Oct. 25, 2020

Horgan bulldozer flattens crumbling Liberal house of cards

What happened? The votes are not all counted yet, but it’s inevitable, we’re going to have a majority government for the next four years.

Now we’re going to go through endless analyses about what happened to bring down the BC Liberals so drastically. But the end result will be the comparison of leadership.

In a short synopsis, John Horgan came across as trustworthy, good-hearted “Uncle John” Horgan while Andrew Wilkinson could never get out of the starting gate.

He had lots of steak, but no sizzle. There will be a lot of other assessments, but that pretty well spells it out. He offered a one-year PST holiday, not a winner. He offered competition for ICBC, ho hum. And that’s the way it went for the entire campaign.

A classis comparison was when Wilkinson had candidate problems, he acted but it didn’t do it authoritatively. The one candidate who got bounced nearly won his seat as an independent. When Horgan had a candidate with a runaway mouth he called it “stupid.” End of topic, we didn’t talk about it anymore – and that candidate won his seat.

The Liberals and Greens spent a lot of time hammering Horgan over calling an “unnecessary” early election during a pandemic. There was no outcry from the voters, however. The election rallies were missing, replaced by Zoom meetings. It was different and the voters appeared to embrace it. The concept of mail-in voting and advance voting gained a lot of favour as more than a million chose that option.

It’s difficult to do an accurate assessment when all the number are still not in, but the trends are established and will not likely change the final outcomes.

A shocker for many was the likely defeat of Liberal Michelle Stilwell who got submarined by her own party. When a local businessman announced he was running for the Conservatives, he was reportedly pressured not to run, so he ran as an independent instead. That brought out an old Conservative party executive member who tossed his name into the race just to have a presence. With incomplete results, Stilwell lost by almost 1,000. Guess what, the Independent and the Conservative had about 1,000.

Depite the great optimism, the biggest loser of the night has to be the Green party. They went from sharing power to becoming an echo from the backbench. It remains to be seen whether Horgan will have the time of day for them now.

The biggest question facing British Columbia’s free enterprisers is whether to simply throw a new coat of paint on a crumbling building or whether to tear it down and start with a new foundation.

The Conservative vote made an impression in a number of areas where the NDP picked up seats, particularly in the Langley ridings and the Fraser Valley.

One thing that has been kicked around for a number of years is the Liberal party name, and this time it may have been enough of a distraction to actually step forward and do something about it. Yes, the Conservatives chewed up some of their traditional vote due not only the party name but some of the policy. Splitting the politically-right vote will leave the NDP in power for a long, long time.

And the odor emanating from eastern Canada certainly did not help the Liberal cause here in British Columbia.

Pundits were scrambling Saturday night about Wilkinson’s future with the party. Stepping down now would only mire the party deeper in muck. He needs to stick around until the Liberal/Conservatives can get their new foundation built. This is not a renovation, it's a tear-down.