“The BC NDP called a snap election, but why? For power, or for the people?”
Joss Arnott // Staff Writer
Valeria Kim // Staff Illustrator
On Monday, Sept. 21, John Horgan punched British Columbia in the face.
Metaphorically, of course…
Horgan and British Columbia’s NDP formally called for the snap election to be held this October, on the 24th. A snap election is much like any other election, only it’s held earlier than scheduled and without much prior warning.
A sucker punch, if you will…
The call for election comes with the NDP’s approval rating being at an all-time high. That’s thanks to how the party has been handling the pandemic. The NDP and BC Green Party currently make up BC’s coalition government. The current government formed after the two parties formalized an agreement back in 2017. Part of the agreement was that the NDP would not call for a snap election. And so, everyone that’s not too busy watching the literal and metaphorical fire happening just south of the border is understandably upset with the NDP. 58% of the population upset, according to a recent poll published in the Vancouver Sun.
Both the BC Green Party and the Conservative party have come out against this decision. With the Green party threatening not to support the NDP with legislature if they were to go through with calling the snap election.
Aside from breaking with their agreement, one of several grievances against the NDP right now is that calling an election limits who can run. Without the time to prepare, only those with means can mount an effective campaign. That usually translates to *checks notes* white guys, and those who are already established in the political machine.
Aside from contracts and diversity, the main reason people don’t want an election is the coronavirus. Nobody wants to leave their house right now, especially with case numbers on the rise across the country. The silver lining to all of this being that voters don’t have to leave the house to vote. If they so choose, mail-in voting is a viable option. As of September 30th, over 474,000 British Colombians had requested mail-in ballots. Ballots can still be requested up until October 17th, just make sure it gets to Elections BC before October 24th.
According to the NDP’s official stance, the pandemic is at the heart of this election. “We can either delay that decision and create uncertainty and instability over the [next] 12 months.” Said Horgan, “or we can do what I believe is always the right thing and ask British Columbians what they think.” And while that’s certainly true, it’s certainly not the whole truth. This move is a power play, the NDP is riding a wave that may or may not spit them out onto the rocks.
And so, like it or not, BC is hurtling towards an election. Nobody’s really happy about it. However, it’s important to remember that it’s 2020. There have been no perfect, or even easy answers this year. Instead, we’ve had plague, brimstone and moths, to name but a few. In a perfect world, the election would be next year. But the world, as we keep getting shown, is far from perfect.
In a year where each successive month is the emotional equivalent of being dragged, kicking and screaming, into the ever deeper circles of hell— Horgan has given BC a choice. You get to choose how this mess gets cleaned up. This election is probably for the best. It also really feels like a sucker punch. But, it is also an opportunity. British Colombians, you have the chance to exercise some control over your lives. You can effect meaningful change and choose. This is a bad situation all around, but you have a choice. Don’t waste it. Vote!
Horgan punched BC in the face, but I’m so bruised up, I hardly felt it.