Sunday, March 22, 2009

Third-party mud starts to fly in BC election

BC politics has always been a little out there. From the Bennetts to Vanderzalm, from bingogate to hydrogate to Taxman Glen, politics in Lotusland have always been a little wacky. There will be an election May 12 and things are starting to heat-up again.

Rather that fling mud themselves though, right now it looks like its third-party proxy groups that are getting their hands dirty. Possibly the most outrageous example is an advertisement called "Gordon Campbell Hates You" from, a group launched by the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, Local 378 (COPE 378) to attack the BC Liberals.

This moves beyond negative to downright insulting and disgusting, with a big dash of stupid thrown in. Far from being effective, I think it just undermines the credibility of the organization promoting it.

On the other side of the spectrum is Vote Smart BC, set-up by the Independent Contractors and Builders Association of BC (ICBA), to take on the BC NDP. They oppose unionization in the industry. They don't have the option of embedding their videos (bad social media strategy, ICBA!) but they have a number of ads on their site. They go after the BC NDP in a much tamer although still negative way, using two animated yard signs to slam the NDP's record in government in the 1990s. There's also a game where you can race a fast ferry using a rowboat. You always seem to either get swamped in the wake, get pushed to victory by a rip tide, or win when the ferry gets hauled off to auction.

Just a taste of politics, BC style. And the increasing influence of third-party money and advertising, particularly when fixed election dates gives everyone time to get the mud ready to fly well in advance.
**Help send a BCer to BC for the Liberal convention. Any support is greatly appreciated.

Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers


Larry Gambone said...

The Gordon Campbell Liberals are not Liberals but right-wingers. They have given away our water rights, tied us up with TILMA and want to corpororatize everything. They are evil and corrupt, period. They are basically the same neocon right wingers as the Harpocrits, and like then seek to drive the working population into penury.

I don't know why you stand up for such people...

ADHR said...

I liked the COPE ad. Then again, I'm inclined to accept its premise: Gordon Campbell was one of the reasons I left BC, and I'm convinced he hates me (he did legislate me back to work, after all, following about two weeks on strike).

Keep in mind that the Campbell Liberals are not affiliated with the national party, and that it was their bizarre hatred for organized labour that led to the Health Services SCC decision.

HippyTreeMan said...

As a BCer living in BC and under King Gordo and his minions I know he hates me!You out yourself as a supporter of Gordo and his neoliberal policies and a non-progresive blogger.Shame on you!I agree with what Larry said!And the video is great and funny too!Shawn Heslip

Pale said...

The vid. Well. It has a chockblock of facts for sure. Gordon Campbell is one of the ruling elite, and he has been actively making it a haven for the corps.
Elderly people and kids have been two main victims in BC.

But. It's over the top for the average person.

Right on with the facts though.

Unknown said...

Hey, Jeff, just curious: Do you support the BC-STV initiative?

If we'd had it (or any other form of proportional representation) in either of the last two elections, the Campbell government wouldn't have had nearly such a big 'mandate' (e.g. winning all but 2 seats with under 58% of the popular vote).

Jeff said...

Assorted folk, I'm far from a big Gordon Campbell fan, and I'm aware of the political pedigree of the BC Liberal Party. While a BC resident I have voted for both of the major parties (although not at the same time, of course), depending mainly on the local candidate/s.

So I don't have an axe to grind here. I think there are valid points to be made about the Campbell record. But this isn't an ad that does it. This is an ad that people that already don't like him will love. But you've already got there support. It's the undecideds you want, and that ad will turn them off.

Wilson, I haven't examined the 09 version of STV but I'm inclined to say yes. I did live in BC in '05 and I voted No then, only because I felt the government, parties and Yes campaign did not adequately explain how the system worked, or why it was better then FPTP. I felt they tried to ram it through without educating the public, so I voted No.

This was backed-up by my experience at the polls in '05, working as a DRO for Elections BC. More than half of voters at my table had no idea what that second (referendum) ballot was for. I was very limited in what I could tell them by the rules of the job, and could only direct them to an Elections BC STV FAQ book kept at the reception table. A good many of people simply spoiled their ballots.

So I'm inclined to support it, I just hope they've done a better job of explaining it to people this time. That's all that kept them from getting to 60% last time. I haven't been on the ground in BC so I can't say if they've done a better job this time or not.