NDP flailed instead of fighting back
BC NDP Adrian Dix speaks at the NDP headquarters after admitting defeat in the 2013 provincial election, May 14. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
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.
Bill Tieleman is a former NDP strategist who supported Adrian Dix’s leadership campaign. Read more Tieleman at billtieleman.blogspot.com or on Twitter