In the centre of the ring we have the BC Liberals, the media, corporate supporters and NDP haters who having pulled out all the stops to retain power, continue to pound the BC NDP long after the bell has rung.
Although I saw the election campaign as a rather one sided blood fest (with the BC NDP apparently unwilling to trade blow for blow), I thought the Liberals with their terrible record and unpopular leader (who lost in her own riding) were headed for defeat, although not as crushing as some polls were predicting.
So like many British Columbians, I was in disbelief and then shocked as the results were reported on the evening of May 14. Then over the next few days, as I read the rather extensive post election commentary and so called analysis, I realized the blood fest didn’t end with the election.
I also started doing a bit of fact-based election analysis of my own, and realized that the election was far closer than media reports would have us believe. Yes, the Liberals did get a provincial total of 80,000 more votes (just under 5% more than the NDP), and did win a majority (50 seats to 33), but when I looked riding by riding at the number of votes that decided the winner, I realized just how close this election really was. With ten ridings where the NDP were within hundreds votes, the headlines could have been quite different.
So what about liberal claims that they knew from internal polling they would have a majority in the final days leading to the vote? Clearly bullshit: so many ridings won by such a narrow margin that they were clearly within the margin of error for such polls.
Yes, the NDP lost the election, but you won’t find the reasons why in the obviously biased media reports, skewed analysis, or commentary where facts are rather obviously distorted to support particular views.
While the BC NDP central campaign may not have been the best they have ever run, it certainly was not the worse. But for a few hundred votes in a few key ridings, Adrian Dix would be premier and the NDP would have defeated Christy Clark’s Liberals.
As New Democrats we can’t do much about the external blood fest culture of BC politics. Adrian certainly tried, and while I don’t think it was a good strategy, I respect him for it. However, we can and should stop beating up on and bloodying ourselves. It is certainly time for us to stop publicly taking shots at each other, and time to begin a more constructive dialogue focused on being a strong opposition provincially, and preparing for the next federal election.