The British Columbia election is on and the parties and their leaders are on their way to May 17.
In the 2001 BC Provincial election, Gordon Campbell‘s BC Liberals crushed the NDP government of Premier Ujjal Dosanjh (now the Federal Health Minister and Liberal MP for Vancouver South), taking all but 2 of the 79 seats in the BC Legislature. Much of this was due to the unpopularity of former NDP Premier Glen Clark and his equally unpopular government. The 2001 election also saw a massive rise in support for the BC Green Party. Since then, the NDP have changed leaders (twice) and elected a third MLA in a by-election, a couple of BC Liberals have became Independent MLA’s, and one former BC Liberal joined the Democratic Reform Party.
The weird part about BC politics is that the BC Liberals are closer policy-wise to the Federal Conservatives than to the Federal Liberals. From what I can tell, BC politics tends to be pretty polorized, swinging from the left to the right (between the left-wing NDP and the right-wing Socreds/Liberals) and generally skipping the middle-ground.
Also, in this election, the BC electorate will be voting on whether to accept or reject a new form of electoral system known as STV (Single Tranferable Vote). I know how STV works, but unfortunately, I can’t explain it in a reasonable amount of space, so… here are a couple of STV links:
Good coverage of the BC Election can be found at the CBC BC Votes 2005 website. Also, check out the BC Election Prediction Project for some interesting riding predictions. If anyone has anymore good links, feel free to post them in the comments section.
If I lived and voted in BC: I would most likely vote either NDP or Green depending on the riding and candidate, the BC Liberals are far too right-wing for my liking. I also would vote FOR the STV preposal.
My BC Election Prediction: A reduced BC Liberal majority (40-50 seats), an increased BC NDP Opposition (20-30 seats), and perhaps some suprise upsets on the way from the smaller parties (1-3 seats). I also predict that the STV system will be rejected due to the simple fact that it’s nearly impossible to explain it to the average person in less than 20 seconds (this is the advantage of First-Past-The-Post, it only takes 5 seconds to explain: “The candidate with the most votes wins”). This is unfortunate, because I do believe that a move to STV would be a good one for Canadian Electoral Politics.