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2024 BC Election

RangerRay

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I thought I would start a new thread on the upcoming political election in British Columbia coming up this fall. I have no dog in this fight, but having grown up and spent a considerable amount of my life in the political soup of the province, I find it infinitesimally more interesting than the politics of my adopted current home.

Currently, the NDP are well ahead of the BC Conservatives and opposition BC United (former BC Liberals). For a number of reasons, this is extremely fascinating.

As a primer, since the 1940's, the Liberals and Conservatives have formed a "free enterprise coalition" against the CCF/NDP "socialist horde". This stared as an actual Liberal-Conservative coalition. This lasted until 1952 when failed BCPC leadership candidate WAC Bennett became the leader of the BC Social Credit Party became premier. He and the Socreds led the province as a de facto Liberal-Conservative coalition until 1972. At that point, the Socreds became unpopular and the BC Liberals took a lot of votes from them, allowing Dave Barrett and the NDP to form government. It is important to note that in most elections in British Columbia, the NDP consistently get around + or - 40% of the vote.

By 1975, WAC's son Bill re-established the free enterprise coalition under the Socred banner and became premier until 1986, when he became unpopular during his "restraint" program of cutting government spending. Bill Vander Zalm became premier and defeated the NDP in the following election.

Soon into Vander Zalm's tenure, his social conservatism caused division within the Socred caucus and party as a whole. He left office in 1991 due to a conflict of interest scandal. The Socreds lost the subsequent election and the almost non-existent BC Liberal Party became official opposition. During the 1990's, the coalition was extremely fractured. The NDP maintained government throughout the 90's despite scandal bringing down Mike Harcourt in 1996.

In 2001, the free-enterprise coalition re-formed under the BC Liberal banner with Gordon Campbell as leader. Until now, the NDP still maintained their ~40% vote. But for whatever reason, many NDP voters stayed home in 2001 or thought Campbell was a progressive, and the NDP was reduced to two seats. By the next election in 2005, NDP regained their ~40% vote share.

The BC Liberals maintained their coalition until 2017 when the NDP formed government with the Greens. The BC Liberals didn't fracture, but they did become tired with the stench of croney capitalism. In 2020, they formed an outright majority government with almost 48% of the vote, which was unheard of. From what I can tell, the BC Liberal leader was not popular and did not connect with voters. For most voters, the NDP under John Horgan did not come across as doctrinaire socialist as their predecessors.

Since then, the BC Liberals chose former cabinet minister Kevin Falcon as their leader. Falcon comes from the "Socred Wing" of the party (Christy Clark came from the "Liberal Wing"). One of his signature moves was to rename the BC Liberals "BC United". He came from the part of the coalition that felt the name "Liberal" was toxic for many free-enterprise voters, and was hoping a rename would help party fortunes.

Fast forward to now and a formerly moribund "BC Conservative Party" has fired up in the polls. Former BC Liberal MLA John Rustad is the leader after getting punted from the BC Liberal caucus for suggesting carbon emissions were not contributing to climate change. Since then, Rustad has staked out positions to the right of BC United. This is ironic since Falcon came from the "right wing" of the BC Liberal coalition and changed the party's name to appeal to right-leaning voters. Recent polling has shown the BC Conservatives to be slightly ahead of BC United, both well behind the NDP at their traditional 40%. On popular theory suggests that BC United has done a terrible job informing the public that BC United = BC Liberal so when people respond to polls on whether they would vote for BC United or the BC Conservatives, people don't know who United is and see BC Conservatives = free-enterprise coalition = BC Liberal. Not living there anymore, I can't get a feeling if this is accurate or not. BC United, when they were the BC Liberals under Gordon Campbell, did introduce the carbon tax. The BC NDP were against it, calling it "regressive". That is probably also hurting BC United now.

Given how this stands now, polling shows the NDP will win a massive majority government in the fall election. 338 shows the NDP will win 81 seats, BC Conservatives 6, and BC United 4. The real battle will be to see who forms the opposition.


Anyways, I found these recent developments fascinating and was hoping to start a discussion on this. I have no dog in this fight anymore but find it interesting nontheless.
 
Awesome. Will have to read up a bit on all of that. I too have no dog in that but am always interested in political stories elsewhere.
 
As popular as the Socreds were in the '70s, I recall conversations among (solidly middle class) adults of the time. The Socreds would win, but then after the election no-one would admit to voting for them.

Like almost everywhere, BC is under a lot of fiscal pressure - governments and individuals - and a correction will be coming. The longer adverse conditions persist, the harder corrections are.
 
A few comments and observations, worth exactly what you paid for them. I think much of the recent NDP popularity was based on John Horgan's leadership and pragmatism. He even got me to vote NDP, something totally ahistorical. I'm not sure if Eby has the same qualities and appeal and will attract people like me who were simply looking for "good governance". I think the provincial Conservatives will try to ride the coattails of the federal Conservatives' popularity. Frankly Rustad leaves me cold as a leader and Falcon not much better. I think the right has been unfortunately split and this will guarantee the NDP an easy win in the next election regardless of Eby's shortfalls. I'm not sure why Falcon didn't convert the BC Liberals to BC Conservatives and avoid this ideological and vote split, but I'm not a politician. BC United has zero brand meaning, at least to me. Looking forward to hearing other comments.
 
Eby is…meh as a Premier. His cabinet is terrible and BC NDP is rife with anti-semites. The general public is beginning to notice that handing out free drugs is making things worse, not better and that crime is out of control.

The election in the Fall could come down to law and order issues…
 
BC United - the attempted 'rebrand' was a SIW sadly...

BC Conservatives leap to second place in latest poll​

New Mainstreet Research survey shows BC NDP maintaining lead as rebranded BC Liberals get crushed


The Mainstreet Research poll found the BC NDP is still leading in intended vote at 39.6%, followed by the BC Conservatives (34.2%), BC United (14.2%) and finally BC Greens (9.6%).

“The provincial numbers are interesting and continue to suggest that the BC United rebrand experiment is a failure,” said president and CEO of Mainstreet Quito Maggi.

There is a wide gender divide amongst voters in B.C. with the Conservatives holding a nine point lead among male voters while trailing the NDP by 20 points among female voters

 
Eby is…meh as a Premier. His cabinet is terrible and BC NDP is rife with anti-semites. The general public is beginning to notice that handing out free drugs is making things worse, not better and that crime is out of control.
If I were an alcoholic in BC, why can't I get free booze?

Part of the problem IMHO the BC Public Service is stuck in stupid mode. The PS gives advice to the NDP who are too stupid to question it.

Lots of examples like Surrey schools' chock full and taking no more students. Surrey hospital overflowing. One Hydro line (under threat of fires several times) to serve West Kelowna, Peachland and Summerland despite years of promises to remedy.

One bridge across the Okanogan Lake while the population is exploding. Not allowing new builds anywhere in BC to have natural gas, only electric. Not allowing an expansion of NG in the OK valley to meet existing needs.

The NDP were against the Site C project, now want to electrify everything except their brains.
 
I can find BC on the map. There ends my current knowledge on BC. Ohh, and it is where all the hippies and greenies live according to old school Conservatives.
 
BC has an interesting political dynamic. You have big city voters in Vancouver and Victoria, lots of smaller city/suburbs in the south (which can go either way), and then the rest of the province - largely based on forestry and mining, which is a curious mix of rural "stay away big government" conservatism and old-style blue collar union NDP support. There are also small pockets of progressive green support, largely on Vancouver Island which has some eclectic "hippy"-type communities.
 
BC is the place that, despite having a provincial NDP government at the time, sent Reform to Ottawa overwhelmingly from ‘93 to ‘00. Yeah, it’s weird here.
 
They should shut the Natural gas and oil pipelines down to BC for a three month maintenance program. Then open it up to load tankers heading to "other" customers for the next month.
We will then see how much they want and need natural gas and oil.
BC has been a cluster for a long time. The only way to fix them is to show them what reality is. That is they heavily rely on oil and gas for their daily lives.

As for elections in BC, the lower mainland voting population is so enamored with "green" energy they supported Christy Clark when she promised thousands of green jobs and billions of dollars. Turns out all she planned to do was expand fracking up north and approve the Natural gas lines that they did not want.

The voting population in BC needs a harsh reality check, similar to the one Quebec and Ont got when they had to fuel disruptions of Natural gas and propane.
 
They should shut the Natural gas and oil pipelines down to BC for a three month maintenance program. Then open it up to load tankers heading to "other" customers for the next month.
We will then see how much they want and need natural gas and oil.
BC has been a cluster for a long time. The only way to fix them is to show them what reality is. That is they heavily rely on oil and gas for their daily lives.

As for elections in BC, the lower mainland voting population is so enamored with "green" energy they supported Christy Clark when she promised thousands of green jobs and billions of dollars. Turns out all she planned to do was expand fracking up north and approve the Natural gas lines that they did not want.

The voting population in BC needs a harsh reality check, similar to the one Quebec and Ont got when they had to fuel disruptions of Natural gas and propane.

Oh, what's this? ;)

British Columbia​

British Columbia is Canada’s second largest natural gas producer, home to the Horn River and Montney natural gas basins. Natural gas is an important part of B.C.’s clean energy strategy. Oil reserves in British Columbia are located in the northeast area of the province.
  • $632 million – estimated payments industry made in royalties and crown land sales for the use of British Columbia’s oil and gas resources in fiscal 2021/22
  • $2.04 billion – in industry spending on exploration and development in 2020.

Oil Production​

  • 12,000 – barrels per day of crude oil produced in 2021.

Natural Gas in British Columbia​

  • 5.75 billion – cubic feet per day of natural gas produced in 2021.
  • An estimated 532 trillion cubic feet of ultimate marketable natural gas resources, enough to last 300-plus years at current demand levels.
 
I will be honest, I rarely hear people here talking provincial politics, a lot of it is who is running in the local riding as MLA are generally more in the community than MPs (Not always their fault, the demands of Ottawa consume a lot of time). I think I would agree that many are not thrilled with the NDP currently, but how that will translate to votes is a hard thing to guess at. Our MLA is a ex-Naval Reservist and is NDP.
 
BC has been a cluster for a long time. The only way to fix them is to show them what reality is. That is they heavily rely on oil and gas for their daily lives.
BC was fine, even under the new government, approximately up to the point where they became stale and scandal-ridden and decided to just say "f*ck it" with regard to finances (like everyone else, it seems). We certainly still have enviable provincial income tax rates, and the government did an acceptable job reforming auto insurance premiums.
 
BC was fine, even under the new government, approximately up to the point where they became stale and scandal-ridden and decided to just say "f*ck it" with regard to finances (like everyone else, it seems). We certainly still have enviable provincial income tax rates, and the government did an acceptable job reforming auto insurance premiums.

But the health care system is so.... so.... 'unique' ...

'Abandoned on the side of the road': B.C. man says dispatcher told him to drive to hospital after stroke​


Layne French was on his way to pick up his parents from the airport when a coughing fit turned into something much worse.

“About 20 seconds later, it’s like I got kicked right here,” said French, pointing at the back of his head. “But like, inside.”

It happened March 13 during rush hour traffic just as he entered the George Massey Tunnel. French said he was traveling around 80 km/hour when he lost control.

“And then everything starts sloping, sloping, sloping, sloping,” said the Tsawwassen resident. “I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t see. The world was spinning.”

French said he lost use of the right side of his body, but used his left arm and leg to make it through the tunnel and toward the Steveston exit. That’s when he said he pulled to the side and stumbled out of his vehicle and waved his left arm to ask for help.

He says a Good Samaritan called 911. Around 15 minutes later, French also called 911.

“I waited, and I waited, and I waited,” said French.

French said he received a callback around an hour after his original call.

“One of the suggestions I get is, ‘Drive yourself to the hospital,’” recalled French.

He says around two hours after the original 911 call by the bystander, French’s parents eventually cabbed from the airport and drove him to Richmond General Hospital, where he says he waited several more hours to see a doctor and wasn’t provided medication or a diagnosis until nearly 24 hours after suffering the stroke.

“It was 1 a.m. before I saw a doctor,” said French.

The father of two shared his experience Friday with Delta South MLA Ian Paton, from the Opposition BC United party.

“It illustrates that the health-care system is broken,” said Paton. “We will be bringing this as a question in question period to the minister of health. Tell us, what is going on with our health-care system?” said Paton.



 
But the health care system is so.... so.... 'unique' ...
Yes. All provinces have the problem. There's a story like this almost every week on cbc.ca, or one of the other major Canadian media sites. As soon as COVID was done, heroic measures to protect the health of a few at the great (sometimes ruinous) expense of the many went by the board and it was back to studied indifference. Everyone who loudly tried to shame everyone else into various compliance measures using "grandma" apparently doesn't give a f*ck enough to press governments to cut spending severely elsewhere and "fix" public health care by doing whatever is necessary - five principles be damned - to meet demand at the coal face (GPs, clinics, labs, emerg, ambulances). Might have cancer? Days away from help when hours count? Too bad. We want to keep our income tax cuts, daycare subsidies, and whatever else the government deems necessary to hold the coalition together and buy votes. That means cutting ribbons on new stuff, not maintaining what we already have.

It's still the case that once you have a diagnosis, the system kicks into gear effectively. That part is not broken, but it's only a matter of time if funding is gradually falling behind. Meanwhile, people die waiting to get through that first gate.
 
Ask MD's (have asked several incl specialists) what is their main concern with health care is the bureaucracy in BC Health which consumes 50% (??) of the budget.

PS Anyone out there pay a "Soda Tax"?
 

Vaughn Palmer: David Eby shifting focus to soaring B.C. Conservatives as election nears

Opinion: Eby’s main contender in the provincial election scheduled for Oct. 19 could be Conservative leader John Rustad, not B.C. United’s Kevin Falcon

Premier David Eby reacted anxiously to an opinion poll this week showing the B.C. Conservatives had closed to within a half dozen points of the New Democrats.

“I have flagged repeatedly my concern about the growth of the extremist Conservative Party in B.C.,” Eby told reporters Thursday.“ The poll is an important reminder certainly for anyone who has been quick to dismiss the B.C. Conservative Party as an extremist party that will not find traction in our province.”

The premier was responding to a Mainstreet Research poll conducted earlier in the week, showing 40 per cent support for the B.C. NDP among decided voters, 34 per cent for the Conservatives, 14 per cent for B.C. United and 10 per cent for the Greens...If those numbers are sustained in subsequent polls by Mainstream and others, Eby’s main contender in the provincial election scheduled for Oct. 19 would be Conservative leader John Rustad, not B.C. United’s Kevin Falcon.“

I look forward to engaging with Mr. Rustad on his far-right extremist ideas, his Republican culture war ideology he’s trying to bring to British Columbians,” said the premier, rehearsing his lines in anticipation of a matchup with Rustad.“

I just have trouble believing that this anti-science, right-wing extremist perspective will prove successful at the ballot box” The premier cited the call from Rustad and the Conservatives for reinstatement of health-care workers who refused to be vaccinated during the COVID-19 pandemic.“

Even though there’s a measles outbreak in Quebec and there are measles cases across Canada, now is the time that they want to bring unvaccinated health care workers into our hospitals,” said the premier.“

Measles kills and seriously injures babies and toddlers. This political party, that makes ideological decisions that puts babies and infants at risk, is not one that has the best interest of British Columbians at heart.”

I doubt Rustad’s flirtation with anti-vaxxing sentiment accounts for his rise from nowhere to second place in this and other opinion polls since he took over the leadership of the Conservatives a year ago.

More likely it is the B.C. Conservative party’s alignment with the populist stance of federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre — especially his opposition to the carbon tax.

The poll provided telling evidence on that score. When Poilievre called on Eby to put a hold on the pending 23 per cent increase in the made-in-B.C. version of the carbon tax, Eby fired back that he wanted no part of Poilievre’s “baloney factory”...Mainstreet asked British Columbian, “when it comes to the carbon tax dispute between Pierre Poilievre and Premier David Eby, who do you agree with?”

More than half, 54 per cent, picked Poilievre. Only 34 per cent sided with the premier, relegating him to the losing side of the “baloney” exchange. The poll also confirmed that Poilievre is in a commanding position among the federal parties in B.C.“

The results point to a federal Conservative rout with almost one in two voters supporting Pierre Poilievre and the federal Conservatives (49.6 per cent). The Liberals place second with 22.8 per cent and the NDP third with 19.4 per cent,” said the Mainstream news release.

Already, says Maggi, the numbers “suggest that the B.C. United rebrand is a failure.” Any more polls like this one, and the drift in support from B.C. United to the Conservatives could turn into a full-blown exodus.

The Mainstreet poll was conducted using automated telephone interviews March 18 and 19. Just over 1,000 B.C. adults were surveyed. The margin of error is plus or minus three points, 19 times out of 20. Full details on the questions, regional breakdowns and so forth are published at mainstreetresearch.ca, the firm’s website.

https://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/vaughn-palmer-eby-shifting-focus-to-soaring-bc-conservatives-as-election-nears
 
An established brand often has value. The problem for the "Socreds" in BC is that at any given time, "Liberal" and "Conservative" will both be in play federally, one on each side of Parliament.
 
From the left wing Tyee.


Polling from Liason Strategies


NDP - 38%
BC Conservatives - 34%
BC United (formerly BC Liberals) - 16%
Greens - 11%

Kevin Falcon is probably regretting changing the name and turfing Rustad.
 
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