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At least 20% of the seats in BC’s legislature are going to be filled with new faces this winter. 18 MLA’s from all parties, including 8 cabinet ministers have announced they will not be seeking re-election, the majority of whom announced this in the past month. Since this is such an odd thing for popular incumbents to do, naturally theories begin to emerge.
Simon Fraser University political scientist Stewart Prest has speculated, “…[that] It may be possible that one or two of the ministers not running for re-election don’t totally agree with the direction of the party.” If even the most senior members of the NDP see this election for what it is -a senseless power grab- then how will the populus feel about it?
A recent poll suggests that 66.7% of British Columbians don’t approve of the decision to call an election, giving the NDP’s a huge disadvantage from the start. They may be the party in power, but they just angered a lot of people. The short timeframe between now and election day, doesn’t give them a lot of time to win back support on the campaign trail. There is serious doubt about the necessity and safety of this election.
This election is marketed as a necessary tool to give the province stability, so why is it going to be such a scramble for everyone involved? They should have called it for March 2021, give the candidates some time to get organized, fill some positions in the cabinet and give Elections BC adequate amounts of time and money to prepare to process all the mail-in ballots.
As the initial shock of the announcement fades away, it’s clear that by prioritizing politics over people, the NDP has started in a new direction, one many constituents and voters do not agree with. They have striven from the type of leader we elected in 2017, so much so we may not elect them again.