Voting in France, UK and Toronto Sends BIG Message to BC

The politics have been different … some moving left, others right … but the overwhelming, consistent message voters across the world have been sending to their governments and politicians lately is: CHANGE!

The people have had enough.

Just last month, I pointed out that in democracies on every continent, as the famous line from Network echoed, the world’s middle class is “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore”. (You can review that Blog here: https://harveyoberfeld.ca/attention-politicians-the-middle-class-is-mad-as-hell-and-not-taking-it-anymore/).

The high cost or unavailability of housing, soaring taxes, ever-increasing carbon charges, high grocery costs, rising concerns/fears about crime, high immigration numbers and negative social impacts are universally hurting … really hurting … the people who do the work to make our economies run, are enjoying few of the rewards.

And too many feel governments are failing to make things better.

So incumbents are either being tossed out of office or have had their grip on power substantially reduced by voters whenever the opportunity arises.

In June, I cited election results in India, Netherlands, Italy and Germany as the most recent examples of a “people’s revolt”.

Now there are more.

In France, President Emmanuel Macron’s centre-right party was tossed, finishing second in Sunday’s vote, behind a left-wing coalition, but ahead of its far right challenger; in the United Kingdom, the Conservative government suffered massive defeat at the hands of Labour; and, in a Toronto-St. Paul’s by-election, the Conservatives took a riding that had been Liberal for 30 years.

Even in Iran, as restricted and undemocratic as their elections are, voters chose a President promising a new direction.

Change! In the hope for something better for middle class taxpayers … is sweeping the world.

The BC government should be watching … and be worried.

Their media messengers keep offering soothing words that all is well for the BC NDP in the lead-up to the Oct. 19 provincial election.

True, a Research Co survey two weeks ago showed the NDP on top, with 40% public support; the BC Conservatives with 33%; the Greens, 15%; and, BC United, at 11%.

But the election campaign has not yet began in earnest, yet the gap between the NDP and Conservatives is closing. (See the full poll results here: https://bc.ctvnews.ca/bc-united-falls-to-4th-place-in-polls-conservatives-narrow-gap-with-ndp-1.6940263.)

Why?

The NDP may no longer be so popular in urban strongholds that have traditionally formed its power base.

Voters in Vancouver and Victoria are really feeling the squeeze of outrageous housing rents/mortgage costs, ever-rising property taxes, higher and higher commercial taxes/fees, carbon taxes, Hydro charges, transit costs, grocery prices, a troubled health system(doctors, hospitals, surgeries, ambulances) that sometimes seems on life-support itself, shortfalls in schools/education funding, fear of rising crime, with drug users wreaking havoc in many communities, a failing “injustice” system … and an NDP government that has been ineffective in solving these problems.

(Some problems may not be the responsibility of the province, but judging by election results elsewhere, anger and dissatisfaction often ignores jurisdiction in the voting booth.)

And it wont help the NDP that just days ago, an Angus Reid poll showed British Columbians, by a three-to-one margin, don’t believe the estimated $580 Million cost of hosting seven 2026 FIFA games is worth it. (https://angusreid.org/world-cup-host-vancouver/.)

Change.

Judging by election results we’re seeing elsewhere, maybe Premier David Eby, chosen by the NDP to replace his retiring predecessor John Horgan in October, 2022, should have sought a public mandate for his leadership and his promises a lot sooner?

Before the voters had two full years to assess his results.

Harv Oberfeld

(New blog topic next Monday. Follow @harveyoberfeld on “X” for FREE alerts to new topics up for discussion.)

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13 Responses to Voting in France, UK and Toronto Sends BIG Message to BC

  1. D. M. Johnston says:

    I will put my cards on the table, I am not a big fan of David Eby or the NDP, in fact I rate them as BC Liberal Lite, arrogant and dismissive of any view except their own.

    I also cannot communicate any correspondence to premier Eby, unless it goes through a provincial barrister, due to a well vetted letter giving a history of rapid transit development in the Mertro region and it seems Eby and the NDP are afraid of two stories that the globe and mail have done on SkyTrain sales overseas some years past and the paying “success fees” to senior bureaucrats and politcans to finalize the sales.

    Something our mainstream media have also ignored.

    So in my book, a politcal party which hides from the truth on one issue, hides from the truth on other issues.

    The public are fed up with all politcans and the complete lack of any form of accountability. With 4 year civic election cycles have now opened the door to mass abuse and corruption by those elected. In Delta, our council is out of control and are becoming a train wreck and the public cant do a damn thing.

    Eby is ignoring this at his own peril, as Rustad’s Conservatives sent Falcon’s whatever party to the dustbin of history and the NDP may have a rude awakening.

    Metro Vancouver and Translink are two massive bureaucracies that the public treat with disdain and both have turned into financial black holes, again with zero accountability.

    Again Eby stays mute.

    Eby has reignited the ICBC dumpster fire and cares little and for any issues outside the metro Vancouver nexus. All but ignored; the hurt lands remain the hurt lands.

    Eby’s actions is that he does not give a damn.

    I can go on, but if Rustad is smart and wants to win seats in Metro Vancouver, he must take on the incompetent Translink and that incestuous collection of bureaucrats, Metro Vancouver. That will be the key to the NDP being defeated.

    (Response: The BC Conservatives have come a long way in just the past year, but I still don’t think most voters know much about their policies … except maybe axe the carbon tax. But they also want to get rid of ICBC’s basic coverage monopoly, allow private medical clinics to operate and more pipelines … lots of controversial issues! Should be an interesting campaign, especially given the world-wide trend towards “change”! h.o)

  2. Not Sure says:

    In 1945 just months after the end of WWll in Europe, the great wartime Prime Minister in the UK called an election. And Winston Churchill was thumped. Badly. I can’t get my head around that but maybe there is a lesson. “The Labour Party’s manifesto included a commitment to full employment, affordable housing, and social security and health care for all.”

    https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/how-winston-churchill-and-the-conservative-party-lost-the-1945-election

    Not calling Eby or Trudeau or Macron or anybody else Winston Churchill but all of those politicians got us through covid and won elections while covid was still dominating our society. But covid had consequences beyond its health risks. It led to governments spending more and supply change disruptions and ultimately inflation. We saw the fragility of our health care and we felt less and less in control of our own lives. We have to blame someone or something and governments are the easy target. These are dynamic times so political change is almost inevitable. In eight or so years we likely have buyer remorse and the democratic cycle continues.

    Just a quick aside on the BC issue. Rustad and the Conservatives have pretty much taken over from the BC Liberals (now BC United). I find this funny. The BC Liberals decided to change their name because they were being confused with the federal Liberals and felt that a name change would improve their chances. Probably a good call. Too bad they couldn’t just call themselves what they had always been – Conservatives. I don’t know much about Rustad and I imagine most British Columbians know little as well but he leads a provincial party with the same name as the party that is crushing it federally.
    Lucky him.

    (Response: If I recall correctly, they couldn’t call themselves Conservatives way back then, because corporately the name was already taken …and they also had welcomed in their “coalition” several powerful federal Liberals, like Pat McGeer, Alan Williams, Garde Gardom and Christy Clark. Today, I have not found many (any?) voters who know anything about the BC Conservatives’ policies … other than axing the carbon tax. But mention ICBC, pipelines, private medical clinics and you draw a blank. I get it: a mood for change is in the air across the globe, but voters should know what they’re voting for, not just against. h.o)

  3. Gilbert says:

    A lot of Jews might soon leave France. There’s little doubt the Communist Jean-Luc Jean-Luc
    Jean-Luc Mélenchon is anti-semitic. There were more Palestinian flags than French flags at his celebration and many of his supporters have been involved in riots. The deal Prime Minister Macron made with the Communists has made France ungovernable. The French voted for change, but it’s not the change they need.

    (Response: I read that France, under a far left government, will also immediately recognize a Palestinian state … rewarding Hamas for its terrorism. I believe in a two-state solution … but that it should come as part of negotiated peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians. h.o)

  4. Chuck B says:

    Am holding back on any decision re: BC Conservatives and their policies. They seem to “hide” them when asked. Not a good way to start. They should be up front on what they stand for. Be honest (terrible word in politics!)

    (Response: People should check out any party’s policies they are considering voting for and supporting. To help compare, here is a link to the BC Conservative Party (https://www.conservativebc.ca/ideas); and the BC NDP (https://www.bcndp.ca/latest). h.o)

  5. Gilbert says:

    When people say that the government got us through COVID, I respectfully want to ask which government hasn’t. Look at mortality rates today. You might be surprised. Depriving people of sunlight and exercise, giving them experimental treatments, increasing social isolation, making them fearful and creating hatred against one group of people are very bad. There were many lies, and the origins of the pandemic (animal market) are just one. People need to wake up.

    (Response: I don’t think, if the NDP ends up losing the October election, their handling of Covid will have much to do with it. Although I myself had several criticisms of some of the government’s decisions/restrictions/vaccine scheduling at the time, I believe generally they did a good job … and I think that’s a view overwhelmingly shared by most British Columbians. h.o)

    • Gilbert says:

      Sadly, I think you’re absolutely right. The media also plays an important role. If the media is very supportive, it can help a lot, but the big difference between now and the past is that we have the internet and a lot of independent media.

      (Response: You are quite correct: the media plays an important role ..I believe, in too many cases these days, going too far, into partisan advocacy/taking sides rather than reporting all sides of issues and letting the voters decide. h.o)

    • D. M. Johnston says:

      Horgan’s snap election in 2020 still leaves a very bad taste in people’s mouths. I know several people who were afraid to vote during Covid and that has lingered on.

      There has been a cumulative effect of several issues that may hurt Eby, including the Surrey Police fiasco; the ongoing ICBC dumpster fire (now being stoked by Eby); the Broadway densification disaster; the Vancouver parks Board elimination; lack of any coherent policy for the “hurtlands”; on the Island, the E&N; and several local issues that the NDP have failed to deal with.

      Falcon is toast, as he has been absent from the politcal scene for at least a decade and is oblivious to the many issues. His Gordon Campbell style politics tends to insult people and why there has been an exodus to Rustad’s Conservatives ; while on the NDP side, there has been a slow but steady leak of party supporters to the Greens.

      Whoever wins the brass ring in October, may have only been elected by around 35% of the provincial voters, which in itself will bring many problems as we are now living in an age of election denial, political ignorance and fake news.

      We are going to be living in interesting times.

      (Response: Back in May I wrote a blog noting something most of the mainstream media had so far ignored, that Rustad/Conservatives had something the NDP did not: momentum. (https://harveyoberfeld.ca/rustad-conservatives-have-something-eby-ndp-dont-momentum/). Quite prescient, seems to me now! Yes, interesting times. h.o)

  6. Marge says:

    And who is to say that this won’t be an NDP policy past the election ( a good reason not to vote for them, amongst many):

    https://nationalpost.com/opinion/once-the-darling-of-the-left-bonnie-henry-is-now-too-extreme-for-the-ndp

    Where do they come up with such horrible ideas????

    Also, just back from the stronghold of NDP country, the Island where I kept hearing it’s time to boot the NDP out. I hope they follow what they are saying!

    (Response: History has shown time and time and time again that politicians say one thing before an election and do the opposite if they take power (remember the HST, or “Read my lips, no new taxes”, or promises of electoral reform or “I did not have sex with that woman”?). But, I think the BC NDP was so badly unsuccessful with its safer drug policy, they wouldn’t dare go for Henry’s latest idea that drugs like heroin should be legalized and more easily available. Would they? 🙂 h.o)

  7. Ijustdontknowanymore says:

    I like many and maybe alarge super size majority are just fed up that our government so called leadership thinks it can do whatever the the hell it wants to just because they are he government. They need to be brought back down to earth and told explicitly that is not their mandate just because they we’re voted in. They work for us Canadians first and serve us first. Their arrogant behaviour is abhorrent. Now this tone deaf Prime Minister and his out of touch people at this time of financial crunch for Canadians has gone and purchased a 3600 sq. ft. 9 million dollar condo on billionaires row in New York for our Consul General. This is the a clear example of the stupidity, arrogance and wastefulness of this morally corrupt government, Or are they just totally corrupt. I think all of the above now beyond any doubt. I give up and shake my head if these no good bums get a third term.

    (Response: Hmm! New York … Manhattan … 3,600 square feet: maybe the government will have a spare guest room for me to stay in on my next visit? h.o)

  8. e.a.f. says:

    People may say they want change but be careful what you wish for, you might get it. Now some aren’t as keen about Eby, but really, we’ve been down the falcon, Socred, B.C. Lieberal, B.C. United road before and it didn’t get us much of anything, that benefitted the average citizen
    Rustad is simply another retread. He isn’t offering anything new. Has raised a couple of “election promises”, but they sound awfully like things which were done before and with very poor results”, i.e. his comments regarding relationships with the Indigenous People.
    A number of the Conservative candidates are former Socred,B.C.Lieberal,B.C United types. How are they going to offer any positive change? It will be a fast train going backwards.
    People are complaining about the high cost of rents, well lets call it capitalism. For decades we heard in B.C. capitalism was good and socialism was bad. Well we now have the very best of capitalism when it comes to realestate and people don’t like it. People go into real estate to make money. When almost everyone is getting a piece of the action they’re happy, but when they can’t keep up to the game, they blame government. Now suddenly we hear the government needs to do something. well what? People don’t’ want to pay more taxes and affordable housing is not cheap to build., I know, we built a housing co-op in the early 1980s
    Drug addiction, people wanted less criminality associated with drugs. Now they have it, but now there is another form of criminality, theft, assaults, etc. Lets not forget the drug supply itself, its killing people. Now voters want the government to do something about it. Well so would I but its going to cost a lot of money. I don’t mind an increase in taxes to deal with the issue, but I can hear business carrying on about how its going to put them out of business, etc. As long as its not their kid dying, they don’t care that much. When the B.C. Health dept. declared a health emergency,, christy clark didn’t do much of anything. Didn’t’ even ban pill presses. Government knows where the drugs come, who brings it in, that it kills, etc. Is anything going to change with a change of government> Of course not. That would cost money. About all we will see is more people going to jail. Just the number of shootings and murders are enough to make me want to pay for more programs, police, social workers, etc.

    I remember when people wanted change and they got Bill Bennett and his restraint programs. that worked well didn’t it? Gordon Campbell fired all the hospital cleaners to “save money” or so we were told, but the hospitals were no longer clean or did some forget the 86 people who died of il deficile in the burnaby hospital.
    and through what ports, etc. Fent. was killing people a long time ago. well before the current government took office. More police for drug squads, a Port Police Force again, more searches of incoming freight.
    Rustad hasn’t come out with any new ideas, so don’t expect him to change much of anything except cut social programs, new schools, no new hospitals,

    (Response: You may be quite correct …or quite wrong …in sounding the alarm about Rustad. However, as I wrote in a blog June 9, before the professional pundits had linked all the dots, the middle class all over the world’s democracies are mad as hell: https://harveyoberfeld.ca/attention-politicians-the-middle-class-is-mad-as-hell-and-not-taking-it-anymore/. Then, last week, I also noted the drive for change could impact BC : https://harveyoberfeld.ca/voting-in-france-uk-and-toronto-send-big-message-to-bc/. It really is looking more and more like that is becoming the case … and when that momentum takes hold, people just believe the replacement could/would be worse. h.o)

  9. e.a.f. says:

    $9M condo for a consul general? that is a bit over the top if it isn’t being used as office space, meetings, social occassions which diplomats tend to hold and a place for visiting Canadian diplomats to stay.
    Of course its a nice perk for whomever has the job. Wonder if I can apply. 3,400 sq. ft. sounds nice as long as the cleaning staff goes with it.
    3400 sq. ft., that is 3 family sized apartments and one studio. Not many in Canada can afford that these days without going into debt for longer than this life.

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