How BC Liberals Could Still Defeat the NDP

For BC’s provincial Liberals, it may already look like “game over” in the next provincial election.

The latest BC polling results by Angus Reid are absolutely terrific for the governing NDP: a whopping 48% popular support; the Liberals trailing badly at 29%; the Greens at 14%.

The next BC election isn’t due until Oct 16, 2021 but now BC’s media and political pundits are suddenly all over the possibility of an early vote … something we discussed here both BC and the federal governments way back June 1: http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/watch-for-trudeau-and-horgan-to-call-early-elections/

The poll released Friday supports that for BC.

“An early election would, indeed, present Horgan and his party with quite the irresistible opportunity, should they choose to take it,” a press release from the polling institute stated.

Needless to say, the prospect seems tantalizing to Premier John Horgan.

“I’m advised there’s an election underway right now in New Brunswick, and an election underway in Saskatchewan, and Elections B.C. is prepared to provide a safe way to vote if that is something that comes up,” Horgan told reporters Thursday.

The rationale for going this Fall is the same as I stated in the Blog back then: both the provincial and federal governments have handed out BILLIONS in cheques, grants and loans to voters and businesses; both are generally regarded as having handled the Covid-19 crisis well; and both realize that, starting next year, they are going to have to start paying off the bills … and start recouping all the dollars they’ve handed out.

So the polling numbers sure make a Fall election tempting!

But it’s in no way a sure thing: Labour Day gatherings; schools starting up; and, people spending more time indoors in the coming weeks could increase the spread of Covid and severely complicate and impact campaigning, volunteering and, most importantly, voter turnout.

And don’t write off the BC Liberals yet.

Remember, despite the legacy/scandals/controversies of the Christy Clark and Gordon Campbell Liberal governments, the party still captured 43 seats in the 2017 election, the NDP 41 … requiring the Greens’ 3 seats support to form the current minority government; the Liberals won 40.36% of the popular vote, the NDP 40.28%.

Now?

My view: the Liberals have a lackluster leader, a shadow cabinet few voters could even name (except for Jas Johal), and so far, the party projects little public appeal or signs of any meaningful attractive message or policies.

BUT there is fertile ground out there for the Liberals … if they cultivate it.

Talk to British Columbians … not just those receiving and/or living off government handouts, but those still getting up every morning and going to work, paying taxes and unhappy with the state of BC beyond Covid.

Many are indeed mad as hell … and don’t want to take it anymore.

Mad about what?

About the NDP government spending hundreds of millions of dollars to provide/build more and more free housing in Vancouver and Victoria …. for people who may not even be from either place.

About the NDP government pouring a millions of dollars a day into the continuing deteriorating drug and crime infested downtown eastside … while inadequately funding drug treatment facilities and refusing to re-open the badly-needed Riverview Hospital.

About the NDP government working with and supporting their radical left municipal allies to locate and fund huge expansion of social service projects/facilities right in Vancouver and Victoria’s downtown cores, killing off business and shopping in the areas and letting homeless from all over BC and Canada take over local parks, destroy residential neighbourhoods … rendering them frightening, dangerous for residents and their children to venture outdoors.

About the NDP government pandering to environmental anarchists, blockaders, blackmailers who have been allowed to repeatedly disrupt the lives of thousands of innocent British Columbians, without facing any repercussions.

About the NDP government saying/doing nothing to respect, preserve and protect BC’s early Canadian/British and European heritage/monuments when they are attacked, vandalized, ripped down.

About the NDP government doing little or nothing during Covid for seniors/families fighting the Great Pharmacy Ripoff of monthly prescription renewals; about ICBC’s failure to issue rebates to motorists despite the Covid lockdown; about the great suffering inflicted by the government on rental owners (many of them seniors living off the income) by banning evictions, allowing tenants to squat rent-free for months, even as they destroyed the property.

Yes, a lot of people ARE mad as hell about what they see happening around them in BC … beyond Covid … and feel left out, ignored by the NDP government.

Fertile ground for the Liberals and if they sow the right seeds, they could yet harvest a bumper crop of votes … without handing out a single cheque to bribe them.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: Follow me @harveyoberfeld.ca on Twitter for First Alerts to new blog topics.)

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17 Responses to How BC Liberals Could Still Defeat the NDP

  1. D. M. Johnston says:

    The NDP are not a shoe-in, the only thing going for them is that Wilkinson is such a “weak as water” leader.

    Eby is in trouble in his riding and the trouble is the Broadway subway. Think $3 billion hole in the ground, the BS project is fraught with local rejection and with the NDP not listening except to the cycle lobby, the AG may loose.

    (Hint: Broadway is not the busiest transit route in Canada, no in North America as claimed by the NDP, Horgan and the city of Vancouver)

    Speaking of transit, a smart Liberal leader should make TransLink an election issue. TransLink has become an old boys/girls club with the regional mayors and projects built strictly for political reasons and not transit reasons and this includes the BS project, Surrey’s SkyTrain extension to Fleetwood and the SFU gondola.

    Remember, over 60% voted against the TransLink expansion in the 2015 plebiscite and after this, all public scrutiny of the projects have been thwarted.

    $5 billion in transit projects for metro Vancouver and almost diddly squat for the rest of the province, could be very well exploited.

    Site C, especially with revelations that the project is now going to cost a couple of billion more has reminded the Green NDP types, that the NDP are definitely not Green.

    Horgan should get Bonnie Henry to run because Horgan has been reduced to Premier Photo-op status, like the previous premier. The only politician who has gained stature is Dix during Covid-19.

    The Education Minister is a complete disaster. As my youngest graduated this year, the 2020 grads were thrown under a bus, the NDP couldn’t get them out of school fast enough. The many cliche’s about “hard times” doesn’t wash and when I wrote to the Min. of Education all I got back was a political diatribe and the comment that the only help would be for First Nations and Metis children.

    The Minister of Transportation is a disaster and reminds me that some engineers do graduate at the bottom of their class. She may know how to lay a water pipe but nothing else.

    The pandering to their base is on par with Trumps pandering to his base.

    On the Island, the fate of the E&N is a major sore point and the NDP have the ear of the cycle and “rails to trails” types and are waiting until the railway rots away completely – a death of a thousand studies.

    Tourism has been left to rot in this province as it relies on whistler and cruise ships; well the boat has sailed and the province is left with 2nd rate accommodations with first rate costs, and lack of any real product, the NDP, as the Liberals before have taken funky out of the tourist product.

    If Wilkinson is smart, he should let loose his dogs of war, including Jas Johal and go for the jugular. He has to go for the jugular and if he does, the public will be reminded of the NDP’s rather lackluster performance and maybe gain a majority in Victoria.

    When Horgan was elected I was hoping that he would a breathe of fresh air, instead he was the same old stale air of the 1990’s, including cronyism and utter arrogance.

    The new NDP, were the same old NDP, a party that has not read history, nor have learned from history.

    (Response: No doubt Horgan/Liberals are popular with the “gimme, gimme, gimme” crowd and I believe they (and Ottawa) have handled the Covid pandemic fairly well. But I suspect lot of those who have received cheques every month (especially younger voters) or have been on the receiving end of the government’s huge spending don’t actually get out to vote in great numbers. But those who pay the bills, the taxes … and feel ignored, unappreciated would vote … IF Wilkinson/Liberals forgot about political correctness and took/expressed FREQUENT and LOUD public stands on their behalf. I think it’s the Liberals only hope ..barring any unknown scandals/revelations between now and any election. h.o)

  2. DBW says:

    I know you enjoy elections so here’s my deal in case there isn’t one. I think it was Hawgwash who suggested that any senior who didn’t need the $300 from the federal government should give it away. I gave mine to a couple of friends who were fundraising for charities that I don’t usually support. But, I probably would have given them something anyway so technically I still have some of that “bonanza” left over..

    I hate the thought of any unnecessary election – at any time, not just during Covid – so I am going to bet that both federally and provincially, there will NOT be an election this fall.

    So, $100 to a charity if there is a provincial election. (Maybe somebody here could recommend one as I would prefer it go to one I don’t usually support.)
    Another $100 to a charity if there is a federal election (and I will toss in another $100 if the Liberals call it as opposed to a vote of non-confidence.) That is a possible $300.

    Spring I am not so sure about (especially provincially as their term is nearing its end) but I will make the same bet anyway.

    I will be extremely disappointed in our politicians if I lose, but I will be more than happy to pay up.

    (Response: You’ll note that in the current piece and back in June, I never predicted there WOULD be a Fall or Spring election …just that both Horgan and Trudeau were doing all the classic political moves maneuvering towards that possibility. A number of commenters criticized me for even suggesting the possibility … but clearly now that IS something both governments/strategists are considering, for the reasons I stated. And provincially, the NDP is now closely analyzing not only the polls but the public mood … because they know it’s not likely that if they wait until Spring or Fall 2021, their popularity gap with the Liberals would get any higher and who knows what troubles/scandals might develop in the meantime ….so why wait? h.o)

  3. Jimbo says:

    Sure fire win for either party is a single issue. Give working families (Dad & Mom) affordable child care – slam dunk!

    (Response; That would win votes with parents … if any of them can find the money to do it! But with the DEFICIT this year so far at $12.5 Billion and the BC DEBT now more than $74 Billion …the question is where will the money come from? h.o.)

  4. Harry Lawson says:

    Harvey

    Great post , the only poll that is accurate is the polling booth count.

    We have to recognize that both the finance minister Carol James and poverty reduction minister Shane Simpson are not running again.i am sure there will be others.

    If I were to be advising the liberals ,I would tell them to get all of their nominations in place, have them active ridings, I would reshuffle my shadow cabinet to have only those who are running in the shadow cabinet

    The ministerial critics should be front and center with the liberals policy on the issue.

    I know that many are pissed about the leftist policies that have been enabling Brent cities, and que jumping of housing list .so called safe NDP seats may not be safe any especially around strachona park.

    (Response: Timing in politics … like comedy … is very important. And from the NDP point of view, Covid could actually help: many voters clearly are satisfied with the job they’ve done (except those I’ve pointed to) and a “virtual” campaign … devoid of rallies and hype where perhaps Wilkinson/Liberals could impress and/or get more coverage on the Six o Clock news may also play to the NDP’s advantage. Not to mention avoiding much of the travel and weather concerns and costs associated with a normal Fall campaign: leaves a lot more money to spend on TV/radio ads etc. h.o)

  5. DBW says:

    I know you didn’t say there would be an election, Harvey, but as a former journalist who covered politics extensively, your DNA must crave them. I just don’t a reason to have an election, certainly not this fall nor even next spring.

    The province must have an election by next fall but your list of grievances and DMJ’s more extensive list probably aren’t going to resonate all that much with the electorate. I think most people will be looking at the future and who can best restructure the economy and our social safety nets. Covid has exacerbated and shone a bright light on the equities that have been around for years and ignored. Wishful thinking I know, but I would hope that the next election will be fought over some fundamental change in the way we live/treat others.

    The federal Liberals think they have a plan which will be unveiled in a couple of weeks. The opposition will have an opportunity to judge it and move non-confidence IF they think they can come up with a better plan. I just don’t see that happening. They will likely give the Liberals a year or so before pulling any plug.

    Provincially, it is more complicated. The NDP can run on their so far efficient management of covid but do they have any sort of plan to offer us beyond this. Or do they need until next fall when they election must occur to come up with one.

    I don’t think the distraction of any kind of election is helpful at this time.

    (Response: Your rationale about why there should not be an early election is quite reasonable … but governments in power often don’t follow reason … preferring instead to go when they decide their chances of winning are best. And yes, I do like elections (although probably not as often as they have them in places like Italy or Israel!). Elections allow voters a chance to pronounce judgement on the quality and record of those in power … and throw the bums out if people are unhappy. Plus, it gives us a chance to get some of our previous over-taxing back, through bribes and sometimes we can also benefit through the introduction of innovative new programs/promises that advance our society as well. And they’re exciting too! 🙂 h.o.)

  6. OldIslander says:

    To have a chance in the next election, the BC Libs have to do a little ‘turd polishing’ — the turd being their leader, Andrew Wilkinson. It should be do-able.

    He is smart, well educated, very articulate, a skilled debater, and doesn’t look too oily — all important traits for a politician. It’s just that his personality grates like 40 grit sandpaper. If the Federal Libs over the past few years, have somehow trained PM Socks to talk, surely the BC Libs can trowel some kind of softening layer onto their leader, making him slightly more palatable.

    Our country and province are now in a nightmare fiscal scenario. I’m sufficiently long-of-tooth, that it won’t bother me much. But younger generations of voters are looking at lifetimes of paying off the debts accrued over the past six months (with more to come). Right or wrong, few believe that the NDP are the right party to start the process.

    So to win, Wilkinson has to convince BC that he and his (conservative) Libs have the expertise to do this.

    (Response: I have not seen/heard much from Wilkinson .. except the odd news clip or appearance on talk radio …and share much of your impressions. A “virtual” election campaign would make it difficult for him to change that and no doubt that’s something the NDP is giving a lot of thought! But unless I’ve missed something, seems like a HUGE portion of $$$ handed out by the NDP during the pandemic and their spending policies in general have gone to those who don’t have a strong turnout record in elections .. .while a lot of those left out (as outlined in my list) are of the demographic who DO vote and ultimately pay the bills! That could actually help Wilkinson/Liberals IF they can find a way to reach out to them and win their votes. Would be a really interesting campaign … and election night! h.o)

  7. e.a.f. says:

    An election this year, omg, I am so not ready for that. I’m going to bed then and have some one wake me up when its over or voting day.

    O.K. if the return to school goes well, things might be o.k. for an election for the NDP. School doesn’t go so well, all bets are off.

    Eby may not be popular as one commentor wrote, in his riding. On the other hand, who have the B.C. Lieberals got to run there? Wilkinson gives some the creeps and they aren’t NDP or Greens. they’re liberals. Jas Johal has a profile, Wilkinson not so much. We’ve seen Wilkinson carry on about protecting all those “poor” home owners on the west side from taxes, when they could simply defer them. Not an appealing platform when 60% of Vancouver residents are renters or when Nanaimo has a shortage of homes available for rent.
    The NDP has done some work in health care, something people needed and want. I was reading somewhere George Abbott has written a book about the B.C. Lieberal years. yes, the cuts were too deep. Trot that out and all those who suffered won’t be voting B.C. Lieberal.

    For those who are upset about money being spent on homeless drug addicts, well get over it. Its even less pleasant when they’re dying hand over fist. Do people want to go back to the days of Christy Clark clawing back, nickel for nickel the child support children living 50% below the poverty line received from their parents? Do voters want to take that chance in the current unstable environment of COVID?

    For those of us with memories. Some of us remember how things went when Bill Bennett decided to implement his “restraint” era. How many children in foster care died? any one remember? the lack of social workers? Then we can move on to el gordo–wasn’t that fun, the largest mass firing of female workers in Canadian history and hospitals have never recovered–B.C. Ferries are cleaner than some hospitals. Then there was Christy and her soirees raising money and cheating children. In difficult economic times the Socred and B.C. Lieberals have shown themselves. Not many are feeling all that secure these days especially those working in the retail and restaurant business. the owners have one song to sing, but the people who work in these places will want to look towards who will help them stay semi afloat.

    Horgan could though wait to see what the federal Liberals bring to the table on budget day. who knows they may solve a lot of problems for a lot of people in Canada and along with that the premiers. We have a new Finance Minister and her back ground is just a tad different that those who came before her.

    (Response: You’ve summed up the past and the present pretty well! All the elements are there for a terrific election campaign/debate … whenever it does take place. Can hardly wait! And what makes it all the more intriguing are the numbers from the last election … in terms of how close they were in seats and also popular vote, combined with the current size of BC’s deficit and huge growing debt which don’t seem to leave much room for new expensive election promises. h.o)

  8. hawgwash says:

    There’s not a whole lot the Liberals can come up with, to criticize the current NDP lot that will stick with the undecided and the Dr. Henry fan club. So, they’ll have to reach way down deep into the barrel, to pull up Glen Clark’s deck and fast ferries, both circa 1999.

    Unless COVID -19 somehow becomes a reason for a fickle electorate to turn on a momentarily popular government.

    The NDP have more and recent rocks to throw in return; ICBC, money laundering, children’s ministry, Roderick MacIsaac Ken Boessenkool, quick wins, Mount Polley, triple delete, foster care, shadow flipping and the Cowichan Valley toxic dump site; just some, under Cristy Clark’s reign. Wait for the Campbell past, to bring out the salacious.

    All things being equal, I see Green voters moving to the NDP…this time.

    (Response: I also believe the NDP will pull votes away from the Greens … maybe even get vocal support from Andrew Weaver! There is a lot of infighting and division amongst the BC Greens and although I’m sure they’ll all declare unity when an election comes, I have no doubt some previous supporters will go to the NDP. h.o)

  9. SG says:

    There’s some, including myself, that weren’t very happy when Horgan let those that were laid off because of COVID get free BC Hydro for three months. This meant that hypothetically 60 year old unionised construction workers or heavy equipment operators or tradesmen ETC making very good money, who’ve undoubtedly been mortgage free for years, got free BC Hydro for three months if they were laid off because of COVID, and also got either EI or CERB. Meanwhile single mothers struggling to just exist, still employed getting paid minimum wage to pass donuts and coffee through a drive through window didn’t get free BC Hydro, neither did our Senior Citizens.
    ETA: I’d be very interesting to see a Provincial poll that excluded the entire lower mainland and lower Vancouver Island. Me thinks the Liberals would be solidly in majority numbers.

    (Response: Your example of a highly paid laid off worker getting free Hydro is only part of the unfairness allowed by the NDP: they also didn’t have to pay their rent if they didn’t want to and could not be evicted for that, even if their “landlord” was an old retired couple depending on that money to pay their own mortgage or groceries, or Hydro, or cable or ICBC etc. etc. In fact, the NDP did almost NOTHING to help seniors during the pandemic: the $300 or $500 cheques we got came from the federal government. And there are many tens of thousands of seniors across the province … people who worked for 30 or 40 years, paid provincial, municipal, regional taxes (and a whole lot of others!) for 30 or 40 years, but got no special break/rebate from the NDP during the pandemic … not even on their ICBC … as they hid in their homes for months at the government’s urging. Fertile ground for the Liberals if they have the smarts to go after them. h.o)

  10. DBE says:

    OK, I got nothing to do so I may as well do a google search for people who ask questions.

    SG wants to know what the numbers show if we exclude the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

    Google Angus Reid http://angusreid.org/
    and you will get their webpage which has a bunch of different polls if you are interested.

    One of the highlighted polls is the one on BC. Here it is.

    http://angusreid.org/bc-government-august-2020/

    And if you scroll to the bottom of that article you will see a link to age, gender, regions breakdowns. Here it is.

    http://angusreid.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/2020.09.02_BC_Only.pdf

    If you scroll to almost the end, it gives you a chart of the breakdown you are looking for.
    For those interested but can’t be bothered looking

    The only region that supports the Liberals over the NDP is the Interior. Even the Fraser Valley supported the NDP although it is close. The NDP wins all age groups

    Couple of things that I noticed. The 48%-29%-14% is for decided voters. 15% of those polled were undecided. The breakdown then is 41-24-11. There are a handful of charts showing leaners etc.

    One thing not mentioned in any of the news articles is the 8% of decided voters who say they will vote Conservative. I don’t think that will hold.

    I think Hawgwash has summed it pretty well. Something pretty drastic will have to occur for the voters to change their minds. Harvey, I don’t see any of the things you mentioned being one of them.

    (Response: Thanks for getting some info for others: neat! Meanwhile, notice I called those who are fed up with so much they see around them “fertile ground”: if the Liberals would sow the seeds , they could cultivate and grow support in that group …lots of support. h.o)

  11. D. M. Johnston says:

    @ Jimbo

    Childcare is a yesterday’s issue and today’s world is Covid 19 and an iffy economy. The NDP may loose more votes than they would gain with childcare.

    Memo to the BC Liberals: Start telling the municipal government to cut spending by 5% for the next 5 years because we, those of us with limited income and no handouts from the government find it damn hard to survive.

    Memo to the NDP: Mega projects do not jump-start the economy, rather they localize government spending with the vast majority of money going to big international corporations.

    Memo to the Greens: Start weeding out the antisemitic types, the loopy nutters and other ragtag hanger’s on. Do not talk curbing auto traffic, start talking about affordable transit options that provide a realistic alternative to the car. Time to get realistic without breaking the bank.

    Memo to independents: Run, I know your chances of being elected are slim but run and from being from Delta South, I do know independents do get elected.

    (Response: Childcare would still be important IF parents had good jobs to go to … and that won’t happen until Covid is well under control and people are able to mingle and work together again. And I don’t see that happening for several more months … at least. h.o)

  12. e.a.f. says:

    tourism as we know it, that ship has sailed. Most don’t want any of those cruise ships docking in our province. They’re like plague ships of old. What we have is a province full of people who can’t leave the country for fear of acquiring COVID. the province might want to look at improving and increasing provincial camping spots. We need them, all over the province.

    The rail to trail crowd, well they’ll always be there “advocating” for their latest wish. At least the land hasn’t been sold off. If the government is interested in transportation and jobs they might want to consider bringing that whole rail line up to code and have it continue to Campbell River from Victoria. That Inland highway some think we didn’t need, when Glen Clark decided to have it built–thank you, has back ups and is starting to look like the line up to the Alex Fraser. The new house, over looks the Inland Highway and the traffic has increased even in the year I’ve spent looking out the window, but what really surprises me is the number of large, very large transport trucks going up and down that highway day and night. (At night it looks like a light show). We need that rail line for shipping good and people. It would also solve the problem of when the Malahat is closed–just take the train. That train some may argue isn’t necessary. Fifty years ago there was almost no traffic between Vancouver and Hope. Today it looks like Kingsway in rush hour, only worse. Vancouver island is going to look like that in another 30 years. Might as well start building now so we’ll be more efficient when necessary.

    Was informed to day there are 6,000 Canadians who live in their motor homes, 5th wheels, trailers, etc. who spend their winters in the U.S.A. and summers here. this year they won’t be heading south due to COVID and perhaps even political unrest. Those rigs are not meant for cold weather. They could be heading to southern B.C. Where will we put them? We might want to think about a winter tourist season for the R.V. crowd who can no longer head south. It creates jobs and keeps the money at home. (I am not one of those who thinks there is going to be some vaccine or “cure” for COVID in the next couple of years. I’m still waiting for the “cure” for AIDS which has been with us since the 1970s.)

    the B.C. LIeberals were never given to thinking outside the box when it comes to the general population. Yes, some may worry about the deficit but there are those economists who don’t think the deficit we have is all that bad. Its O.K. to run a deficit to accomplish social goals. If the B.C. Lieberals decide to cut the deficit, you need to ask yourself, what programs will be cut, who will die, who will live, who of their friends get the tax cuts, how will it impact health care, schools, elder care, how many kids in foster care will die this time. Lets not forget that billion dollar contract el gordo “awarded” to one man in a small office, who was not unknown to him or all those IPP contracts which were “awarded’ to companies and then B.C. Hydro was forced to buy the electricity at 10 Cents a kw and sold to us at 3 cents. Not exactly great economics. Do we really want to go back to that type of government? Well perhaps some of you do. I just can’t get over the kids who died in foster care and I do remember them. Who is going to pay for it all might be a good question, but then my question is, who is going to feed all those kids whose parents rely on social assistance. We know there are breakfast provided in schools and I know more than one teacher who has purchased food for students because they don’t have enough to eat. So what do you want to do? Feed the kids or lower the deficit? Really I’d like an answer.

    There is always the gasp, gasp, gasp, hiking taxes. I know not to be done, we pay enough, it stifles business, etc. Well business sure had its hand out when COVID was up and running full tilt. business wanted welfare from the government but they seem to be a tad slower when it comes to feeding and clothing kids. Hiking taxes is real easy and I’m not talking about property taxes but rather income taxes on corporations. We’ve seen how many Canadians hide their money in other countries. (remember the Panama Papers, etc) We saw the deal harper made with those who hide their money in Switzerland and all they had to do was “pay it back” while if I am late with my taxes am fined. Its about time there was a fair and equitable tax system in this country. We have bailed out corporations only to have them leave. Why bother. We could have used the money for other things. We see the billions the banks turn in profits each quarter, yet their tax rate isn’t that much. Perhaps its time to have a look at bank and corporate tax increases. it would lower the deficit.

    Some of you argue taxes are bad. Me, I’m of the school of thought, I like taxes, they buy me a civilized society. (that is a line by some famous American decades ago). We talk about how wonderful things are in some European countries, but the tax rate is 50% and that’s for the working class. On the up side they’re taken care of cradle to grave.

    this time we have COVID. It may not go away. We may have another disease. What if Ebola comes calling? We need to forget about deficits as if it were the end of days and rather think about how will children, stay alive. How will parents feed, shelter and cloth their kids. How will seniors keep a roof over their heads. what they receive currently from the federal government isn’t enough to really provide much of anything and there isn’t enough affordable senior housing around. (not social housing but affordable housing)

    O.K. enough of my rant. I’m O.K. with deficits as long as kids get fed regularly. I make a point of living in areas with young families. It keeps me in touch with real life and kids are actually quite funny even when they turn into teenagers–I don’t have any but I always thought kids were important and ought to be our country’s first priority.

  13. Gilbert says:

    The BC Liberals definitely have a chance. They need to make it clear that it’s better to reward hard work and ingenuity than ideology. Despite what some may claim, deficits do matter and we need fiscal responsibility. We also need a government that doesn’t declare war on gas and oil, that doesn’t try to make more and more dependent on government and that works better with the private sector.

    (Response: The Liberals would have an easy time convincing working British Columbians that the NDP have done a lot of spending on social programs, free housing, pandering to First Nations, and opposing oil pipelines etc. … but very little for those who get up every morning or even head out at night to work, and are struggling to buy a home for their families; almost nothing to help small business stay alive, create jobs; and, bestowed precious little except hollow rhetoric on seniors who have lost much of their retirement savings during the pandemic … in other words, as you put it they’ve failed “to reward hard work and ingenuity”. I believe they are high in the polls because they’ve handled Covid well …but if the Liberals woke up and had spokespersons capable of carrying their message to British Columbians, those polling numbers could change. h.o)

  14. hawgwash says:

    Gilbert, Harvey, don’t overlook this current and very different, point in time.

    One of the reasons the NDP failed to get a majority in 2017 was because they were so publicly silent, during two decades of opposition. Voters don’t read Hansard and if they watched supper time news, the press gallery was nonexistent.

    No one knew John Horgan. They know him now and they like him now. Talking lacrosse, putting human tags on his two sons and calling partiers “idiots” resonates; put checks in the positive boxes.

    The other reason, of course was the good old fear mongering, deck/ferry garbage which even people who were not born at the time or not living here, still fell for. Fickle, is the word, I think.

    For 20 years, the liberals were able to capitalize on misplaced, NDP distrust, to easily win without substance.

    Poor, lackluster leaders and having failed NDP governments in other provinces helped sell the “evil socialists” message.

    BC Liberals are now the unknowns, by individual name and by being silent critics in opposition pre COVID. Now, who dares criticize a perceived world leading pandemic response?

    People who are angry at not getting some, or more financial aid are either small in number or don’t form a voting block sufficient to make a difference.

    Elitist lodges crying in the wilderness anger people more.

    Right now, in BC, “N-D-P” means Horgan Henry Dix.

  15. DBW says:

    I was typing this and before posting checked to see if anybody had added something. Hawgwash had and I agree with everything he said. This might be a bit of rehash of Hawgwash but here goes anyway.

    I have said this before. I generally vote NDP because I have always felt that their party best reflects my philosophical view. Those questionaires that supposedly determine which political party I most align with confirms that. So there has to be a good reason for me to switch. A conservative party is the one I least align with and I have never considered voting for them. That is my bias that I have no trouble defending.

    But let me move to Ontario for a moment. I would never vote for Doug Ford. If I lived there and there was an election tomorrow, I would not vote for him. BUT, I would resign myself to his being re-elected. He has done the best he can under these circumstances and even looks and sounds like a changed person. If people don’t vote for him, it is because people like me will never vote for him. That’s politics.

    Let’s return to BC. The same is true here. As much as you seem to want to find fault with the NDP, there is little there. That is reflected in that poll. You are suggesting that there is fertile ground to sow the seeds. Sure but I am guessing those people are already reflected in the 52% who are not supporting the NDP. Those are people like me who can’t support a political party or will always support a political party regardless of the circumstances.

    Demanding rebates from ICBC because we weren’t driving? I am wondering if I have saved more money on gas these past six months than any rebate I might have got.
    Complaining about a one month pharmacy “ripoff”? Old news.
    Pandering to environmentalsts after moving forward on Site C and getting a pipeline approved?
    Statues? I would love to discuss that topic but is it even remotely an issue.

    Sure there will always be people angry. Nature of the game. But, I will repeat, they are no doubt already reflected in the 52%.

    I don’t bet politics but if there were a BC election called tomorrow I would bet on the NDP winning a solid majority. I am not so confident on the federal scene. Trudeau has much more baggage and I would guess it would remain a minority but who knows.

    And six months or a year later? Nobody knows.

    (Response: I appreciate your acknowledgement of your own bias … generally voting NDP and best summed up in your line ” As much as you seem to want to find fault with the NDP, there is little there.” Really? Little to find fault with in ANY government? I’ve never seen that in any government at any level. At times, I have voted NDP ..both provincially and federally .. but NEVER did I find little to fault them with ..either in power or in Opposition. And it is my duty … and pleasure … as a reporter/commentator to point it out! Only by exposing their faults (and ANY party’s faults) do we encourage/demand they correct themselves and get better. Case in point: read my latest Blog on O’Toole. h.o)

  16. G. Barry Stewart says:

    I’m usually an NDP voter as well — but for me, the troubles at Site C really stick in my craw. I let the party know that, any time they ask for feedback.

    Some say they voted for the NDP because Horgan promised to shut down Site C. I didn’t hear it that way: he said he’d order a study. He did that… and then decided that Christy Clark had knowingly put the province over a barrel that obliged them to continue the project.

    Most people likely don’t know that BC Hydro has had a flat-line in sales for about 15 years. Despite a growing population: technology (and rising energy bills) have prompted consumers to turn down the dial, retrofit their buildings, and buy new tech that does more work for less energy. Heavy industries, as well, have either left the province or taken on retrofits that greatly reduced their energy use.

    There’s encouraging news that further retrofits (notably in lighting and brushless motors for industry and heating/ventilation) can reduce the energy demands enough that we could convert to electric vehicles and power them on the energy saved.

    My point being: we never needed Site C — especially with it being built on unstable ground. (I believe we’re all in it — so far — for about $4,000 a head… and the project is nowhere near completion.)

    Solar and wind installations, backed up by mega-battery sites, have become far cheaper and quicker to get on stream than big hydro. Hydro enthusiasts hold up their trump card of water always being at the ready any time of day… but what if we lose our snowpacks? Alternatives are needed.

    Stopping the project midstream would give the BC Liberals some ammo against the NDP — unless the further studies clearly reveal what a disaster it will be to keep going. Explaining that to disengaged, unthinking voters would be a problem, though.

    The BC Libs have wanted this project for decades and would blindly press on. “Beyond the point of no-return” would be their rallying cry and blind voters would cheer them on.

    Much more on Site C and BC Hydro at Norm Farrell’s site: https://in-sights.ca

  17. hawgwash says:

    In Premier Horgan’s address today, Vaughn Palmer got pushy with the Premier over his agreement with the Greens vis-à-vis dissolution and Mr. Horgan gave him a polite but firm, spanking.
    Watch from the 59:20 minute mark.
    https://youtu.be/fDiYWisEwhU

    (Response: I heard it on the radio: I kind of got the feeling Horgan was downplaying any need to keep to the agreement, because so much has changed. I hope the administrators funding my company pension don’t ever say that! h.o)

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