B.C. WTF – a belated postmortem

Well then…surprise?

What the hell happened? How could a B.C. NDP that looked certain to win a majority not only lose, but lose seats? To Christy Clark?

Voter turnout was low. The kids didn’t show up. Again. The squishy middle sat this one out. No one was excited and/or scared enough to come out…for them. Whether that was because the B.C. Liberals negative campaigning disgusted swing voters into not showing up or because, as The Sixth Estate puts it, people just don’t care anymore

…I can’t say at this point.

I can say this: The simple fact is the B.C. NDP ran a terrible campaign.

Adrian Dix embraced Jack Layton’s theories on positive campaigning, but he lacks one key component Layton had at his disposal in spades.

Charisma.

(And how would Jack have fared under the full fire from the Big Blue Attack Machine? Even The Moustache might have withered)

Dix  is a smart guy. Very smart. But you probably wouldn’t go out of your way to have a beer with him.

The NDP played it safe. Played not to lose. And in doing so allowed the B.C. Liberals to win the” frame the narrative” contest, particularly on social media. As the great Billmon once said

While liberals sift and weigh the evidence, debate alternative points of view, and reach for that ever elusive “fairness,” the conservative machine sifts and weighs alternative propaganda points, debates the best way to manipulate public opinion, and reaches for power — first, last and always….

The B.C. Liberals lied repeatedly.

They baited NDP reps into ridiculous arguments over semantics & minutiae on the Twitter on their terms.

I tuned it out after a while and hell I’m a political junkie.

But most importantly they successfully made it a referendum on the challengers & not the incumbents. This was an acquaintance from high school’s Facebook status last night:

Cast my first Green party vote ever!! or as i like to look at as an anti Christy cabbage patch doll vote /anti Dix snake vote…worst options ever!!…pointless, but done.

The important part isn’t the bit about the Green Party. It’s why isn’t Christy the snake in this sentence. The ammunition for her snakiness is plentiful. Instead she’s the cabbage patch doll. Which is to say, ultimately harmless.

Which is not the case at all.

If there’s good news for the B.C. NDP, it’s that Christy Clark is still Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberals are still the B.C. Liberals. They have not been magically transformed into competent stewards. They only got this far because our province is blessedly rich. Damage will be done, yes, but this crew will screw up again.

In the meantime, the B.C. NDP needs to fully embrace the 21st century. On energy. On transportation. On social policy.

Or others will.

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4 comments

  1. Scott McDonald (@ScottinVictoria)

    Wow, you don’t get it. Maybe BC voters were smarter than the so-called “very smart” Mr. Dix. People have long memories, back to the 90’s even! That you don’t get that says a lot about your skills as a pundit. They picked the lesser of two evils, smarter voters cast for real change, ie, Green. I don’t know why you are surprised. I warned people in #bcpoli months ago – I was derided. It’s not a serious forum anymore. Losers in this election: #BCTF. The middle didn’t sit anything out, they voted – for Liberals obviously. There was little vote splitting – see how the Greens took equally from NDP and Liberals in southern Vancouver Island ridings. Youth sat it out? They’ve never been there. But they did come out for Mr. Weaver in Oak Bay Gordon Head. I wonder why? Perhaps because they were inspired? Say it isn’t so!

  2. spartikus

    Thanks for the comment, Scott. However, I’m not sure I understand from what you wrote what it is, precisely, I didn’t “get”. That Mr. Dix’s ethical lapse was not forgotten by the electorate and Christy Clark’s multiple ethical lapses were? Because that was the point of the last example. But so it goes.