People appear simply fed up with the Liberals – and here is why …
BY RATTAN MALL
IT’S quite clear that British Columbians simply want a change in government and that they just don’t trust the Liberals.
NDP Leader Adrian Dix at Kingsway in Vancouver
So no matter how much mud Premier Christy Clark and her desperate Liberals throw at NDP Leader Adrian Dix and his party, they should prepare for a humiliating defeat. In fact, now it’s just a question of how they can minimize the loss of seats.
According to an analysis in the Globe and Mail newspaper: “The precise seat projection, based on current polling data, awards 65 seats to the New Democrats, 19 to the Liberals, and one to the independents.”
Premier Christy Clark at Vancouver’s Wall Centre on Monday. Photos by Chandra Bodalia
There is just a glimmer of hope for the Liberals, as Angus Reid in their analysis of their latest poll note: “While the level of undecided voters in this survey is 13 per cent, more than two-in-five respondents cannot pick a “Best Premier” for the province just four weeks before the new Legislative Assembly is elected. This finding suggests that the current numbers may go through fluctuations, depending on factors such as identification with candidates in specific ridings and, unquestionably, the televised debate scheduled for April 29.”
But barring an NDP meltdown – and that seems almost impossible – the Liberals are history.
That is because, across the province, 61 per cent of respondents think it is time for a change in British Columbia and would like to see a different provincial party elected into power, while 22 per cent would prefer to have the BC Liberals re-elected.
While 90 per cent of NDP voters from 2009 believe it is time for change, only 46 per cent of those who voted for the Gordon Campbell-led BC Liberals in the last provincial election endorse the continuation of the current government, according to Angus Reid.
ARROGANCE, IGNORANCE, INSULTING BEHAVIOUR
I will come back to the Angus Reid poll, but many blame the arrogance, ignorance and insulting behaviour of the Liberals’ election team bosses Mike McDonald, Bruce Burley and Rich Coleman for making a bad situation worse.
The most insulting incident was the way they treated a respected South Asian like Abbotsford Councillor Moe Gill. In a totally racist manner, they bullied him into giving up the Abbotsford South riding that he had been so diligently nurturing for years with encouragement from Finance Minister Mike de Jong – all because Rich Coleman wanted
University of the Fraser Valley criminologist Darryl Plecas, whose niece is married to his son, as their candidate!
And the guy who was sent as the enforcer was none other than Bruce Burley, who was kicked out of the New Westminster Police Department for a racist attack on a black man. Burley was exposed by Alex G. Tsakumis (who runs the popular website alexgtsakumis.com) as being a former New Westminster police officer who in 1991 was convicted of falsely arresting and unlawfully confining Donald Richards, a black landed immigrant from Jamaica, and was found guilty of discreditable conduct and abuse of authority by a police department internal investigation, according to the Vancouver Sun and Province newspapers’ 1991 reports.
That Clark could tolerate such injustice and keep her mouth tightly shut about it speaks volume about her own character!
It also shows how she conveniently uses South Asians and other ethnic groups for her own ends. She thinks all that she has to do is put on an Indian dress and show up at Sikh gurdwaras and Hindu temples and various functions (besides organizing the Times of India Film Awards) and she has the community in her pocket.
Well, she doesn’t!
The crying shame is that almost all the South Asian candidates of the Liberal Party are in ridings where they don’t have any chance of winning – and the candidates themselves know it! It’s just their ego trip – for some, it is all about getting media publicity back in Punjab.
That the Liberals have behaved with arrogance and ignorance in dealing with the large number of South Asians in the government staff that takes care of media relations. As I wrote last month, none of them were consulted about the controversial Multicultural Strategic Outreach Plan in which so-called “quick wins” such as apologies for past historical wrongs against ethnic communities were suggested. In fact, they did not even know that such a plan existed. Clark paid a heavy price for such stupidity. The white guys in her party thought they knew what was best for those INFERIOR South Asians and Chinese-Canadians!
The Liberal election campaign bosses even ended up backstabbing Dr. Allison Patton, the former B.C. Conservative Party constituency association president of Surrey-White Rock, after inviting her to join their party and assuring her of nomination in the Surrey-Panorama riding, from which former MP Sukh Dhaliwal was forced to step down after it was revealed that he faces income-tax evasion charges, and then slimily nominating Surrey Councillor Marvin Hunt instead. And guess who manoeuvered all that? Sukh Dhaliwal. Indeed, the Liberal Party has great South Asian advisors!
CAN’T FORGIVE CAMPBELL
AND how can South Asians forget the treacherous behaviour of Gordon Campbell! The community has paid a HEAVY PRICE under the Liberals.
Yes, the Liberals are desperately trying to make us all forget about their past history by calling themselves “Today’s BC Liberals”!
But does that mean that “Tomorrow’s BC Liberals” will be different again?
But let’s take a look at what Campbell did. As I wrote last year about that weasel of a politician:
“He told lies about how he would not harm the unionized workers’ pay and reduce income tax and so on and fooled even hard-core union members – and swept the 2001 election. Then he shamelessly screwed over the union workers – many of them were South Asians – and although he cut the income tax rate (his rich friends received the most benefit from that) – he raised other fees that ended up harming the middle class. What a creep of a politician!
“There was so much resentment against him that the RCMP had to increase his security substantially.
“He then resorted to scare tactics against the NDP in the 2005 election – ‘can you trust the NDP with the economy?’ But his majority was reduced substantially.
“He played the same game in 2009 and won that election as well – and because he thought (the arrogant twit that he was!) that British Columbian voters were such a bunch of morons with no guts to oppose him, he introduced the HATED HST just after the election.
“But that was the final straw and British Columbians went ballistic! A shell-shocked Campbell had no choice but to resign the following year.”
Just because Clark raised the minimum wage in B.C. – that was the highest in the country when Campbell took over as premier and the lowest in Canada by the time he was forced to quit – and introduced the Family Day holiday (all these things the NDP would have done anyway), that does NOT mean that South Asians will forgive and forget all the harm that Campbell did to their community.
A new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll conducted in partnership with CTV and the Globe and Mail shows that even at this late stage, three out of five respondents believe it is time for a DIFFERENT PARTY to form the government in Victoria!
The online survey of a representative provincial sample of 804 British Columbian adults also shows that less than a quarter of respondents believe the BC Liberals should be re-elected into power on May 14, according to an Angus Reid press release.
Across British Columbia:
* 45 per cent of decided voters and leaners (-3 since March) would cast a ballot for the NDP candidate in their riding if the provincial election were held tomorrow.
* The governing BC Liberals are second with 28 per cent (unchanged).
* They are followed by the BC Greens with 13 per cent (+2).
* The BC Conservatives are last with 12 per cent (+1).
* Three per cent of respondents would vote for other parties, or an independent candidate in their riding.
PRACTICALLY half of decided female voters (49%) would support the NDP if the election were held today, compared to 24 per cent who would back the BC Liberals. Among male voters, the NDP is ahead by 11 points (42% to 31%).
The NDP is leading across all three age demographics, while the BC Liberals get their best showing among British Columbians over the age of 55 (33%, with the NDP at 45%) and trail the BC Greens among respondents aged 18-to-34 (18% to 22%, with the NDP at 47%).
The BC Liberals hold a nine-point advantage over the NDP among respondents who live in households with an annual income of over $100,000 (43% to 34%).
IN Metro Vancouver, the NDP holds a 15-point lead over the BC Liberals (45% to 30%).
In Vancouver Island, the governing party has dropped to third place (19%), behind the surging BC Greens (22%) and the NDP (45%).
The race is closer in the Southern Interior, where the NDP is ahead of the BC Liberals by 11 points (43% to 32%).
The NDP is holding on to four-in-five voters (82%) who supported the party in the 2009 provincial election under Carole James.
The BC Liberals have a retention rate of 60 per cent as the campaign is about to begin, with three-in-ten of their 2009 voters now saying they will support either the BC NDP (16%) or the BC Conservatives (14%).
THE approval rating for Official Opposition and NDP leader Adrian Dix fell by six points since March to 41 per cent, and his disapproval rating increased by four points to 43 per cent.
Still, Dix holds considerably better numbers on this question than Premier and BC Liberals leader Christy Clark (27% approve, 63% disapprove).
BC Green leader Jane Sterk has an approval rating of 29 per cent, while BC Conservative leader John Cummins checks in at 18 per cent.
No leader holds a positive momentum score this time, with 46 per cent of respondents saying that their opinion of Clark has worsened over the past three months (for a momentum score of -38), and 30 per cent saying they now have a more negative view of Dix (for a momentum score of -10). The scores for Cummins and Sterk are -14 and -1 respectively.
Clark increased her standing on the Best Premier question by two points since March (18%), but still trails Dix by double digits (28%). Sterk and Cummins are at six per cent each, while 43 per cent of respondents cannot pick any of none of the four party leaders for the top political job, or remain undecided.
THE economy remains the top issue facing British Columbia (28%), followed by health care (17%), leadership (16%), the environment (8%) and education (6%). Respondents who will vote for the BC Liberals are more likely to say that the economy is the top issue (45%) than those who support the BC Conservatives (30%), the BC Greens (22%) and the BC NDP (20%). One-in-four Green voters (25%) identify the environment as the most pressing concern.
Dix is regarded as the best person to handle education (35%), health care (34%), the economy (27%), and crime (21%). The NDP leader is virtually tied with the incumbent on federal provincial relations (21% to 20%), and trails Sterk on the environment by eight points (29% to 21%).
The Angus Reid analysis noted: “The BC Greens have continued to show momentum among voters 18-to-34, where they are now ahead of the governing party. In Vancouver Island, where the party is running well-known contenders, the Greens have surpassed the 20 per cent mark and could become a factor in some ridings. The BC Conservatives also increased their standing, but are far from the impressive numbers they generated in the Southern Interior in March 2012.”