By Frank Moher
That BC’s Libs would be re-elected was a no-brainer; they simply hadn’t done anything spectacularly incompetent enough in the last four years to get tossed-out. The breadth of their win may have something to do with their effective co-option of the environmental movement, thus drawing off erstwhile Green and NDP supporters. And the coming storm over Olympic cost overruns, which are already massive and will eventually be jawdropping, may make for a different story next time around. But for now, most BCers are content to sit tight.
That’s not quite the same thing as sitting on your ass and letting opportunity pass you by, however, which is what BCers did in rejecting the STV electoral system. (As of 1:30 a.m. this morning, they had done so by about 61 to 38 per cent.) The rap against the Single Transferable Vote was that it was simply too hard to understand, and, no doubt, that will be the favoured explanation for its failure. And that will be true; once you took a close look at it, it was pretty much impenetrable. But that doesn’t mean that Joe and Jane BC shouldn’t have been able to look at it and see plainly that, on its surface, it would make their votes count for more. The party apparatuses might still have had the upper-hand, but the individual voter would have had significantly more influence on who ended up in the legislature.
But no, no thanks, we’ll just sit here and stare at our shoes, thanks very much. One presumes that those who voted against STV because of its complexity will this morning refuse to use their computers and cell phones, because they don’t quite understand how those work either. It’s a great way to run a province — at least for the people already running it.