Another miscalculation by Andrew Wilkinson

Note the BC Liberal link to their "no" mini-campaign site
Today, BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson challenged Premier John Horgan to a debate on electoral reform. In an instant, I thought to myself, what a stunningly foolish thing to do. Already, Andrew has been on the wrong side of history on several issues.

  • He's opposed the popular speculation tax.
  • He's opposed the elimination of the MSP.
  • He's opposed ICBC reform.
  • He's opposed the minimum wage increase.
  • He's opposed to electoral reform.

But lets talk about electoral reform for a moment.

The NDP pledged a referendum to ask voters on an option for a proportional representation based system. Facing defeat, so did the BC Liberals in their ill-fated throne speech. Presumably, Andrew Wilkinson voted for it too.

But, here is the crux of my thinking on this:

Andrew Wilkinson has effectively made himself the leader of the anti-reform movement in BC. This is problematic in several ways (for him).

  • Those opposed to the BC Liberals, and recent polling puts that number between 60-65% of the popular vote (if recent polling is to be seen as accurate), it gives those folks a brand new opportunity to render their verdict against the 16 year old government (of whom many still resent). In that, "if the BC Liberals oppose reform, then I'm in favour!".
  • Historically, right-of-centre parties do just fine in proportional voting systems; proportional voting does not mean 'left wing' government forever. 
  • By attaching himself to the anti-reform movement, Andrew has already dismissed other right-of-centre politico's or parties that may find their way into the legislature.
  • A vote against electoral reform is a vote *for* the BC Liberals; this may be an uncomfortable alignment for some voters.
  • The vote in question isn't for a pure proportional system; there are three proportional/regional hybrid systems that preserve local representation: something the BC Liberals have mislead voters into thinking isn't the case.

Its not that I think that Andrew Wilkinson is a bad person. I don't know the guy. But his trajectory right now seems to be emulating the scorched earth partisanship that was representative of the last decade, and is a thing that BC voters can do without.

my 2 bits


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