Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The BC Election

Overall results Liberals 49, NDP 36, Greens 0, As percent, Liberals 46.2 NDP 42,06 Green 8.1

In 8 ridings, had the Green vote gone NDP, the result would have been NDP 44 seats , Liberals 41 seats, thus an NDP government. But maybe a third of the Green vote comes from people who might not support the NDP, such as disgruntled left-liberals or otherwise apolitical enviros. In that case only four ridings, Saanich, Oak Bay, Comox and Vernon would have seen NDP victories and the Liberals would have had 45 seats to the NDP's 40. Thus one cannot blame the Greens for splitting the NDP vote.
What is a problem is that the progressive vote is divided and the majority of the population – at least 50.16%, are progressives and are dominated by a reactionary minority.

Given this political division, one should not make too much of the political failings of either the Greens or the NDP, while such weaknesses and errors do exist, in this instance, they are not the major problem. The important failing of both parties is the failure to come to some kind of agreement and defeat the right. The problem, is of course ultimately structural, the undemocratic first past the post system (FPTP) and the failure to introduce a proportional ballot system such as they have in most of Europe. This system allows different left wing parties to exist, gain seats and form coalition governments. However, given the lack of a more democratic voting system in BC, it is incumbent on both parties to work together in some fashion and keep the piratizers and corp[orate welfare scammers at bay.

Seats where a Green-NDP majority exists.

*Saanich North Green - NDP total = 54% Liberal 45, NDP, 44, Grn 11
*Oak Bay 53% Lib 46.6, NDP, 44.5, Grn, 9
* Comox, 51% Lib 47.6, NDP, 42.5, Grn, 8.5
Burnaby-Mougheed 51.5%, Lib 49, Ndp 44.4, Grn 6.6
Burnaby North, 51.5, Lib 48.7, NDP, 44.4, Grn, 6.9
Similkameen, 42, Lib 38, NDP, 32.8 Grn 9.4
Penticton 46.5 Lib 44, NDP, 31, Grn 15.5
*Vernon 49%, Lib 37.7, NDP, 31.7, Grn, 16.5

The STV referendum also failed to pass. This means we are still stuck with the undemocratic FPTP system. But then the STV was highly complicated and people did not understand it and it was even a second grudging choice for the people who supported it. The fact that such a system was proposed in the first place instead of a proportional ballot system – which everyone understands and whose advantages are obvious – has always made me smell a rat. I suggest that it was proposed as a form of counter-insurgency against the demand for greater grass roots democracy. Give the people a weird complicated alternative, they will reject it and democratic reform will be off the adgenda for another generation.


Blogger Bill Engleson said...

I agree progressives should come together and vote in some form of accord. More to the point, people should vote. Where I live, the vote was at least 70% of those eligible (or close.)
There is no excuse for adults not to vote.
You may be right about the STV ballot. Ratlike forces may have been behind the whole thing.

I sensed that if it had passed, we might have ended up with a ward system of sorts. And we might have seen a pack of elected officials from the new enlarged Constituencies marking thie turf intraditional ways.
In any case, a simple preferential ballot would have been practical and certainly more easily understood.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Graeme said...

A merger seems to make sense. Nice analysis Larry.

2:05 PM  

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