Sep. 22, 2020

A lot can change during an election campaign, and it had better

Coming out of the starting blocks in the Oct, 24 provincial election it’s difficult to see anything but a runaway sprint for John Horgan’s New Democrats. But in politics one month can be an eternity. 

Jumping the gun on fixed elections leaves a lot of questions, but all the arguments against holding an election “during a pandemic” are white noise. A campaign won’t increase or decrease the threat of spreding the virus. In his announcement, the premier said that good old reliable door knocking will not happen with his party, and there will be no massive Trump-style public rallies. Requiring voters to physical distance and wear protective masks at the polling stations is not a big deal.

That leaves media – newspaper, radio, TV and social media advertising managers – happy as a mosquito at a nudist convention. 

Going into this campaign, Horgan had the highest approval rating of any premier in Canada, near the 70-per-cent level. That’s unheard of.

More so will be the preparedness, or lack thereof by the BC Liberals. The dissolved Legislature had the BC Liberals and the NDP at 41 seats each. But the Liberals have squandered any opportunity to gain traction during their three years in opposition. It’s difficult to identify any positive stance on anything in that time.

Their focus has been riding negative on Horgan, American style, never saying what they would propose for British Columbia, only trumpeting what they insisted over and over that the premier did wrong. If anything, that approach put the focus on Horgan, as his popularity underscores. That approach has kept us informed on what Horgan has been doing, but nothing about what they would do – putting forward no vision for B.C.

Yes, a month is a long time, and it remains to be seen what will transpire if the Liberals ever move their gear shift out of reverse and put forth a forward agenda. That will be the biggest influence on the final outcome. If not, they could get buried.