BC Election 2009… Polls Close… continuing coverage tonight

Generally… I’m already depressed about the possible result. But I’m going to remain optimistic.

I’ve put this post in the categories of Climate Change and Peak Oil because I think the coming decade, 2010-2020, will be pivotal, crucial, in the development of BC and of humanity as a whole as both of those challenges come to a head.

Woohoo! 8:19PM! the NDP is winning 3-1 with like 40 votes counted! 😉

8:22PM…. holy crap! 8 to 2! It’s gonna be a landslide!!

8:27PM… OK, so as the early returns come in I just want to include a prediction of our vote in the our riding of Alberni-Pacific. I think our riding will be closer than it was last election when Scott Fraser of the NDP won, but I do think that the result will favour the incumbent Scott Fraser. Ms. St. Jaques will likely do well in Ucluelet where she was mayor as well as pockets in central Port Alberni and the rural Alberni Valley. Mr. Fraser will carry the majority of Alberni polls though and will do better in the Coombs and Errington areas.

8:33PM… 23 to 17 for NDP

8:38PM… 35 to 34 for Lib

8:43PM… at this early time, Scott Fraser is leading in our riding. You can see the results as they come in to Elections BC here.

8:53PM… Nanaimo looks to be going NDP at this point. There’s nothing out of Parksville-Qualicum yet.

8:59PM… I will be surprised if CTV (which is who I am watching as far as elections coverage) doesn’t call the election for the Liberals at 9:00PM or very soon after.

9:03PM… There you go… CTV has projected a Liberal government…. interestingly… the CBC has not projected a winner yet.

9:06PM… Joy McPhail on CTV is wondering aloud about the results in the Northern Interior expressing her surprise that the early results are so pro-Liberal considering the devastation of the forest industry. I have two words for her that explains everything… Carole James.

9:09PM… Have the biases of one station and others ever been clearer? The CBC still continues to hold its election predictions while the CTV is practically gleeful in its interviews of happy Liberals and sad NDP’ers.

9:15PM… the first results for STV are starting to trickle in and they are looking very bad. I’m not surprised… this is going to be a long and depressing night indeed.

9:18PM… and finally the CBC is now reporting a Liberal Majority government.

9:19PM… on a positive note, Scott Fraser looks to have wiped out Dianne St. Jaques in Alberni-Clayoquot. He has double the votes (2400 to 1400) right now.

9:23PM… the BC-STV results are looking very poor…

% of valid votes province-wide in favour of BC-STV 40.33% (need 60)

Number of electoral districts with 50% or more of the valid votes cast in favour of BC-STV 3 (need 70)

9:34PM… It’s going to be a pretty upset office tomorrow. And nervous… now that the election is over, the budget will finally be released for Vancouver Island University. We don’t expect good news.

9:50PM… Probably the most depressing statement, and most accurate, that I’ve heard on the analysis tonight was just now from the CBC panel. In both the election and the referendum on STV, the voters of BC look to have strongly voted for the status quo.

That just destroys a lot of hope that I had for the future.

I’m going to keep monitoring it, but needless to say, I’m very disappointed…. and not terribly motivated to blog about it now.

Advanced Poll results from North and Central Vancouver Island

I just downloaded the advance voting results available from the Elections BC Website.

Here are the results from the North and Central Island after 4 days of advanced voting:

Parksville-Qualicum: 14.5%
Comox: 14.2%
Cowichan Valley: 13.4%
Alberni-Pacific Rim: 11.9%
North Island: 10.7%
Nanaimo-North Cowichan: 10.6%
Nanaimo: 9.5%

Not sure if there is anything to read into those numbers or not… but there they are.

The moral of the story. Get out and vote! Don’t Vote? Don’t Complain!

Christy Clark on CKNW on STV… vote for real change!

I don’t generally agree with Christy Clark, or anyone on CKNW really… but on this I think she has really hit the nail from the head… and most of all, she speaks from experience as a former MLA.

I’ve recorded her editorial and created an MP3.

Download and listen to it here.

Christy Clark Editorial May 7 2009 on STV

The transcript of her editorial is here.

Reasons to vote for BC-STV 2

Stop the gerrymandering of ridings:

One of the big crutches of the No side is the notion that big ridings have a lot of pitfalls. Well, here is one big reason why they could be a good thing.

Anyone of the baby boomer generation will likely remember the story of “Gracies Finger”.

In 1982, McCarthy was suspected of interfering in the re-drawing of the electoral boundaries of her Little Mountain constituency, to include an appendage of a wealthy westside Vancouver area, thus helping ensure her electoral success. This appendage and subsequent scandal became known as ‘Gracie’s Finger’. The actual area in question was between 16th and 33rd Avenues in Vancouver around the Arbutus Street corridor.[1]

This sort of advantageous redrawing happens all the time in Provincial and Federal areas. It’s possible because the ridings, especially in urban areas, are very small and precise.

Under BC-STV the ridings are more “regional”, Vancouver West, or Victoria South. So while there is certainly an ability to do the same sort of fiddling… it is without a doubt more difficult to greatly affect the fortunes of MLAs in a riding that includes so many more people, and areas.

And before someone says “but we’ll lose local representation”, remember, in a 4 MLA riding like ours on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, it would be very difficult for a party to elect only urban candidates as the swing votes would all be in the rural areas. If a candidate is seen to be urban-only, then the rural folks can band together and ensure that they vote for someone who represents them… 2nd choice votes would be the key in BC-STV, sow without the presumably 2nd choices of rural candidates, it would be very difficult for all 4 candidates to be elected exclusively from urban voters.

Analysis of Alberni Pac-Rim ACM

So here’s my take on how the meeting went tonight.

Supporters in the room:

There were probably 20 rows of chairs with an aisle in the middle. It was pretty much full, plus lots of people standing. The only large number of clapping Liberal supporters were directly in front of me… about 4 rows worth. There were a few others dispersed here and there but other supporters, mainly NDP, some Green were in the very clear majority in the room.

The very long line of questioning supports this as well I think. There were a few “neutral” questions, mainly from community leaders. There were 2 setups for the Liberal candidate and 2 for the Greens and STV.

As far as the candidates themselves… in order of importance….

The Refederation Candidate was passionate and had his talking points. When he didn’t have a clue about a question, he said it, and you have to respect him for that. I hope that this party gets its message down pat a little better and attracts more supporters and candidates. Their views seem to be traditional “center” politics with a little bit of libertarianism thrown in.

The Green Candidate, Paul Musgrave, was very dry at first with his opening remarks. He read his remarks to the letter and was clearly nervous. Lucky for him, I think he managed to loosen up after the first few questions and he came on strong on his points and was good at stating the Greens position and not only how they differed from both the NDP and the Liberals but how they might agree. I could hear agreement in the room from NDP supporters on some points… though his position on minimum wage was met with noted stone silence. The Liberal backers did not appear to support him in any way and were clearly annoyed with his implied accusations of corruption and backroom dealing.
His explanation of STV was cute but I think probably fell a little flat. It was a valiant effort and took a ton of courage. I hope it gets more people talking about it at least, but I think it’s going to end up being associated with the Green Party, and that might actually hurt its chances of success.

The Liberal Candidate Dianne St. Jaques can be described as “staying on message”. She made a few points that I have heard almost verbatim from other Liberal candidates and the Premiere himself. She was not in a friendly place and she knew it. I think she did well in getting her points across, but it is clear that the only ones who agreed with them were in a serious minority in the room and a good chunk of the rest of the room took major issue with how she dodged a number of questions and stuck so closely to her talking points. She did focus a lot on the work she has done in her community in Ucluelet and in the ACRD and the connections she has made but in the end she didn’t win anyone over.

The NDP Candidate Scott Fraser played up his familiarity with the community. He was smooth and attacked the Liberal policies and the words of the Liberal candidate in many instances. He also repeated many times the issues he has brought to the Legislature as MLA. He certainly got the most applause from the crowd but again, no ones mind was changed here. I think he did solidify the support of those who might be waffling. But the Green candidates strong performance I think could give him a run for his money in terms of carrying the riding.

The most interesting question, politically, of the night, was certainly the one asked to the Paul Musgrave of the Greens on whether he would throw his support behind Scott Fraser if Scott supported STV….

In all, a great meeting I think. It wasn’t nasty, but still had some strong points made. It moved quickly and everyone got their say.

Advanced Voting begins May 6 at the Lawn Bowling Club in Port Alberni. General Voting Day is May 12.

Should be an exciting night!