Wednesday, May 15, 2013

BC NDP flailed instead of fighting back against vicious BC Liberal attack - and lost the election during the campaign

Premier Christy Clark after TV leaders debate 
Bill Tieleman's 24 Hours Vancouver/The Tyee column

Wednesday May 15, 2013

By Bill Tieleman 

"Politics determine who has the power, not who has the truth." 

- Economist Paul Krugman

Tuesday night’s victory by Premier Christy Clark and the BC Liberals will go down in British Columbia political history as one of the biggest upset victories ever.

Unfortunately, it will also go into the books as a triumph of fear over hope, of choosing incredibly negative, personal attack ads over policy and vision, and a revolting example that using taxpayer dollars to advertise your own party cause works.

Bitter? You bet.

Not because the BC Liberals won – political opponents have to accept that sometimes the other team had a superior campaign than your own, more ideas, a more effective leader or just did a better job.

No, bitterness comes only when the other team plays dirty and never faces the penalty they should – to lose the game.

That’s what happened in this election.

Clark’s team ran the most right-wing, Republican-style campaign Canada has ever seen.

The BC Liberals were relentlessly nasty, using wealthy allies to air slurs against BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix, while spending voters’ own money to promote the party with a collection of demonstrably false claims about B.C.’s budget, job creation and debt.

And yet, it worked.

For that, the BC NDP must bear its own share of the blame.
It allowed a 20-point lead to disappear in a failed campaign that flailed instead of fighting back.

Despite the Harmonized Sales Tax betrayal, the BC Rail scandal and Clark being one of the most unpopular premiers in Canada, the NDP blew it.

And now B.C. will suffer the consequences of electing a leader who is more vicious than visionary.



Anonymous said...

Sour grapes Bill. Only idiots never blame themselves. Too bad the lazy NDP supporters couldn't find 5 minutes in their unemployed life to go vote. Typical.

I hope they bring back HST. That would be awesome.

The only bigger loser than Dix is Carole James. Dix choking only appeals to some, but clearly not the majority.

Anonymous said...

Right on Bill. I just dont see how AD can survive as leader. Someone has to carry the can for this debacle and he is the guy in charge. I would hope he just steps aside as the NDP does not need a protracted fight. BC politics is just so weird that many people can't handle it and that would account for the abysmal turnout.

Anonymous said...

I leave it to two of England's greatest Parliamentarians to pass their verdict on the failed leadership (Adrian Dix) of appeasers in politics:

"You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately ... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"
. . . Oliver Cromwell, April 20, 1653
/ Leo Amery, May 8, 1940


Sean in British Columbia said...

Well Bill, these things happen in a democracy.

I wonder if Jenny Kwan will be just as viscious with Dix as she was with James?

This is very bad news for polling companies.

It completely reminds us of how Barrett blew his reelection guarantee in 1975....Or how he blew coming back to power in 1983....Or Bob Skelley's hapless campaign of 1986.....This isn't the first time the NDP were expected to win and didn't.

I'm glad that you don't blame the Greens, as so many NDP stalwarts are doing. It wasn't their fault.

Anonymous said...

Polling: was there ever a 20 point lead? Is manipulation of polling a new technique to scribe the outcome of an election? For it to happen in Quebec, Alberta, the US election ( remember the Republican polls) and now BC may be statistically possible, but to actually reverse the outcome in the exact manner the polls are predicting seems to be a numerical oddity to say the least. It seems psychological understanding of people along with numeric manipulation is indeed possible. After all there was millions of dollars in play for the Liberals.

Anonymous said...

Polling: was there ever a 20 point lead? Is manipulation of polling a new technique to scribe the outcome of an election? For it to happen in Quebec, Alberta, the US election ( remember the Republican polls) and now BC may be statistically possible, but to actually reverse the outcome in the exact manner the polls are predicting seems to be a numerical oddity to say the least. It seems psychological understanding of people along with numeric manipulation is indeed possible. After all there was millions of dollars in play for the Liberals.

Adrian B. said...

Concur with your grim dissection of this election, Dix and the NDP were unable to withstand the negative attacks and made numerous unforced errors throughout the campaign, particularly the overarching strategic ones.

Say on the memo, I strongly opposed the NDP's "but he's no longer a crook" line on this. Surrogates at least should have pushed back hard against this naked libel by pointing out how he was totally exonerated by the courts and was innocent of all these ridiculous and fabricated accusations of forgery and such. I suppose the thinking was to ignore all this sludge and just focus on the party's message, and that any engagement on this obscure peccadillo would have been a distraction. But that was a mistake because it let the Liberals tarnish his character without challenge and it helped later reinforce the bogus accusations of a flip-flop on Kinder Morgan and other personal denunciations. I can sympathize with how Dix is often reluctant to directly answer the media's frequent "are you still beating your wife?" questions but he needed a more concise and clearer answer on things like the Kinder Morgan position. Something no longer than a sentence or two, i.e. he was never in favour of turning Vancouver Harbour into a major tar sands export port, and he still will wait for a formal application and provincial environmental assessment on Transmountain before any final decision is made, so there was clearly never any flip-flop. I don't blame Adrian for being very cautious about the constant gotcha questions he is asked, but in my opinion he needs to answer every question with an immediate yes or a no, otherwise the public gets a misleading impression of evasiveness. i.e. how are you Adrian? A: Yes. What time is it? No. etc..

And it will be interesting to learn how much Brian Topp's mismanagement of the campaign played in all this. Wonder if he was indeed one of main players that exhorted Dix to implement the same overcautious, timid and more moderate strategy that cost the NDP the 2009 election and now this one. Dix had credibility with the party's left-wing base and should have openly embraced that and ran on childcare and other populist issues. In fact it even looked like he was planning to slowly phase in childcare, but just wouldn't run on it. And I agree with Glen Clark's criticism about the "boyscout politics". We didn't defeat Gordon Campbell by telling everyone about what a great husband he is or something. We rightly ripped him to shreds for being a liar on the HST. And I was shocked the HST and the user-fees weren't emphasized more in the campaign. Clark broke her word to immediately kill the HST, tried to save it, then deliberately delayed removing it, and yet the NDP was almost silent about this. They should have obsessively demagogued the HST and user-fees in the writ period and maybe could have even won on the economic question with a "are you better off since the Liberals have been in power?" approach.

Just some preliminary thoughts, but what a shocking tragedy. I hope Dix can hang on to the leadership and recover from this and lead us to victory in 2017. Not clear to me at all that Farnworth or Horgan, or James, would have fared any better. In fact it was Dix's rejection of these figures' more centrist approaches that distinguished him in the leadership race, but he ended up making the same miscalculation as them by overcompensating and mitigating his Leftist reputation.

Christoper said...

NDP will have to anoint a messiah before I'll EVER vote for them again . 50 years old now and have voted NDP since I was legally allowed to vote . Carol James pathetic weak soft campaign was almost too much , BUT this was the absolute wimpy garbage ....Clark deserves the win unfortunately British Columbia will lose . Adrian Dix if you read this ....step down and get the hell out of the way .....NDP party if you read this start the attack adds now and don't stop until your elected ....The Liberals had a tea-spoon full of dirt to attack with . The NDP had a wheelbarrow full of dirt and used nothing and we all see the result .....I'm so pissed-off I'm hammering my keyboard .....ugh !

Anonymous said...

Bill, you have to do something withing your party that will actually cause you to win elections. You'd think that with a stream of shilling NDP "pundits" as yourself and Geoff Meggs that any election is a slam-dunk. Instead, the electorate sees right through you for what you are: failed hangers on looking for the fat government payola Adrian gave you in the 1990's. Time to move on a get some real work, Bill. You are not helping your party.

Anonymous said...

exactly. who needs polling companies? Also, who needs political strategiest??? Especially the ones always on the LOSING side.

sue said...

I see on Twitter that Campaign Research, who worked for the federal Tories in the last election, did the internals for CC's campaign.

They're all crowing about it on Twitter.

Just what we needed. Ontario Tories helping CC.

Paul said...

"And yet, it worked."

"Politics is a blood sport"
- Aneurin Bevan (1897 - 1960)

"Nice guys finish last"
- Leo Durocher (1906 - 1991)

Anonymous said...

Just what we needed. Ontario Tories helping CC.

Just like Back East federal NDPers such as Brian Topp helping Adrian Dix.

Jeanne said...

This is not about sour grapes - this is about our need to end the NDP-BC's death wish.

We are not back in the last century. We have a critical and growing green vote split. We can't do the same old things hoping it will someday work because it used to.

BC-NDP campaign managers do not seem to GET that. They can't face the fact that you don't get elected because you're better and nicer. You get elected because you understand people, including their fears.

I came home after pounding the pavement 12 hours on David Eby's E-day campaign (and seeing the horrible writing on the wall with those early returns).

It felt like a punch to the gut because everything I'd feared about the NDP campaign had come true. I had held out hope because of the polls. But I had also watched the BCLIbs use better design, better social media, more humour, better messaging and better marketing psychology. This was not all about money -- it was about skill and flexibility.

For example, with the Liberals' awful track record, could have had fun with a waste-o-meter when they hit the NDP with with their spend-o-meter. But we just tweaked the campaign wording slightly in the final days.

The BCLIbs used images that went straight to the brain. We sent correction press releases that went straight to the garbage can. Our campaign deficiencies seemed obvious - but not to our campaign leadership in their 1990s-era bubble.

Here's the proof: I came home to see this email from Jan O'Brien, BC's NDP Deputy Campaign Director.

"I can’t begin to say how proud I am of the campaign that we have run... tonight, no matter what happens, we will gather to celebrate the best campaign that I have ever seen in British Columbia."

OMG. After scraping myself off the floor, I sent a reply that - in the unlikely event it is read - will be blown off, like all the campaign suggestions I have made over many years of breaking my heart for the NDP.

But I want to speak out. So this is what I said:

Re: "the best campaign I have ever seen in British Columbia"

Jan, the "best" campaigns do not blow a 20 point lead and flip it into a landslide for a widely-hated opponent.

As a media professional, I have been unimpressed with this amateur campaign from the first ad 'sneak peek" (which broke every basic rule in good communications, eg eye contact with the viewer). You will blame tonight's shocking loss on the media, on money, on the other side -- on everything except where the blame belongs: the self-congratulating theorists who planned such an outdated campaign.

NDP's hard-working party volunteers have been betrayed - and so have the people of BC who badly needed an NDP win.

Please resign and take the rest of your team with you.

Unknown said...

You mean NDP's defeat has nothing to do with trying to shut down the economy, growing the bloated government, and squeezing business to pay for all the programs benefiting the army of useless semi-employed leftists and the public unions - that were planned? What about the move to nationalizes private power producers who sell power to BC Hydro 35% cheaper than what Site C will cost?

Happy to see that Tieleman has no clue.

The people of BC will continue to be safe from the NDP.

e.a.f. said...

Dix has to wear some of this as does his team of back roomers. The strategy didn't work. It didn't inspire people to get out and vote. Politics is a blood sport and you need to be able to work like a pit bull or go home. If Dix hadn't wanted to do it, he could have used Farnsworth or Horgan. Both of them are great at it. The NDP failed to remind the voters of what the lieberals have done to this province.

The voter turn out was terrible so a note to those who didn't vote, you get what you deserve and can't complain.

Regardless of the mismanagement, corruption, etc. of the lieberals why people didnt' stop and think about the children of B.C. when they voted, is beyond me. Services for children are 3rd rate, so is education, foster care, we still don't have a new children's hospital. The NDP could have run a whole campaign just on how neglected and impoverished the children of B.C. are.

On the upside, the NDP doesn't have to figure out what to do about the deficeit and hold any enquiries.

The Greens can be thanked for assisting the lieberals. This will give the lieberals all the opportunity they need to continue to destroy the enviornemnt in B.C. Hope the greens think one mla is worth the destruction.

By the end of 4 yrs, the middle class will be gone, the working class will be living in 2nd world conditions but the lieberals and their friends will be rich.

Time to establish residency in Alberta so at least I can get into a hospital if i get sick.

Kreditanstalt said...

The NDP never did articulate any vision for generating wealth...or even any recognition that that process was even necessary.

Do they even understand it?

All we saw were colourless and odorless TV appeals for more funding for the elderly, for the homeless, for education, for daycare, for this, that, this...

This might resonate well with Commercial Drive coffee bar habitues or wealthy public sector activists but it sure is seen as elitist and irrelevant in the Red States of the interior and Fraser Valley, guys!

Unknown said...

HST? Only 52% of BC wanted PST back, and now that they have suffered with the complications and waste of PST, a majority want the HST back.

"BC Rail"? Lol - grasping at straws. This dead horse has been beaten to a pulp. You NDP folks have nothing positive to offer -- no platform, no job creation, no economy except for wasting people's money and transferring wealth from the workers to the public unions, but then you are chasing BC Rail?

Bill, it is people like you who prevent the NDP to gain the trust. I think you career is a downhill from now because you tried your best, and the voters saw through people like you. Burn.

You elitists take the voters as a bunch of sheeple who need NDP's rulership, because the NDP is such an oh so bright set of people who know stuff that the intellectually challenged sheeple does not.

I doubt you semi-wits will ever learn.

Jeanne said...

For so many campaigns, I have BEGGED the NDP to promote their comparatively superior fiscal record -- instead of letting the public believe they are nice but can't be trusted with money.

Prove it and promote it from 3rd party sources over and over and over again. That's what you have to do because it has been ground into people's brains now for decades.

But no, the NDP - especially in BC -refuses to admit that this is what is jamming them. They don't hear the fears of the NON-NDP voter. Their heads are just up in the clouds.

Do they think their supporters will just keep campaigning and funding their mistakes indefinitely?

Is there any way - ever - to be heard by these top-down party bureaucrats?

DPL said...

Less than 52 percent voted for Ms.Photo Ops and her so called team. The ones from last term did not support her in any way.I suggest the first time she really shoots off her mouth, the swords will be out.

And I figure it's about time to stop dumping on Mr.T. I doubt very much if he was in the back room giving ideas to the leader.

The leader Dix has more clues in one finger than smiling Christy has in her head. He suggested slow and steady, she wants to sell everything. As on person said she talks in 15 second bursts

Unknown said...

The funniest post was by an NDP hack published by the Tyee. He said:

Adrien Dix would have generated wealth by raising more taxes.

It is this sort of clueslessness, no, illiteracy on matters economic that makes the NDP deplorable. Yes the sheeple hears this and they immidiately know that the NDP has little idea about anything real out there.

Good to see you dumped in the dustbin of history. We will now invest billions in BC and create jobs and wealth for all, now that the risk of a corrupt and leeching socialist government has passed.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comments here. I've never voted NDP and likely never will, but was surprised by the Election result. I thought Dix had made a reasonable case and would pull enough moderate (especially female) vote to win.

There once was this guy named Gordon Campbell who lost an election in 1996 that he was supposed to win. Rather than ditch him, the party stuck by him and he did pretty well in the next election. Heard about a guy named McGuinty in Ontario who had a similar experience.

This knee jerk ditching of party leaders who - heaven forfend - fail to form government in their first electoral go around is juvenile and counter productive. You don't think Mr. Dix has learned some valuable lessons from this experience?

krank! said...

C'mon, Adrian b, are you for real? Horgan would've kicked her in the ass for 28 days! Dix has to go. OJT ( on the job training) is fine for plumbing, not political leadership. 4 more years of James' and now Dix's "new style of OPPOSITION" has brought this province to where a new bunch of grifters get to load their pockets with what the last bunch left behind! Jayzus!!!!!

Not anon DPL said...

Let's stop shittng on Bill T. All those high paid polling guys had it all wrong. we are stuck with "The black widow" as a Premier for about four years. Being disappointed sure hurts but a smaller percent of the voters went for flash appearances complete with coveralls and safety gear. This round is going to keep on hurting a lot of folks, and no doubt some about to get hurt bought the BS

Anonymous said...

Crow Casserole


6 crow breasts
1 quart sauerkraut
6 strips bacon
1/3 cup chopped onion


In a skillet, brown the CROW breasts, then place them on a 1-1/2-inch layer of sauerkraut in the bottom of a casserole dish.

Cover each piece of CROW MEAT with a strip of bacon and onion. Cover the breasts with another layer of sauerkraut and pour sauerkraut juice over it.

Bake for two hours in a 350 degree preheated oven.


Adrian B. said...

The witless ignoramuses who are claiming that this one cycle proves that the NDP are now demonstrably an historical anacharanism in the 21st century look pretty ridiculous given how Clark plagiarized half of Dix's platform. The NDP's problem was again being too moderate and not enough of a contrast which left the base yawning. Clark ran on significant tax increases on the rich and a quasi-NDP budget as business and the Right were calling it, opposition to pipelines unless onerous conditions are met, increased skills training, opposition to how the HST was introduced and handled, cordial, stable relations with public sector unions (i.e. proposals for 10 year contracts etc..)

I thought all of this was alienating the conservative base of the BC Liberals, and it was, but she nevertheless managed to broaden the appeal of the party to the center and women and other demographics to make up for this. This is a textbook example of just how the Social Credit created "5 minute Socreds" but also how the federal Liberal party has historically felled the socialist hordes at the gates. King implemented Woodsworth's proposal for OAS and other reforms when the CCF were ascendant, Pearson contained the NDP with the CPP, Medicare, etc.. and under Trudeau as well the socialists ended up getting a huge proportion of their decades old demands enacted. It's going on today with Trudeau Jr. i.e. trying to throw a bone or two to social democrats and soft nationalists in Quebec with talk of separatism being legitimate, etc..

The NDP's loss is obviously not a case of the public's rejection of their ideas given the Liberals' hypocritical and disingenuous plagiarism of the major planks of their platform. Dix had a platform and a lot of good ideas but clearly failed to communicate his popular ideas effectively nor did he make enough efforts to build a compelling and simple narrative on the economy.

Adrian B. said...

krank! said...
C'mon, Adrian b, are you for real? Horgan would've kicked her in the ass for 28 days! Dix has to go...

If Horgan was the more obvious and popular choice then how come he couldn't even win the NDP leadership race? If Dix is so terrible why couldn't Farnworth, Horgan or anyone beat him? Vaughn Palmer today argued that it doesn't count because Dix won by Surrey sign-ups and being more organized as if doing well in Surrey and being organized wouldn't matter in a general election. Dix wasn't from Surrey. Farnworth or Horgan could have made inroads there too.

It's arguable that Horgan would have been able to connect better with British Columbians, though Dix is actually pretty good at working a room and face-to-face connection and I don't think this is the reason he lost anyway. But if Horgan can't even beat the Dour One himself in the leadership race why is it self-evident that he would win the general election? Sometimes a leader is able to win a leadership race of members but be a poor choice for the general public, but I don't think this was the case in the BCNDP leadership race. Horgan was arguably more popular and charismatic amongst New Democrats than Dix was but Dix had a better message and was more organized and strategic. That said it was a huge mistake make the general election the Dix Show, it was all Adrian all the time and that made the smear campaign against him more effective when there were some incredible figures on their bench like Horgan who should have had a much bigger role. Palmer is right that Dix is ultimately responsible for the whole campaign and all the mistakes, i.e. hiring his friend Topp whose supercilious, arrogant incompetence and poor judgement was demonstrated in his failed federal leadership candidacy which was a disorganized disaster despite the brilliant team he had in Surrey and BC.

It looks like a coup is in the works right now and Farnworth is finally making his moves. And James piling on the corporate media spin on Dix's consistent Kinder Morgan position was interesting. Farnworth had already been biding his time and patiently positioning himself to take out Dix anyway. Wouldn't be surprised if the leak to Tsakumis about Tieleman came from the Health Critic or a proxy. And dissident MLAs pushed out like Gentner and Sather after pressure from James et al. have now cost the NDP those seats. It's comical how David Schreck is now demanding that Dix step down after one cycle when Schreck was the most stridently undemocratic apologist of the status quo the last time leadership was reviewed. Given his previous rhetoric I guess this makes him an anarchist, anti-male sexist. It's obviously fair game for New Democrats to call for Dix's head on a pike after blowing a huge lead like this, that's democracy. But James was never as successful at creating such an unprecedented lead and there's no evidence that Farnworth or Horgan would have been able to build up a lead like that, or that they would have been able to succeed where Dix failed in the general election by mobilizing the NDP base, especially Farnworth. They might have done even poorer with the NDP base that wouldn't have made up for the additional swing voters and centrists they'd pick up. That said, I think there are cases where a leader should step down after one cycle but I don't think that it is appropriate this time. Dix should have one more shot and then he's done. Layton, Douglas, Broadbent, etc.. had more opportunities despite doing poorly in their first attempts as leader.

Anonymous said...

"Let's stop shittng on Bill T. All those high paid polling guys had it all wrong. we are stuck with "The black widow" as a Premier for about four years. Being disappointed sure hurts but a smaller percent of the voters went for flash appearances complete with coveralls and safety gear. This round is going to keep on hurting a lot of folks, and no doubt some about to get hurt bought the BS"

The NDP was the cause of the defeat not the BC Liberals. They simply did not get their message out, and Adrian Dix was not decisive on his answers.

Bill here supported Adrian Dix in the leadership.

In fact it was for many that the NDP was expected to win.

So if you want someone to blame, look in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

Disagree It was readily apparent that the voters had a larger dislike for Christy Clark in this election than for Gordon Campbell in the 2009 election.

Face facts, the NDP choked and it comes back to Adrian Dix and his followers including Bill here.

Would the NDP improve its commmunications with Horgan or Farnworth? I would think so as they are also politically smart and are better communicators than Adrian Dix is. Adrian is a backroom boy.

Dix also captured a very large share of the labour/union vote within the NDP, and with that was clammed up on the balloting for union certification (a "don't tell 'em" reward for the union support Dix received).

So the NDP rebuilds.

Look in the mirror for the cause.

Adrian B. said...

Well apparently it wasn't that apparent that Clark was disliked by the electorate.

No doubt the NDP needs to look in the mirror but I don't recall Tieleman being the campaign manager. I wish.

Dix should have openly supported giving workers the freedom to choose if they want a secret ballot or a true majority of cards signed to certify their workplace, which seemed like the NDP policy anyway. Being too timid on these questions and moderate hurt them with labour and the Left. A tragic irony given Dix is Mr. Left, he received a lot of bad advice which he is responsible for accepting for trying to downplay his reputation as more Leftist.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous Crow Casserole

Tastes like chicken!

Anonymous said...

I really get a kick when we see party stalwart and perennial NDP shill Billy complaining about negative ads. Remember what you did during the HST recall, Bill? Misleading people about what the HST applied to, not even mentioning the rebates and a whole slew of other lies. Kind of the pot calling the kettle black, isn't it?

Mr Bill was Glenn Clark's Communications Secretary. Hmmmmm, do you think an NDP win would have some personal benefit for you, Bill? Would you like to make $15k a month off the taxpayers again, Bill? Of course, voters saw right through it and didn't give Dix the power he-and Billy-wanted, not to mention Billy's side-kick tag team gravy train buddy Geoffie.

Pundits, Polls and Political Scientists...the Unholy Trinity of No Nothings.

Kreditanstalt said...

Given their obeisance to both the urban "social justice/fairness/equality" lobby and to the public sector unions, my guess is that the NDP is about cooked in those parts of the province which don't boast latte bars, universities and the artsy media...

@40% is "peak statism" I guess...

Anonymous said...

Dix should have resigned as leader Tuesday evening. Moe Sihota should resign immediately. Brian Topp should refund his undeserved salary and never ever step on this side of the Rockies again. The "king makers" from Surrey with their bags of membership sign-ups and cash should be pushed out of the party. The rot in the party I've supported for 5 decades will become a terminal cancer if not dealt with immediately. Why would anyone think with a forger for leader and a party president disciplined by the law society for playing fast and loose with trust accounts could run a campaign based on the moral character of the virtuous NDP. We must clean out the corruption in our house - we must start with membership fees that express a commitment to the party (if something costs almost nothing it's worth almost nothing)to prevent bundling of membership and then votes at convention. We must take the party back from the MLA and the - past their due date -party hacks. Again the sooner Dix and Sihota go the sooner we can re-build our party. And by way, where is the youth; that is other than the children of party and union appartchiks?

Not anon DPL said...

Our family has supported the party since I resigned from the military early. The vote then became secret.Prior to that, voting NDP often resulted in loss of security classification, but that's a different subject.

Sure wish folks could come up with a stage name and not anon, as who knows how many positions any anon has.
The NDP found out that playing nice doesn't work that well. Ms.Photo OP.s spread so much BS it is difficult to believe enough people believed enough of it to get elected. It will be tough for them to satisfy the voters as reality sets in.

The back dated memo is a no brainer, he got fired, ended up in court and that should have been the end of it. Clark and friends used it a lot. A few more days and the fast ferries would be a talking point.
So the reality is, the Libs won. sure the NDP council will decide what to do next.

I find this blog a good read, and usually but not always agree with Mr.T. I see that he doesn't drop folks who disagree with him and that's to his credit. Lets save our energy to rally against each thing the Libs try to pull off. Dix did his best. He isn't as flashy in his presentations as Ms. Clark but with a little though most of us just know she is a walking babbling pile of balony

Don McBain said...

How ironic that when I opened this blog there was a poll at the top of the page. I never really thought that polls were that great but now I have no confidence in them. I did not anwser the poll about Justin being the next Prime Minister of course - usually I would have.

Anonymous said...

"The back dated memo is a no brainer, he got fired, ended up in court and that should have been the end of it."

Dix ended up in court? What was the penalty? Certainly wasn't making cheap furniture at Wilkinson Road or making gravel at Kent Penitentary.

"Clark and friends used it a lot. A few more days and the fast ferries would be a talking point. "

It was. For the above poster.

"So the reality is, the Libs won. sure the NDP council will decide what to do next."

They couldn't figure a way of a

"Lets save our energy to rally against each thing the Libs try to pull off. "


You did that for the past 3 1/2 years. So what's next more whining
and complaining?

There would be better time spent in
rebuilding the NDP and replacing Dix and President Mighty Moe with people who actually get things done in politics.

"Dix did his best."

That is his best? Sheesh, I'd hate to see what would be his worst.

"He isn't as flashy in his presentations as Ms. Clark but with a little though most of us just know she is a walking babbling pile of balony"

And Dix.. is just well...


Mark said...

Don't be surprised Bill - FPP means the party that can scare the most people wins. And the NDP won't get to collaborate or work with Liberals in this winner take all system.

Reminds me of using fear tactics to scare people away from STV. Just saying.

Mark said...

This is what you get with FPP Bill - party that scares the most people wins. Too bad the Liberals don't have to collaborate with any of the other parties to govern with our winner take all system.

Reminds me of using fear of the unknown to scare people away from STV. Just saying. Taste of your own medicine.

Anonymous said...

STV would have worked and passed if those idiots supporting it did not insist on fiefdom sized multiple member ridings which would caused alot of headaches for all parties and the voters.

They should have used the Australian model, a single member Legislative riding with a Preferential Ballot. It works
very nicely there and can easily be
adopted here if the STV fools sold it right.

Anonymous said...

I am a Liberal supporter and at 1 pm we got emails saying that voter turnout was low and that if we got the vote out, we would win. Apparently NDP supporters believed the polls and didnt get their vote out. That with Dix looking nervous and uncomforatble during the debates, changing his tune on Kinder Morgan to woo the green vote. Dix really had no plans - he alieneated blue collar union workers in the mines, pipelines, gas industry, logging industry while he catered to Jim Sinclair and the unions in the public sector. So helping poverty and increasing skilled trainging was his platform. He had no answer to Green leaders question of asking Dix that if he really thought $20 per month would change their lives? He had no answer. My wife is in a union in the hospital and even she thought of the economy and voted other than NDP. But it was talking to my mother after the election (she is in her 70's) they have a few small farms - and they were scared to death that they would have to pay minimum wage per hour to harvest their fruit.It would be economically unviable to pay hourly wage. They were contemplating leasing their farms .... this kind of fear is what drove people to vote against NDP. Dix was too quiet on his economic plan, union certification, change in labor laws and codes as Dix would ride the lead in the polls to a victory. As my wife said it is better to vote for the devil you know than the one you dont know.

DPL said...

anon 9:44 Funny you mention getting farm workers and they expect minimum wage. Our son in law has a small farm and we get to know a lot of the local farmers. Everyone pays minimum wage or greater. His four kids all started working at about 8 years old, and drew a minimum wage. why shouldn't a worker get at least the minimum?

The idea of 20 extra a month was to be a start of things. heck if he had said one hundred bucks the BC Liberals would have blown a gasket, and said, its too much.
But its a bit late now for any of us on a blog to argue policies.

Ms. Christy didn't argue policy, she just kept shooting her mouth off with no limits to the amount that would be spent. The BC Liberals doubled the BC debt, I didn't see her talking about that. So we agree to disagree, It will be interesting to see how soon the average BC citizen will start to notice the great things supposedly to happen arn't happening

freddy said...

That's an excellent comment, that gets right to the heart of the vast problems the NDP has, and has always had; as long as their sole aim is to destroy the capitalist economy and to make a "Socialist", (or Marxist) economy.

Tony Blair saw that Socialism was a dead dinosaur, & he dropped Clause 4 of their Labour Party, that said they must ring in Socialism.

And he won, and won again. That's called how to win the effin' election, NDP fools.

freddy said...

"The BC Liberals doubled the BC debt..."

Since when did the NDP ever care about deficit spending? Never. Glenn Clark was the King of Spending. We don't forget how that tax dollars were thrown away.

Anonymous said...

mr. tieleman,always enjoy reading your pieces,very interesting, even if i'm on "the other side". your analysis and that of other commentators as for reasons as to election results don't go far enough,imo.your background at the b.c fed should have aided you, in this regard. specifically, what is the point in massively increasing funding for skills training, largely in building trades apprenticeships, if you don't create new jobs to match the skills. building trades have been heavily involved in home and condo construction for the past decade or two. likely this construction wil be taking a bit of a breather, by all accounts. specifically, then, where will the new jobs come from? it's one thing to be against the liberal record, but it's a whole new thing when it comes to explaining how you would do better. the green party is just as guilty of this. we are in for a drastic change in the way things are done, and probably a general drop in our standard of living, but if any party has an idea of how we are REALISTICALLY going to get there from here, i have yet to hear it. the ndp, great at finding ways to spend money but don't have the foggiest on how to pay for same. islander16

Anonymous said...

The election results speak to some of our base human natures, and beliefs.

Fear, where the voters are willing to vote for malfeasance, scandal, and destruction of public resources, or their sale, in order to see a potential economic gain in the future, no matter how remote.

Belief in negative commentary, no matter how ugly, damning or untrue it is.

Belief, that a high moral road, is the way politics should and must be played, while disregarding the obvious, that manipulation of the electorate seems to be the catalyst of winning and holding power.

Blind faith in strategists and pollsters, and that they are the experts. They are not. This is a major reason in this political defeat.

If you allow the opponent to define you on their terms, you lose the advantage and are always defending, no matter how you are seen by others.
Critical errors made early on, in this regard, stole
any potential gain to be made on Liberal scandals or malfeasance.

Just observations...the future of the party has to be redefined in light of this pathetic performance. The grassroots have really been let down, and have to wonder what the point of all the hard work was...

this loss of

Antony Hodgson said...

Hi Bill,

Like Mark, I was struck by the irony of your reaction to last week's election result. Certainly nearly the entire BC Citizens' Assembly would have called your 2009 campaign against STV "a triumph of fear over hope, of choosing incredibly negative attack ads over vision" and would likely agree that "bitterness comes only when the other team plays dirty and never faces the penalty they should – to lose the game", which is what they perceived happened with the No-STV campaign.

To further paraphrase your comments: "That’s what happened in the 2009 referendum. The No-STV team was relentlessly nasty, airing slurs against BC-STV, while spending voters’ own money to oppose it with a collection of demonstrably false claims. And yet, it worked."

Now, I will agree that the Yes campaign may not have chosen the most effective campaign model (apparently a relentlessly negative approach is what was required). But regardless (again paraphrasing slightly), "BC will suffer the consequences of selecting a voting system that is more divisive than visionary." The most obvious consequence of the 2009 referendum result in the current election is that the Liberals again have majority power without winning a majority of the vote - something that might have been avoided under STV.

Since it will now be a minimum of 16 years from the last time the NDP held power until the next time they might, I'm wondering if you still think our current voting system is so wonderful, or if you think that some form of voting that would ensure more balanced representation both across the province and in each region of the province would be desirable.

I'm also wondering, since I think we agree that negative attack ads (at least, those of a certain kind) should be disallowed and that violators should face some sort of penalty, what you might propose in terms of rules that are sufficiently objective to be implemented and enforced.

Finally, I'm curious if you agree with the following analysis I've heard: The NDP has a natural level of support in the province that is on the order of 35-40% and can only win if the right is divided. In addition, the Greens are a stronger force than they were the last time the NDP won, and the Green presence has a larger impact on the NDP than on the Liberals, so this structurally weakens the NDP for the foreseeable future. If the NDP can't win even given the significant animosity towards the Liberals over the past few years and with the Liberals having a leader who had markedly low approval ratings going into this campaign, and since the Conservatives are seriously considering disbanding and rejoining the Liberals, then it is likely that the NDP won't win again for the foreseeable future unless the Liberals make another monumental mistake such as the way they introduced the HST. This implies that it is likely that there will be at least one or two more Liberal government cycles before the NDP has a serious chance again, which means that there could potentially have been at least 24 years of Liberal rule before the NDP again wins power. Since the vote for the Greens plus the NDP is roughly equivalent to the vote for the Liberals plus the Conservatives, the NDP should therefore seriously consider how to promote a shift towards a more proportional form of voting to make themselves competitive in future elections.

Antony Hodgson said...

Hi Bill - if you have an opportunity to respond to my comments and questions above, I'd be very interested in what you have to say.

Bill Tieleman said...

Hi Antony - no slight intended in not responding till now - it's been very busy.

Your paraphrase of what I said is totally twisted, however, much like your argument in favour of STV.

To directly and correctly quote from my May 19, 2009 column, which is at:

"British Columbians for BC-STV deserve full credit for their commitment to an energetic campaign that pulled out all the stops.

But you can’t sell a bad idea no matter how hard you try. And tactics are not strategy......

The proponents for STV argued you can easily rank your choices 1, 2, 3. But the math involved showed you would have no idea what happened to your vote—because there are far more mathematical combinations possible than there are 6-49 lottery pick possibilities!

These are powerful arguments against STV, but there were even more.

It became obvious to many voters that STV would increase, not decrease, the power of political parties...

In the end, the weight of negative arguments against STV became overwhelming for a strong majority of voters, and its 58 percent support in 2005 evaporated into just 39 percent on May 12."

As to the rest of your comments - no, I do not support Proportional Representation - as you well know.

The likely results of this election under Pro-Rep would have been to have a BC Liberal government supported by the BC Conservatives - not an NDP/Green coalition government.

Under STV - god only knows - that's why voters overwhelmingly rejected it after figuring out how bad it is. That's why only Malta and Ireland use STV for national elections - as you also know.

I am not happy that the BC NDP has blown 3 consecutive elections that, in my view, they could have and should have won. Not blown because of the wrong electoral system but the wrong campaigns.

But you can disagree and you can campaign for another Pro-Rep or even STV referendum - the Citizens Initiative legislation that Bill Vander Zalm, Chris Delaney and I used is at your disposal.

If you succeed in getting a vote, even the fact that it is not binding should get you another chance at a truly binding referendum, which - if you pass the Initiative I will support - and then oppose.

But every Pro-Rep referenda in Canada has been defeated - BC twice, Ontario and PEI - which you again know.

I don't think it's likely we will have another vote soon but I applaud your consistency and energy.

Antony Hodgson said...

No slight taken - I understand busy-ness. And thanks for responding. Re: the likely outcome of this recent election under 'pure' proportional representation or STV - it's always hard to say, because people will vote differently if their votes make more of a difference, but on the face of it, the Liberals won 44%, the Conservatives 5%, the NDP 40% and the Greens 8%, along with about 3% to independents. This means that the two camps were pretty much evenly balanced. Under pure PR, neither camp would have a majority and we'd likely end up not having policies from one side rammed down our throats; rather, the government would learn pretty quickly that they'd have to negotiate with the other side to work out more centrist (ie, less extremist) policies that would at least take reasonable account of the concerns of the other camp. To me, that's far better than the wilder policy swings we usually get with SMP.

Regardless, I'm still wondering what you might propose in terms of rules around negative political advertising, since you seem to feel that the Liberals did something 'wrong' in their campaign. I actually agree with you on this, so, in all seriousness, I'm wondering how you might propose to prevent this in future. Are there particular rules you'd propose? If so, how do you get the party that benefited from flouting them last time to agree to them this time?

Finally, I wonder if you agree with the analysis I summarized before - namely, that this election was likely the NDP's best chance (given Campbell, the HST, the presence of the Conservatives, etc) and the NDP will likely be in a weaker spot in future. If not, I can see why you might hold out hope that they could win next time, but if you think the Liberals are likely to be stronger next time around, why would you still argue for less influence for the NDP by opposing a voting system that gives them a stronger shot at forming government?

Bill Tieleman said...

Hi Antony,

I don't propose nor support restrictions on "negative advertising" as they are neither defensible under free speech nor practicably enforceable by Elections BC.

If a political party feels it has been libelled it can take court action as a legal remedy. There is a fair bit of leeway on political advertising but you cannot blatantly lie about your opponents without risking a significant lawsuit.

On the NDP - it could and should have won the last three provincial elections, especially this last 2013 one. Will circumstances be worse or better in four years? Who knows?

But the NDP is now 9 seats from a majority government - 9 seats. Those 9 seats may be extremely difficult to achieve but the idea that the NDP is a spent force, should change its name, etc is truly ridiculous.

The NDP have to improve their game during the election campaigns - which is where they lost the big advantage they had built up this time.

Antony Hodgson said...

Thanks for the clarifications, Bill. Given the intensity of the language you used ('revolting', 'plays dirty', 'nasty', 'slurs', 'demonstrably false'), I'm a little surprised that you don't see a need for or any way to prevent or moderate this behaviour short of post-election lawsuits. Given that political advertising is strongly supported by tax dollars, I would think a pretty easy thing to do would be to require that any taxpayer-supported ads must satisfy the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards (ideally, through a preclearance process administered by Elections BC). I find it reprehensible that political and election advertising is explicitly exempted from a requirement to comply with these requirements, especially since their main goal is to ensure accuracy and clarity (section 1) and to prevent unacceptable depictions and portrayals (section 14 - I think the vast majority of the public would agree that political advertising should have to comply with these standards and that taxpayers should not have to be on the hook for any advertising that does not. And any freedom of speech issues could be dealt with simply by requiring non-compliant advertising to be paid for through separate non-taxpayer-supported funds.

To my mind, the main problem with relying on the threat of future lawsuits is that it clearly doesn't work - negative campaigning has become a staple in both the US and Canada. In any case, given the extremely time-sensitive nature of election advertising, lawsuits cannot offer an appropriate remedy - such advertising can swing the outcome of an election over a very short period of time, and no court is likely to order a re-do of the election after the fact, the winning of which is the true prize; no future financial compensation could make up for that loss.

Re: future prospects for the NDP - I never said they were a spent force or should have to change its name (not sure if you were implying that). I was merely suggesting that a non-partisan observer might infer that even when everything was going the NDP's way earlier in the year, they were still only polling in the mid-40s. While the stars might align that way again, it seems to me that they'll only do so every third election or so, and there's no obvious reason why they would be particularly likely to do so again in 2017, now that the Liberals have a relatively fresh start. Given that it's at least even money at this point that the Liberals will win again in 2017, which will mean that there could easily be two or more decades of continuous Liberal rule, I don't understand why you think that that's a better strategy to give the NDP legislative influence than the more cooperative (or at least interactive) model that would be implied by having a more representative legislative assembly (ie, through PR).

Also, regardless of the voting model, the legislative committee system in the BC legislature is essentially nonfunctional (Rob Fleming noted recently that the Legislature’s Standing Committee on the Environment hasn’t met since 1996!). Do you believe that any steps could or should be taken to resurrect some of these cross-party committees? Would this be a valuable way to increase the legislative influence of the NDP even under our current voting system?