After every indication that it would be close, the Surrey-Panorama Bridge byelection turns out to be a b*tchslap to Campbell and Co. by Jagrup Brar and the NDP.

A 54% margin of victory, despite the Liberals softpedalling a potential defeat, (check the discussion thread that follows for some rough stuff with a potential Green candidate) is huge given that this riding was redistributed in 1999 to give it some very swing demographics. It didn't take long after the Liberal candidate, book-burning homophobe Mary Polak, went down in flames for Gordo to come out swinging against "Big Labour" and the riding's sizeable Indo-Canadian community.

The moral of the story is: a government can buy a six point lead in the polls with an avalanche of TV ads, but eventually people change the channel. It's pretty much a given that this morning for the Liberals, Surrey-Panorama Ridge is anything but "The Best Place on Earth"(tm).



When you ignore intelligence about major terrorist attacks, then turn around and blow one of their agents cover, sooner or later, the bureau's going to look for a little payback. Unfortunately, for Bush/Cheney, the FBI decided to cash in four days before the election.



Jenny Kwan's refusal to acede to third reading of the Safe Streets Act was referred to as a 'ruckus' by the Vancouver Sun. The media has been quick to harp on the extra $30,000 to keep the legislature open another day to pass Martial Law, but in attacking my MLA, they missed a far bigger cost to the public:

From Hansard, October 25, 2004

Jenny Kwan (Vancouver Mount Pleasant - NDP): Does this bill ban anyone from asking for change at a phone booth, for example, or at a bus stop or a parkade? I myself have done it when I'm faced with a situation where I don't have the appropriate change to stick into the machines. Does this act actually create an offence in those situations?

Hon. Geoff Plant (Attorney General - Liberal): If you are within five metres of the ATM, the pay phone, the public toilet facility or the bus stop, yes.



The Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform recommends the Single Transferrable Vote as the preferred model for British Columbia's Electoral System.

Normally, I can pretty much agree with anything that makes Adrienne Carr's head explode. However, this result, contrary to what the Assembly believes, does not reduce the influence of political parties in the electoral system, it in fact, increases that influence. Electing multiple MLAs in expanded superconstituencies has the look and feel of the at-large system that voters in the City of Vancouver have suffered with for decades (see October 18 post).

Carole James wants to see the details of the model to be presented in the May 17 referrendum before jumping to any conclusions. The one conclusion the NDP should jump to before Thursday's Surrey-Panorama Ridge byelection is that Carr and the Greens have been handed a wedge issue to rob the NDP of the angry vote which has swung every byelection in BC since 1981.

The Assembly was established by the Liberals to be at arms length from the Government. For those of you scoring at home, so were the Regional Health Authourities, and BC Ferry Services. The Liberals' arms were long enough that as the Assembly was well enough into its deliberations that the Stockholm Syndrome was kicking in, Campbell sent the STV advocates in to blow enough sunshine up the Assembly's collective rear and have them "really" make a difference.

How one makes a difference by recommending a model which has little to no chance of garnering 60% of the vote in 60% of 79 ridings is beyond me. Unless of course, the difference you're trying to make is to suppress meaningful electoral reform for a generation AND split the vote next May by introducing a wedge issue, then congratulations, you've really made a difference.


Vancouver Wards Off Progress

Congratulations to the "Non-Partisan" Association, their Real Estate Developer sugar daddies, the West Side old money reactionaries, the perpetually opportunistic posturing Greens and anyone else who refers to the raw sewage leaking from the Vancouver Sun's editorial pages as ice cream, for your stunning victory in Saturday's referrendum on a Ward System for the City of Vancouver.This result pretty much confirms for the rest of the country our city's reputation as Canada's undisputed leader in f**ked up local politics.

Here's a sampler of the arguments that the 52% of voters bought from the "No" side, including translations for non-Vancouverites.

1. A ward system will result in NIMBYism.
translation: If we drop the at-large system, we can't shove every homeless shelter and rehab centre into the Downtown Eastside anymore.

2. The proposed ward system does not include proportional representation.
translation: Let's string the Greens along to reject wards, as if there's any way we're screwing with a system that's kept Kitsilano and Point Grey in the driver's seat for 70 years.

3. Equity seeking groups like people with disabilities won't be able to run for City Council under the ward system.
translation: People the NPA can't filter out through corporate vetting of candidates, stacked nomination meetings, and skyrocketing campaign costs would be able to run for City Council under the ward system.

4. A ward system is the first step towards a Vancouver mega-city.
translation: until Vancouver's Coaltion Of Progressive Electors and the Burnaby Citizen's Association are crushed under our bootheels, and those of our right-thinking bretheren in Surrey and Richmond, we simply just can't have that.

It's not like the 'Yes' side did themselves any favours either. Every other previous vote on wards passed, largely because of COPE's aggressive campaigning against the NPA's long standing hegemony on council. Funny thing was, COPE swept municipal elections in 2002, and it's hard to stick it to the man when you're the man. Mind you, if there's one thing the left in British Columbia should have learned from Gordon Campbell, it's the value of kicking your opponents when they're down.


The Obligatory Post about The Presidential Debates

George W. Bush must be proud of the fact he's the first from his family to be President, and given his opponent's momentum, should enjoy it while it lasts.

No, Mr. President, I'm not missing anything or hallucinating, it's just that the past two weeks clearly illustrated that John Kerry is your Daddy!

When historians look back at the 2004 election, the pivotal moment that will generate most of the discussion will be that night in St. Louis when the President swaggered out of his chair toward the camera, thrust out his pelvis a little and exhorted "Need some wood"?