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.
A certain American reactionary suggests or implies that, according to him, women have no right to contraception.
This is probably the best reason to vote for Obama in the 2012 US Presidential election. Although he has been disastrous in other respects, when it comes to his Supreme Court nominees Obama has been fantastic. If the Republican nominee wins more reactionaries will be appointed, and they will be sure to roll back the rights of women and others.
Today is NARAL Pro–Choice America’s annual Blog for Choice Day. This year’s question is “What will I do to help elect pro–choice candidates in 2012”?
Well, strictly speaking, since I’m Canadian I can’t vote in any US election. If there happens to be a by–election here, I’d easily vote for the pro–choice candidate, even though it likely wouldn’t make much of a difference (I live in a safe Conservative seat). The only influence I really have on the US election is indirect, via convincing others to vote in favour of reproductive freedom.
My best option would be to continue doing what I am already doing. Arguing in favour of reproductive rights, such as by showing why it is moral, why the faux–life movement is not really anti–abortion, and so on. It is hard to convince someone as closed–minded as an anti–choicer. After all, they generally really are fighting a war on women. The best way would be to convince those who have been misled into supporting
abstinence ignorance–only sex education, pharmacy refusal clauses, and so on. I hope those are simply not as vocal as the misogynists, and are instead a quiet sheep–like majority. But the real misogynists are by far the most vocal. Update: To clarify and provide more info, the point is to show that the politicians who make the biggest issue about abortion are the ones most likely to be causing abortions due to those people’s opposition to reproductive freedom. Convincing those who aren’t against sex education, birth control, and so on is the point, although it is still far better to convince those people to become pro–choice and I will of course attempt that.
My biggest fear is somehow not doing enough. Allowing reproductive rights to be eroded around the edges (this covers more than just abortion) to be rendered so that it still nominally exists while being made impossible to utilize is, in practical terms, no different from not having that right in the first place.