Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How the BC NDP Blew the Election - A series of unfortunate events, indeed.

From the Bad Beginning to the Slippery Slope to the Penultimate Peril and The End - the BC NDP election story makes for grim reading

Adrian Dix in Victoria during election campaign - Cassandra photo
Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours Vancouver/The Tyee column

Tuesday May 21, 2013
By Bill Tieleman
"I'm sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant... It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing."
- Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events
The BC New Democrat campaign that led to last week's stunning reversal of fortune by Premier Christy Clark is A Series of Unfortunate Events with politically tragic consequences.
Like the series of books about the "intelligent, charming and resourceful" Baudelaire youngsters, the BC NDP seems cursed with endlessly repeating bad luck -- the evil Count Olaf returns just as things appear brightest.
How the NDP's 17 per cent lead in public polling as the election started, with 61 per cent of voters wanting a change in government and 63 per cent disapproving of Clark's performance, dramatically turned into an increased BC Liberal fourth term is a sad tale for New Democrats.
There were three strategic NDP campaign errors, in retrospect: rejecting negative advertising; reversing position to oppose the Kinder Morgan oil pipeline and failing to conduct appropriate campaign polling.
And with BC Liberals frantically spinning stories designed to make Clark look more like the "people's premier" than the reality -- voters' reluctant choice -- it's important to look at all the facts.
Book the First: The Bad Beginning
BC NDP leader Adrian Dix said a year before the election campaign that his party would not engage in negative attack ads despite the BC Liberals and supporters vicious campaign targeting him.
"In the last seven months, the Liberal party and its allies have spent between $2 and $3 million on running personal attack ads against, well, me," Dix told supporters in Parksville last May.
"A lot of people think the way to respond to negative ads is to run negative ads ourselves," Dix argued. "The reason we are not going to do this is very simple."
"First, 1.7 million people didn't vote in the last provincial election. We are not going to bring anybody back to politics by deciding the winner of an election is the person with the best ad agency to run the nastiest negative ads. We need to bring people back to politics and that means offering some hope that change will happen," Dix said.
Despite my own political experience that negative advertising works even though people say they hate it, I reluctantly accepted that Dix might well be right. I even outlined some political research backing those views -- but we were both dead wrong.
And the campaign managed by veteran Ontario New Democrat Brian Topp, one of the architects of late NDP leader Jack Layton's success, stayed positive until almost the end.
And not only did 1.7 million voters stay home again, but the BC NDP, the BC Liberals and even the Green Party all dropped in both popular vote and actual ballots cast for them.
The BC Liberals dropped to 44.4 per cent from 45.8 per cent in 2009, the NDP to 39.5 per cent from 42.1 per cent and the Greens to 8 per cent from 8.2 per cent. All three parties dropped in votes in initial Elections BC counts, the BC Liberals by 28,000, the NDP by 48,000 and the Greens by 4,100.
Only the BC Conservatives increased their tallies, more than doubling their popular vote to 4.8 per cent from 2.1 per cent -- due to more than doubling their candidates to 56 in 2013 versus 24 in 2009.
That leaves the BC Liberals with 50 seats, up five from dissolution, the NDP at 33, down three and the Greens with their first ever B.C. seat, Andrew Weaver in Oak Bay-Gordon Head, while the BC Conservatives were shut out.
Bad Beginning
The Bad Beginning for the NDP was to conclude that because the BC Liberal and Concerned Citizens for B.C. group led by ex-Clark advisor and corporate CEO Jim Shepard had spent millions unsuccessfully attacking Dix without affecting his good polling in the year before the election that negative advertising wouldn't work for either side in 2013.
Without strongly defining the BC Liberals and Clark as a government that urgently needed to be terminated by voters for an incredibly long list of sins, the NDP couldn't make the winning case for change.
That allowed the BC Liberals to successfully argue that the BC NDP slogan of "change for the better" would actually amount to change for the worse -- and they did that with a vengeance.
Their advertising and Clark's every appearance was a tightly scripted message box focused on the alleged mayhem Dix's NDP would inflict on B.C. jobs and the economy.
The BC Liberals own prescription was patently absurd: a balanced budget that bond rating agencies rejected; elimination of debt in 15 years through revenue from non-existent liquefied natural gas plants; and "controlled spending" from a premier that increased B.C.'s debt by $11 billion in just two years.
But all said with a very pleasant smile and the professional conviction of someone selling soap on television.
At the same time, the NDP were talking about increasing taxes to pay for skills training -- did its pre-campaign polling show that was a winner?
And what happened to health care and education in this campaign -- the two strongest cards in the NDP hand against the BC Liberals?
Book the Tenth: The Slippery Slope
On Earth Day, April 22, Dix made a major announcement: an NDP government would reject the proposed twinning of the Kinder Morgan pipeline to Burnaby to transport crude oil from Alberta to Vancouver for oil tanker shipment overseas.
This after previously stating several times, including on April 11 on the Voice Of B.C. television show, that the NDP would not take a position on the controversial issue despite the party already opposing the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline proposal.
"They haven't actually made an application," Dix told host Vaughn Palmer of the Vancouver Sun. "I think as a matter of principle, you should actually see what the application is before you address it."
Then came the slippery slope.
Dix's decision was the result of an intense lobbying effort by environmentalists, NDP MLAs and candidates convinced it was the morally right thing to do -- and politically advantageous as well to head off the Green Party, which was campaigning hard in Victoria and Vancouver on its own absolute opposition to both pipelines.
There was also concern that massive protests against Kinder Morgan would turn B.C. into another environmental battleground, to the province's detriment.
But in retrospect, the Kinder Morgan "surprise" was likely the pivotal event of the entire campaign, an opinion I unusually share with former federal Conservative cabinet minister Chuck Strahl.
"But the turning point in the election was when Clark crystallized the connection between her party and jobs and the economy. The momentum shifted," Strahl wrote in The Globe and Mail May 16.
First, it appeared to validate for many undecided and soft-NDP voters BC Liberal claims that the NDP was "anti-jobs" and would damage the economy, even though Clark herself never said that Kinder Morgan would proceed either, unless it met all five of her conditions, one of which -- royalty payments -- Alberta had already rejected.
Secondly, it may have confirmed BC Liberal attacks that an NDP government under Dix would "flip-flop" on important issues.
And despite massive evidence that the BC Liberals had repeatedly done the same on the Harmonized Sales Tax, balanced budgets, selling BC Rail and much more, the NDP's rejection of negative advertising on those important issues during the campaign and before left it vulnerable to being the only party seen as "flip-flopping."
Thirdly, it alienated what now seems to be a significant number of blue-collar workers who support the construction of pipelines and the extraction of natural resources. (Disclosure: some of my clients represent or employ construction and resource industry workers.)
It was no accident that Clark continually appeared on television during the campaign wearing a hard hat and safety vest in private sector workplaces. Dix by contrast was almost always in a suit and tie.
The BC Liberals knew those workers and their families are be concentrated in key swing ridings like Kamloops-North Thompson, which Environment Minister Terry Lake had won by just 510 votes in 2009 but increased that to a 2,818 margin in 2013.
Kamloops-North Thompson also has an amazing political record: the party that wins this bellwether seat has formed government since party politics were introduced to B.C.
But the NDP's Kinder Morgan rejection was also likely a factor in other resource-based ridings like Fraser-Nicola, where veteran NDP MLA Harry Lali was surprisingly defeated by 754 votes and even in suburban ridings with blue-collar private sector workers.
The NDP's three-term incumbent Jagrup Brar lost in Surrey-Fleetwood to Langley City Mayor Peter Fassbender by just 265 votes, Joe Trasolini lost by 543 votes the Port Moody-Coquitlam NDP seat he had won in the by-election upset of April 2012, as did Gwen O'Mahoney in Chilliwack-Hope.
The NDP also narrowly lost seats it previously held where sitting MLAs retired and were replaced by newcomers: in Delta North, Coquitlam-Maillardville and Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows.
However, the NDP's Kinder Morgan opposition may also have created upset narrow victories over the BC Liberals for the party's David Eby in Vancouver-Point Grey, George Heyman in Vancouver-Fairview, Jane Shin in Burnaby-Lougheed and Gary Holman in Saanich North and the Islands, where pipeline opposition was strong.
But would some or all of them have won anyway without the NDP changing its position on Kinder Morgan?
Certainly picking up several seats in an election where the NDP overall lost ground is unusual.
But ultimately the NDP needed to gain a minimum of seven new seats to form a majority of 43 in the B.C. Legislature and it lost three, likely on a slippery slope coated in oil politics.
And in several ridings like Fraser-Nicola, the Green Party vote easily exceeded the NDP margin of loss; in Lali's case, for example, the Green's took 1,174 votes despite the NDP promising to kill not one but two oil pipelines.
Overall it may be less the case that the Greens split the vote so much as that environmentalists could not deliver Green-leaning supporters to the NDP despite the Kinder Morgan move.
And indeed I received an email after the election complaining that the BC NDP had not taken a strong position on fish farms and saving wild salmon compared to the Greens.
Noted activist Alexandra Morton only called for an NDP vote the day before the election, a message many would not have heard.
Certainly an analysis by The Tyee of the impact of Green voters indicates that it is unlikely more than three seats were arguably "lost" to the NDP in this election.
One of the most troubling issues for both parties will be to re-examine if a significant number of British Columbia voters truly do see election choices as jobs versus the environment.
Book the Twelfth: The Penultimate Peril
The next to final chapter of the Lemony Snicket series brings our heroes to the Hotel Denouement -- an appropriate description of the NDP campaign's final destination.
What is now abundantly clear is that the NDP was not conducting rolling polls throughout the election in key swing ridings to pick up trends and adjust the campaign accordingly, as the BC Liberals were.
In fact, the NDP disconcertingly switched polling firms during the campaign -- and instead relied solely on internal province-wide surveys to guide them.
Even worse, when those internally polls did show a tightening race and potentially serious trouble for the NDP during the campaign, when there was still time to change course, attack hard and salvage an election win, the response was muted and ineffective.
To be fair, the fact that external polling for media outlets did not pick up anything beyond a measurable but not dramatic tightening of the race, added to the NDP's lack of panic.
In the final 10 days the party responded with a tougher message and a new round of TV and other ads criticizing the BC Liberal record.
But the ads were clearly put together at the last minute, featuring only text-based headlines about the HST, B.C. Rail and the "quick wins" scandal -- a reference that only political junkies could decipher.
There were no photos of Christy Clark and Gordon Campbell, no reminder of the 12-year record of BC Liberal government failures, increase in debt, loss of jobs and promise of even more of the same.
With the BC Liberals gaining steam daily towards an election victory, the NDP response was tepid when a full frontal assault was the only chance left to win.
The BC Liberal campaign team's self-aggrandizement effort in recent days claims that only they knew from key riding polls that Clark could succeed.
The reality is that the NDP campaign forfeited its last chance to change the course of the election before it was too late. They had already checked into the Hotel Denouement.
Book the Thirteenth: The End
The BC NDP has a problem even more damning than losing a 17 per cent lead in a 28-day election campaign and facing at least four more years in opposition.
The party is on a downward trend that changing leaders and campaign managers has failed to arrest.
Its actual votes have steadily dropped from an all-time high of 824,544 in 1986, ironically when NDP leader Bob Skelly lost to Social Credit Premier Bill Vander Zalm in what has been seen as the party's worst campaign, to 643,399 in 2013 under Dix.
From NDP leaders Bob Strachan in the 1960s to Tom Berger to Dave Barrett to Mike Harcourt to Glen Clark to Ujjal Dosanjh to Carole James to Adrian Dix, Skelly's vote total amazingly stands as the high water mark.
It is also a testament to the power of attack advertising, as after Skelly's disastrous start to the campaign, the NDP went highly negative on Vander Zalm and brought its popular vote up to 42.6 per cent versus Social Credit's 49.3 per cent.
The NDP looked good after winning the 1991 election under Mike Harcourt and the surprise 1996 election victory under Glen Clark (when I was communications director in the premier's office).
But the NDP was devastated in 2001 after Ujjal Dosanjh took over from interim premier Dan Miller, who filled in after Clark was forced to resign.
Dropping from 39 seats to just two after Gordon Campbell won an astonishing 77 was earth shattering for the NDP.
Under new leader Carole James, the NDP rebounded in 2005 to 33 seats and 41.5 per cent of the vote, a return to its traditional strength. But Campbell won 46 seats and 45.8 per cent to hold power.
The 2009 election saw little change, with Campbell winning 49 seats and James 35 and the NDP trailing just before and throughout the entire campaign.
Internal NDP caucus dissent led to James' resignation and Dix became leader in 2011, following similar discontent in the BC Liberals over the HST that led to Campbell's resignation and Clark's ascent.
Dix built a significant lead over Clark in consistent polling starting in March 2011 and was 17 per cent ahead to start the 2013 election.
But then A Serious of Unfortunate Events destroyed that hard-won advantage.
There are many other lessons to be learned or relearned for New Democrats in the years ahead.
A few points are already clear.
Negative advertising is here to stay, in B.C. and across Canada. There will be no more attempts to run positive campaigns by any party, anywhere.
Declining voter turnout hurts democracy overall but it damages the NDP more than its right-wing opponents.
Scandals rarely defeat governments and don't motivate voters, their own circumstances do. If not, Campbell would have lost in 2005 and 2009 and Clark in 2013.
When voters are pushed to a forced choice between honesty and exceedingly unrealistic optimism, they will take the latter even if not convinced.
And if voters have to pick between a positive change of government and a threat of a negative change in the economy and jobs, they will fearfully avoid perceived risk.
There's one thing that even flawed polling makes clear: voters chose the BC Liberals in spite of -- not because of -- Premier Christy Clark.
Even if publicly released horse race numbers were wrong just a day before the election, that does not mean Clark's 58 per cent disapproval rating or the 58 per cent of those polled who wanted a different government dramatically reversed themselves.
No, the truth that the BC Liberal party hierarchy wants to hide is that voters picked Clark despite their disapproval of her performance, not because they changed their minds about her attributes.
That fact may make for an exceptional short honeymoon for B.C.'s first elected woman premier. But Clark's 28-day campaign has given her four years to try and convince voters they made the right choice.
Adrian Dix faces a much tougher test after losing an election nearly everyone expected him to win.
But those who are angry and resentful now have to recognize that no one complained when Dix made endless tours of the province to rally support for the last two years, mending a divisive party.
No one faulted Dix as he raised record amounts of money and surprising support from the corporate sector for the NDP.
And nary a word of internal criticism was heard when he outlined modest but achievable plans for a future NDP government and led an exceedingly effective opposition in the B.C. Legislature.
Indeed, everyone I spoke with in the party and beyond was incredibly impressed with his intelligence, work ethic and ability to speak powerfully, at length and without notes everywhere he went.
I also didn't see a series of columns saying Dix was doing it all wrong -- just the opposite. And I wasn't hearing private concerns in those two years, in fact not until a few NDP veterans uninvolved in the central campaign contacted me toward the end of the election, worried correctly then as it turned out.
If Dix did something truly wrong, sadly it was in appealing to us to believe in people's better nature.
That was based on his polling numbers surviving right through some of the most vicious personal attacks Canada has ever seen, frustrating BC Liberal strategists and convincing some in Clark's party that she had to go as leader. And it was also based on Dix's own personal beliefs.
But the BC Liberals' faith in fear was ultimately rewarded during the campaign.
The NDP did, however, do something that proved a huge mistake: it left enormous, election-changing strategy decisions up to a small group of people: Dix, Topp and some senior caucus and party staff.
Those decisions have left Dix a disheartened opposition leader instead of B.C's new premier.
But the NDP must also face tough facts that go well beyond its leader and its disastrous campaign if it truly wants to compete for power in 2017.
There will be no easy answers and no quick solutions to a series of unfortunate events.



Gary robinson said...

I must wholeheartedly agree .sad but true , the truth and honest plans for change loose to fear and lies.

Anonymous said...

Great analysis. Sadly, I believe the trends that have been evident in BC politics over the last many decades are as true today as ever -- when the centre right is united, BC elections will go to the centre right party, whether Socred or Liberal, or what have you going into the future. The NDP has really only won one election (excluding scandal assisted 1991 or centre right-split 1996 wins) which was Dave Barrett in 1972.

Adrian B. said...

Mostly concur with this analysis. Although I think it is worth underlining the failure of the NDP to win the argument on the economy again as a central reason for the loss and not so much Dix and the personal attacks on him, whom nevertheless should still take full responsibility for everything as leader. Some are claiming Dix was a poor choice in the first place because of his baggage but if you look at the accurate Ipsos E-day poll, Dix beat Clark on trust, and open and honest government despite the massive smear campaign. Ipsos showed a huge disparity on the key economic question which I believe was more of a salient factor. Nevertheless I think Bill is right about Kinder Morgan being a gamechanger and that the negative attacks on Dix's character helped make his Transmountain caveat more damaging. Technically Dix never changed his position as he was still waiting for whatever Kinder Morgan would end up formally submitting before publicly deciding on the proposal, and which is consistent with having a condition where turning Vancouver into a major tar sands export port would be a nonstarter. There were already other environmental conditions, like the project being reviewed by an independent provincial assessment. The principle was consistent but too clever-by-half and nuanced and vulnerable for distortion by the corporate media. Like 2009 the media spun and fabricated a pseudo-scandal on the NDP's environmental position. Dix's conditions were very similar to Clark's convoluted "5 conditions" but the media were deafeningly silent on that despite having frothing paroxysms over Dix's consistent position.

And I would strongly agree with the last part of the piece too Bill. The campaign was clearly a disaster but it's worth noting that Dix had also been one of the most successful opposition leaders in the history of the NDP up to that point. Would be a mistake to throw away that potential after one loss, one comparable to 2009 which incidentally was against a more unpopular Liberal leader and a far worse campaigner.

Dix should have one more shot. He simply failed to realize the expectations he himself had created by generating such an enormous and unprecedented lead.

Anonymous said...

The NDP and the BC Liberals used the same pollster, but they each got different results?

DPL said...

Leave Dix in position. He cleans the floor with the big mouthed lady who is Premier but doesn't hold a seat. Dix promised to be nice and logical, she simply lied through her teeth. But enough of the public believed her fear tactics to give her the job. The old Socialists are at the gate is still alive in BC. We are stuck with the Libs for another four years so why drop Adrian unless he wants to leave.The opposition is fairly large and the critics have time to get a handle on their roll.

Mt. T's article is quite good as far as I see it.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if Dix was willing to slap on a wig. Work on a plasticine smile. Move some belly fat up to appropriate areas one practical step at a time. Optically speaking, would have left Liperals dazed and confused. Who's paying the enormous mary kay cosmetic invoice? For an old gal approaching 50 will tax payers be on the hook for an "optic conversion?" Reality; gravity undoubtedly an issue 2017. Matt Hadenough

Anonymous said...

Get Dix out of his suit coat! Role those sleeves up and be determined. That's it!!!!!!!!! Optics, optics, optics, optics, optics infinity and beyond................ Matt Hadenough.

Anonymous said...

Bill, how much of your NDP support comes from the fact Glen Clark paid you $90,0000 for six months' work?

How much of the NDP's failure had to do with the public's dislike of Clark and Dix's little paper-hanging thing, for which he was very nicely rewarded with $70,000 in taxpayer's money?

Quite a lot, I would say.

Every single person who had anything to do with Glen Clark, you included, Bill, should be shown the door, along with Chairman Moe, whose only ethical record is hardly much to brag about.

However, since yourself and yourself worship Glen Clark, even though he practically destroyed your party, you'll keep Dix. You'll lose the next election, too, and then proceed to blame everyone but yourselves.

Adrian Dix: the gift who keeps on giving-election wins to tne Liberals.

Anonymous said...

Dix is toxic goods, a left-over from the Glen Clark years, which were so successful the NDP was left with two seats.

But the Faithful, you included, Bill, loved Clark. After all, he paid you $90,000 for some really easy work, so you shill for him day in and day out.

Glen Clark, through is proxy, is the gift that keeps on giving the Liberals election victories.

You'll never learn.

Anonymous said...

I think you fail,like the NDP membership, to see the Moe & Adrian baggage issue. Why would anyone vote for that kind of leadership? The guilty parties involved in the 90s scandals have been rewarded with positions, and salaries, In my circles The NDP is just not trusted to govern. 2017 will be the same unless the 90s mess is swept up and put out with the trash!

Anonymous said...

Sorry but I have to say this. You Lieberals are lunatics! Man, If the NDP had 1/10 of your scandals the devil yourself would dispose every NDP voter into hell for perpetuity. You have all the patience all the trust for a party who has shown us nothing but the opposite. Really,you disgust me!And for the way you won the election, based on fears and lies. Congratulations. Hope your home and business life mirrors that positive messaging. No thanks to your negativity. No thanks to your U.S. style politicking. Think squarely, do some good, help save the children. Bruce Pinard proud not to vote liberal...........

Not anon DPL said...

IT seems that some of the anons here are all experts in things political.The havn't got the ability to try a on line name but can tell all others just how dumb the folks are. And they know Bill won't delete their rants

Anonymous said...

The only reason Skelly's 1986 vote total is the "highest" ever for the NDP is that it was the last election where dual member ridings existed and so many urban NDP voters got to vote twice. Adjust that out and it is more likely the case that Harcourt holds the record for highest NDP vote getter. I leave the math to you or to a political scientist with the smarts to calculate it out to the nth degree.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Matt. It all comes down to optics. Image is everything, and swing voters make up their minds in the ballot box based on fear. If my old mother in-law votes based on which leader appears to be the most confident and answers questions very directly (regardless if it's true or not) then I'm guessing others do the same. Dix needs a image makeover and some better debating skills. If he can do that then he will have my mother in-law's vote, along with the rest of the fearful, uninformed swing voters.

Les Zsoldos said...

Adrian Dix missed a golden opportunity to win the election. He needed to remind voters that if the Liberals won, there would be no BC Rail inquiry. He needed to remind voters that the premier wasted 9 million dollars trying to persuade voters to support the HST. He should have said that the Liberals lied about the HST and had plans to adopt it well before the 2009 election.

He should have promised never to cancel a session of the legislature unlike the lazy premier who cancelled a fall session. He also needed to talk about BC's crown jewels, BC Rail, BC Hydro and BC Ferries. He needed to tell voters that the Liberals were privatizing what belonged to the people of BC. He should have said that Washington Ferries were cheaper to ride and had more ridership. This would have resonated with voters.

I'm a right-winger, but in my opinion, the premier is completely unqualified to lead the province.

Anonymous said...

So what is a qualification to lead the province? Adrian Dix's claim to fame other than being an MLA is being
an assistant to a Premier. He's never been a Minister of anything.

Christy has been a Minister, although her skills in governing the past two years are abysmal.

Washington State Ferries is quite different than BC Ferries, it's in a more populated area than BC Ferries is, and the routes are heavily subsidized.

Anonymous said...

Dix and Moe should go, today. They, like, Jan O'Brian, are left overs from a party that the voters (fairly or unfairly) rejected in 2001. Dix was the wrong person to lead the party and Moe forced in as president with no input or say from the members or even provincial council. It was a done deal by the time if got there.

You claim you didn't hear people expressing wrong about Dix before the election. I'm not sure who you are talking to but it wasn't the same people I know. From day one there was a quiet but strong undertone that Dix was the wrong choice. That his baggage was too much and would come back to hit the NDP in the election. And it did.

You also didn't talk to party staff and insiders, who nearly a year before the election, talked about how Dix was too much of a micromanager and refused to take advice from anyone but his group of one or two.

I spoke to staff 18 months before the election that said we wouldn't win because of this. Even with 20% lead they still expressed concern.

There are many things that went into this lost, but Dix was a huge part of it. He has to go and take his buddy Moe with him. The members of the party need to get back into control and kicked out the old boys and move forward.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's a grim story if you believe it.

But I wonder if the election was somehow rigged and that's why everybody was wrong about the result.

The conservatives used illegal means in their last election so they aren't really legitimate in the eyes of many Canadians, G W Bush twice got elected by illegal counts of the vote - don't take for granted that it didn't just happen in BC.

Anonymous said...

"G W Bush twice got elected by illegal counts of the vote - don't take for granted that it didn't just happen in BC."

See the silly comments are back.

Would this be said if the NDP actually won the election?

Anonymous said...

The NDP's only chance is to move to the centre, get Horgan as leader and cleanse the current strategists.
NDP sadly needs a new brain trust and some people with cojones. Sihota and the Trojan horse Topp were pathetic and Dix is damaged goods that will never be premier. Christy Clark and Adrian Dix are like Lucy and Charlie Brown and that's why the NDP will never get to kick the footbal until the channel changes.

Anonymous said...

The NDP must clearly state their policies in the election campaign. Their policies were some of the best but the voters did not know them. They cannot rely on the media to state them as the media does no research on any of the issues. They are just mouthpieces for the BC Liberals. I wonder how many people went to the BC NDP website to see their policies. I expect none of the press did.

Unknown said...

I think your analysis ignores the central point: that the polls were completely wrong from start to finish, yet you speak as if you accepted their validity throughout the campaign. Despite declining numbers for the full length of the campaign, on election day, all the polls were still showing the NDP with a very comfortable 7% lead, which lead a good part of the (lazy and thoughtless) NDP base to conclude, somewhat understandably, that they didn’t need to vote….with disastrous results, at least from my view point. That anybody would conclude, as you do, that totally inaccurate polls were not a major factor, given what they were saying prior to election day and the subsequent results, leaves me completely puzzled.
Far too many politicians…..and pundits, have come to depend completely on questionable polls instead of the basics that got the BC NDP elected the first time around: making sure that the party base was both energized and present and accounted for: and doing an thorough job of showing the Liberal party for what it is: a disastrous failure at governing on behalf of the people, and whose platform was a complete mélange of deceit and outrageous lies.
Forget letting the polls guide the empty strategy and get a lot more shoe leather ringing doorbells.

Not anon DPL said...

WAC Bennett would not allow such polls and we now see part of the reason why.

Anonymous said...

The election was not lost by the NDP because of polling. The NDP lost because they simply were too complacent and many of the NDP supporters stayed home.

The NDP obviously did their own polling and had riding results from the door to door and phone canvass, and that should have given the NDP action to take. How they could have missed within their own campaign is astounding to say the least.

So it's now blame the pollsters and not the primary cause (the NDP's lack of attention, Dix's flip flops, and being too nice in the blood sport of politics).

Anonymous said...

The real losers in this election are the taxpayers of B.C. $60 Billion and climbing with only a bulls$%t promise of LNG and a surplus.
Just like Harper and his DEBTCLOCK.ca. A full blown depression is not too far with runaway debt.