Sunday, May 05, 2013

The Ideal BC Election Result

Last year's provincial election in Alberta, and the 2011 federal election, show that the science of election polling is a bit like weather forecasting: something that is being knocked backwards by structural changes beyond anyone's control.  In addition to growing voter volatility, technological and demographic change has made the land-line bias in traditional telephone surveys a real problem that major polling organizations have been scrambling to overcome.

But here's the thing: any remaining land line bias in opinion surveys tends to under-estimate the youth vote. And in B.C. the youth vote will tend to be at least as supportive of the NDP or the Greens as the general population. Therefore, I don't expect the "land line" argument to help the Liberals in a big way.  There are some indications of a tighter race in the closing week, but that is to be expected as people start to critically look at the prospective NDP government.

No doubt I am influenced by wishful thinking, but the result I am predicting is also an ideal result for British Columbia:  a strong, new government with a good blend of experience and fresh blood; a strong Liberal Opposition with enough seats to man all committees and hold the new government to account; and room for independents, third parties to add more to the quality of public debate.

 I belong to a generation that remembers a government that had a couple of intellectual bright lights (Pat McGeer and Jack Davis) as well as a Legislature that contained a couple of independent third party MLAs (Gordon Gibson and Scott Wallace) who often made Question Period worth watching and Hansard worth reading. I am hoping that next week's election will see a return of those elements to the main stage of  B.C. politics.

  Hopefully, the two Andrews (Weaver and Wilkinson) will add intellectual distinction and professional achievement to the mix, while Vicky Huntington and Bob Simpson will guarantee independence of opinion and continuing momentum in the legislature for democratic reform:

NDP: 58
Liberals 20
Conservatives  4
Independents 2
Green 1

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