A sweet night for Carole James

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

The B.C. election was the Liberals to lose, and they almost did. The NDP took 31 seats away from them. The unpopularity of Premier Gordon Campbell, and the desire to keep him away from protesters, meant they had played hide and seek with the public.

Avoiding human contact is not the usual election campaign strategy for a winning party; it was almost enough to alienate the mainstream media, who otherwise gave the Liberals (aka the party of business) a free ride. Almost, but in the end the Liberals were given credit for a strong economy, and that was enough to carry them through.

The Liberals won about 46 per cent of the popular vote, compared to about 41 per cent for the NDP, and only nine per cent for the Greens, with the fringe parties garnering nearly four per cent.

The Liberals won big in ridings outside Vancouver, notably in the Fraser Valley, and in places such as Prince George where the NDP had high hopes. Vancouver split on classic lines. High income areas went right, lower income areas came back to the NDP. Vancouver Island is NDP territory.

Carole James had two big tasks as NDP leader: make herself known to the public, and expose the Liberal record in office. Having performed well she won the right to lead the official opposition. In the leadersâe(TM) debate she carried the fight directly to Campbell, and established herself as a serious contender for office.

The Green Party were the spoilers. Add the Green vote to the NDP vote, and you get 50 per cent.

An interesting argument was put forward by extra-parliamentary “greens.” Calling a vote for the Liberals a vote for extinction, they argued that environmentalists needed to vote NDP, reasoning — correctly — that a vote for the Green Party was a vote for Campbell.

The electors came out in large numbers, bucking a national trend. Politics obviously matters to British Columbians; people were ready on Election Day to do their civic duty.

The controversial STV (single transferable vote) electoral reform referendum yielded a surprise result. Considering that fully 82 per cent of electors were saying they did not understand it, more than 50 per cent voted for it. However, it needed 60 per cent to pass.

Star candidates, the Liberal Carole Taylor, former CBC Chair, and the NDP's Gregor Robertson, green business leader, both won. They are both potential party leaders.The province again has an official opposition; the government will be under the gun in the legislature.

It was a sweet night for Carole James and the NDP. But the depleted Liberals won another four years, the first B.C. government in 22 years to be re-elected.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.