Well, we went out and elected a minority government. Pending recounts and absentee ballots, the results are 43 Liberal, 41 NDP, 3 Green. The big winners look like the Green Party, who hold the balance of power with North America’s first green caucus. The results are also very regionally polarized, with the Liberals strongest in the Interior and Fraser Valley, and the NDP strongest in Metro Vancouver and The Island. The Greens won their seats on The Island.
As for what happens next, I think Christy Clark ought to be given a chance to continue governing. She won a plurality of votes and seats (one below a majority), and getting the support of the Greens, either by abstention or voting with them, provides more “breathing space” to avoid losing a vote of confidence. In particular, if the Greens abstain, then the vote is 43 – 1 (for the speaker who votes only if there is a tie) = 42 to 41. If the Greens vote with the Liberals, then it is 43 + 3 – 1 = 45 to 41. For the NDP to govern, they will require the support of the Greens. The votes would be 41 + 3 – 1 = 43 to 43. This is a tie, so the speaker votes. Clearly, it is much easier for the Liberals to command the confidence of the Legislative Assembly. In addition, there is also the convention that the incumbent premier stays in power if a minority government is elected or they resign. Hence, unless there is some concrete agreement between the NDP and Greens, and possession of Canada’s best whips, both the seat totals and established norms support Christy Clark remaining in office for the time being.
Also, see how close the election was? And how one seat was decided by nine votes? That’s why you should vote and why there should be compulsory voting. Turnout is too low. This election, you should have voted, because it could have mattered this time.
Well, the election is over and there is a result no one expected. Christy Clark and the BC Liberals were re–elected to another majority government. The NDP will be the official opposition, and Green Andrew Weaver and independent Vicki Huntington will round out the legislature. In what might end up being BC’s version of Don Getty, Clark might lose her own seat (Vancouver Point Grey); she was trailing by a few hundred votes as of this writing. Nevertheless, she still qualifies as the first female to be elected Premier of British Columbia. Update (2013–05–15): Clark did lose her own seat, narrowly. This will be no barrier to her keeping her job. Some liberal in a safe seat will resign to let her come in in a by–election.
Everyone who looked at the polls would have easily predicted an NDP win. The Liberal win is therefore truly an upset. I myself said that “it seems likely that NDP flags will fly in enough ridings tomorrow to give them a narrow majority government.” I made that prediction, and unlike American political operatives who melt down on live television, I admit that I got it wrong and accept responsibility for my error. Let this be seen as an opportunity to improve polling methods and voting projections so that there will be no more surprises in the future.
As I indicated, British Columbians had a chance to end our perverse “tradition” of putting women in charge of political parties in ruins. From Rita Johnston losing her seat in 1991, to Kim Campbell taking charge only to lose in the PC wipeout, to Joy MacPhail becoming Leader of the Opposition with only two seats, to Carole James taking over that position, for far too long a British Columbian woman leading a major political party has meant that her party is (about to be) in ruins. But with Clark winning, that streak is finally over. That ought to be one good thing everyone can agree on.
And voter turnout was dismal yet again. Folks, I know you can do better.
Voting day is tomorrow in British Columbia. Make sure you vote.
Based on the polls and predictions, it seems likely that NDP flags will fly in enough ridings tomorrow to give them a narrow majority government. It was a lot bigger margin weeks ago, but after Christy Clark’s performance in the leaders’ debates, her party acquired a big jolt of momentum, causing the gap to narrow. Frankly, the election can’t come soon enough for Dix and the NDP. Part of me is happy that there won’t be a Liberal wipeout. First, a strong opposition is always necessary, and second, the strength of the Liberal showing will have a large influence on whether Clark stays on until the following election. This means that we British Columbians still have a chance to end our perverse political “tradition” or streak of putting women in charge of political parties in ruins.
I am glad that the Liberals will be out of power. But I am not particularly thrilled that the NDP will be taking power; for various reasons, I believe that Dix will be a disastrous premier. And it is a sad reality of a two–party system that only the Liberals and NDP have a realistic chance of forming government. And furthermore, although exceptions exist, in general, only those two parties manage to recruit knowledgeable and qualified people who can bring their expertise to government.
For the above reasons, I explicitly refuse to endorse any party. But there are indeed a number of individual candidates I’d like to see elected, such as Weaver in Oak Bay–Gordon Head, and a number I’d like to see defeated, in particular Polak in Langley. Please, elect him and throw her out.
Just as I and pretty much everyone else predicted, Christy Clark has won the by–election in Vancouver–Point Grey. She will officially take her seat later this month. This also ends a streak of governing parties losing by–elections that stretched back to 1981.
Amongst other things, Clark only got a (large) plurality of votes. I was expecting her to get a majority, and therefore this by–election was closer than I thought it would be.
Near the beginning of April, my mother accidentally broke the network card on my computer (don’t ask; it’s a long story), and I was cut off from the internet for a month. But now, I’m reconnected. Here’s a month’s worth of posts, all rolled into one:
- Canada’s general election was yesterday and the Harpercons and Reformatories won a majority. Fuck. I feel like my country just died, its beating heart ripped out by the grimy hands of a reactionary. Women will suffer under the new regime. I’d like to be wrong about that and hope I am.
- If it’s any consolation, the Bloc–headed separatists were basically blown away by an orange wave in Quebec. Good.
- The Green Party has now entered the club of “serious” political parties as it won a seat.
- Premier Christy Clark is running in a by–election in Vancouver–Point Grey. I predict that she will crush the NDP candidate and gain a seat in the legislature. Various governing parties’ by–election losing streak will finally come to an end.
- An Epic FAIL for wingnut economics.
- O RLY? Barack Obama released the long form of his birth certificate. To the surprise of no rational person, the birthers were wrong. He really was born in Hawaii. Of course, to conspiracy freaks, all evidence is created by the New World Order™, so this won’t really sway them. I wonder why such a conspiracy theory ever managed to gain hold. There are plenty of legitimate criticisms of Obama, and therefore conspiracy theories ought to be beneath the dignity of everyone.
- The same reasoning as above applies to Parentism involving Trig Palin.
- Team USA won the 2011 Women’s World Ice Hockey Championships. Congratulations to them. This is their third consecutive title and fourth overall. Just like in every other final, they faced Canada. Just like in every previous tournament, Finland played in the bronze medal game. They won, beating Russia who had their best showing since 2001. My prediction from last May was correct. Despite beating Finland, Switzerland didn’t medal.
- In the Division I tournament, China was relegated. For a team that played in the last Olympics and at one time was a medal contender, it truly is the Great Fall.
- Osama bin Laden was killed by an American special forces team. Good fucking riddance.
- I wonder if my absence has caused a frequent commentator here to finally leave. Part of me kind of hopes so, as he commented semi–on topic on virtually every post, resulting in threadsurrections and endless discussions, sometimes with dozens of comments. Real people have a life outside of commenting and blogging. If you are still here (you know who you are), please, shut up a little.
- I really like this picture (hat tip: Blag Hag).
- Many people here in BC are boycotting Carrie Underwood. This is because her husband, Mike Fisher, plays hockey for the Predators. Seriously, folks? Ms. Underwood has minimal control over which team her husband plays for. She is in no way responsible for the fact that our local team is playing her husband’s team, and as a matter of fact has nothing to do with it. I’d like to think that we live in a civilized society where a woman is not seen as subordinate or lesser than her husband.
- Just before I was cut off, I downloaded music composition software called MuseScore and since then have been loads of fun with it.
- Also a note to this guy. MuseScore is free, so there’s no need to shell out hundreds to get the next version of Sibelius or Finale.
Christy Clark has been sworn in as the new premier of British Columbia. She has already shuffled the cabinet to put her stamp on the government. As I have previously mentioned, she is the second woman, (after Rita Johnston), to be Premier. She ought to be a little bit to the left of Gordon Campbell, and in the short term I am willing to give her a chance to govern. It’s not like there’s a realistic chance of a motion of non–confidence passing. Some part of me would kind of want her to win the next election, as it would end British Columbia’s ridiculous “tradition” of putting women in charge of political parties in ruins.
Meanwhile, Gordon Campbell has resigned his seat of Vancouver–Point Grey. This means that there will be a by–election soon. Although Liberal–leaning, it is not exactly the safest Liberal seat in the legislature. If all the students at UBC actually bothered to vote in reasonable numbers, the seat might actually be considered competitive. Nevertheless, if Clark runs in the by–election she’ll be the favourite to win. That would be the first time since 1981 that the governing party of British Columbia has won a by–election.