At the risk of sounding too much like a Negative Nelly, let me first say: I totally understand why a sitting Premier in a minority legislature, with one of the highest approval ratings in the country, would want to call an early election. The goal is simple: to get a majority government and be in power for the next 4 years. Now having said that, I also completely understand why no one wants an election right now. We are in the midst of a pandemic, with no end in sight, and with a second wave on our collective doorsteps. As John Horgan himself said in his press conference following his visit with the Lieutenant-Governor, Janet Austin, this was not an easy decision to make.
The decision to go to the polls now instead of on October 21st, 2021 (the fixed election date) will certainly resonate throughout the province during the campaign. It has already met with fierce criticism from the leaders of both the BC Liberals and the BC Green Party, along with supporters of all 3 of the major political parties in BC. Although we are less than a week in, there has already been a few political bombshells to strike down on the political pavement. One of the most egregious so far is the blocking of the candidacy of Annita McPhee. In a statement, NDP president Craig Keating told reporters that "the application contained signatures which were not valid under the requirements of the application package."
Regardless of whose side you're on in this argument, this looks bad for the BC NDP. Although they are hedging their bets that Nathan Cullen's star power will be enough to win the riding again (they're probably right), I nevertheless empathize with Annita McPhee for feeling cheated out of the nomination, particularly as it pertains to the party's equity mandate. Whether or not this has a greater effect on the election come October 24th remains to be seen. There was also this video which was circulated this week from BC Liberal candidate Ellis Ross, blaming 'self-serving' individuals who voted NDP to get rid of bridge tolls.
There was also a troubling comment that came the other day from BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson which characterized a 'rise in violent crime' in BC and not-so-subtly attributed it to the homelessness and opioid crises. This followed a media personality's tweet last week with a photo of her cleaning urine off of the bottom of her shoe after interviewing a business owner.
Now, we all know that a week is a lifetime in politics, and many things will happen over the course of the next 30 days. But the fact that people are already talking about how bad of an idea this election is, and all of the anger is directed at the government, means that the BC NDP is likely going to be on the defensive for much of this campaign. However, voters should not forget how the BC Liberals siphoned off funds from ICBC and BC Hydro, creating a huge mess with a fake surplus, and fought teachers in court for over a decade over their collective bargaining rights, among other things. Then there was this mess that occurred with the BC Ecosocialists.
I had Stuart and the BC Ecosocialists on my very first episode of this show, but I will say this here and now: I support trans people, 100%. Any form of transphobia will not be tolerated or excused. There's simply no reason for it, no matter what the circumstances. And I do not accept the fact that he chose to make the situation all about him. That's classic gaslighting tactics and they are completely abhorrent and should not be allowed to happen.
Whatever the outcome of this election ends up being, the way in which we conduct elections is likely to be changed dramatically in the foreseeable future. Already, there are over 20,000 requests sent into Elections BC for mail-in ballots (including yours truly) and there was a press conference earlier today with CMOH Dr. Bonnie Henry, assuring voters that extra precautions would be taken to ensure that COVID-19 safety plans were in place for the polling stations. But no matter whether you agree with the BC NDP's decision to call a snap election or not, it's happening on October 24th. You can register to vote now and request a mail-in ballot with Elections BC to ensure you and your family stays safe while you mark your ballot. Let's remember our civic duty and vote!
Harbinger On The Horizon
Now, for some personal news. The LB Podcast will become a part of Harbinger Media Network, a new left-wing podcast collective. Our crowd-funder has launched, and you can follow the link to support the work of nearly 20 podcasts across Canada bringing you progressive content, including, but not limited to, Alberta Advantage, Oats for Breakfast and Progress Alberta's Progress Report. Check out their website and follow us all on social media for more updates as they are announced throughout the next 2 weeks!
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