Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mid-May Update

Please go vote on the new poll! I'd like to have even more responses than last time.

It's funny how you can have something in mind to write, but as soon as you sit down it evaporates. That is happening to me now.

Regarding the recent B.C. election, I can't say that I'm particularly pleased with the results. I can't say that I'm surprised either. With the current global economic recession, it was unlikely that voters would be willing to rock the boat. B.C. has certainly experienced an economic boom over the last few years which the Liberal party was quick to capitalize on. Occasionally voters will vote against their own economic interests, but voters in B.C. seemed smart enough to do otherwise. For all their faults (closed hospitals and schools, tree farm license sell-offs, ballooning Olympic costs, high poverty and homelessness) the B.C. Liberals appear to have been good for B.C.'s economy.

I think that the NDP made some critical mistakes in their election strategy. The first of which was raising minimum wage to ten dollars. I strongly doubt business owners would support that initiative given the current fears about the economy. The NDP also campaigned against the Carbon Tax, which I think a fair percentage of British Columbians view as a progressive move.

The push for the Single Transferable Vote failed spectacularly. I saw many pro-STV campaigners in Victoria, but very few anti-STV campaigners. The No on STV campaign seemed to devote a fair amount of their efforts on television ads. I found the claim that votes would be divided into fractions and that the voter would not know where their vote went to be misleading. The disintegrating ballot that accompanied this statement was clearly intended to invoke an emotional response in the viewer. Overall, I think the No on STV crowd ran a slick and effective, if underhanded, campaign. The Yes on STV crowd didn't appear to make as much use of electronic media as their opponents, to their own detriment. The failure of the referendum in B.C. will probably mean that initiatives for electoral reform will not be seen in Canada for some time.

I'm clearly becoming more of a cynic as far as politics is concerned. I've come to the conclusion that no matter what happens, you lose.

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