one cabinet minister or Liberal MLA not tainted completely by the hundreds of egregious and unethical scandals and actions under the Clark or Campbell government. Not one Liberal MLA stood up when Rod MacIsaac killed himself after their party misled not only the fired researchers, but the rest of government, the public and the RCMP. They misled the RCMP. They allowed a man to continue to believe his career was over and name was ruined even after they knew they were wrong…
And all stayed silent.
Who does this? Who does this?? This government lost its moral authority to govern on this alone. This cannot be disputed. There is a line one does not cross in life or in work or in politics and they all crossed it. And to this day there has been no accountability for any of the actions of the staff involved.
Not one Liberal MLA stood up to ban big money the 6 times they were given the chance to in the legislature and this is one of the biggest issues corrupting not only political process and policy in the legislature, but the very heart of our democratic process. I have been calling for our own corruption inquiry in BC for years, and its needed now more-so than ever.
There is zero integrity and even fewer ethics in the Liberal cabinet, and I frankly don’t care if one can sit down and have a nice conversation with Clark and disagree, because she is dishonest and has no integrity. So what good is that conversation worth?
I can’t even imagine saying that, but that’s just me. How can you work with someone who will, with a smile, lie to not only the public, but reporters? On live TV? In a debate? For me, that’s a deal-breaker. Her character was revealed in this election for all to see, and I can’t unsee it. Neither should Andrew Weaver.
That the Green leader even said this, was a tremendous disservice to the wide array of competent and exceptional candidates who stepped up to run under the Green banner…and there are many, any of which I would be proud to have as an MLA had they been in my riding.
I cannot support that. The proper thing to do for the future of BC here is for the Greens and NDP to work together to defeat Clark. But I don’t think either will. The free for all handing out of money in the weeks leading up to the writ drop was the most attention paid to British Columbians in the last 4 years. Trying to change minds is a waste of time. Understanding why people aren’t voting for you in the first place is something that should have been taking place over the last 4 years.
Tomorrow the rest of BC votes and we will see the direction we are headed. I am hoping to see continued higher turnout. But the state of apathy is still high in the province and Clarks campaigning on fear of Trump is resonating. The irony of this is fierce considering she and many of her supporters have been acting more Trumpish as the campaign evolved. But fear is a powerful motivator and used with skill, can turn votes quickly. At this point all anyone can do is get out as many people as possible to vote and hope they do so with this in mind.
I won’t tell you who to vote for but I hope you vote for anyone but a Clark government. There is so much at stake here and I do fear the complete and utter arrogance with which this government will rule should they be elected again.
You think the last 4 years were rough? Just wait.
I suspect a Liberal government will be in power again Wednesday morning…unless enough people get out to vote with sense and integrity and the future of our province in mind tomorrow. You may not always get what you want when you vote, but in doing so you are showing your intention to work for our collective future. I get that sometimes it feels like choosing the lesser of the evils, but right now it’s all we’ve got. And maybe it’s time to start building something new over the next 4 years.
With that in mind, just please vote. Vote for our collective future. Because if you don’t choose your future, someone else will do it for you.