Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The BC Election

The Right-wing “Liberals” got 46% of the vote, the center-left NDP, 41% and the Greens 9%. In a democratic system the government would be an NDP-Green coalition, however since the province is run by the undemocratic first-past-the post system, the “Liberals” won 45 seats, the NDP 33 and the Greens zero.

One obvious outcome is that the majority of the population does not support the right, but it is still shocking that 46% of people could have such little regard for their fellows that they would vote for a group that is responsible for ruining the lives of ordinary working people and destroying communities. So BC gets stuck with the brownshirts once more. Hope there is something left of the place when I finally move there.

The referendum on STV – a complex, but far more democratic voting process that few people understood - did not pass. Since it needed 60% approval (unlike say firing 10,000 health care workers or mass privatizations) it was unlikely that it would pass and the vote was probably rigged that way for that reason. So BCers are still stuck with the undemocratic old system for the next election.

The orthodox left (NDP and labour) must share most of the blame for the tragic reelection of a gang of ruthless right-wingers. There have been, what, four different NDP governments. Any of these could have introduced a proportional ballot system and the right wing would be trapped in a corner like the rat that it is. But no, they did nothing about it, leaving these changes up to the right, who then, as we have seen, rigged it so the status quo would remain. (Where exactly is the "new democracy" in the New Democratic Party?)

The media pimped the “Liberals” day and night. This was to be expected. Let’s not cry about this. It is the result of having a class system. The boss class media is going to spout boss class propaganda, as sure as asses bray. This is why you need a left wing newspaper to at least attempt to counter them. Even a well put together weekly would do. But the NDP and labour have done very little to promote left wing media.

Admittedly things have changed a bit - there is labour support for The Tyee and Rabble, but historically, a newspaper was never seen as a priority. Stan Persky put together the weekly Solidarity with BC Fed help back in the heady days of the Almost General Strike of 1982. But the Fed killed it just as the paper was getting a readership.

In spite of everything, the BC election indicates something that is happening world-wide. A rejection of the neocon reaction that has dominated us for the past 25 years. Things are going to get quite hot in the coming years and I am not just talking about global warming.


Blogger Anglonoel said...

The electoral system which both the Canadians and English live under at General Elections is a joke and a mockery of democracy. First past the post may be alright for horse races, but we aren't horses, are we?

10:36 AM  

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