Congratulations to Dan Coulter who, if the preliminary results hold, made provincial electoral history as the first NDP candidate ever elected in the provincial riding of Chilliwack, British Columbia.
This is a feat nobody thought was possible as Chilliwack is arguably one of the most conservative electoral districts, both federally and provincially, in the entire province.
The last time Chilliwack voted for anyone but a conservative candidate, either federally or provincially, was 1968.
While the final election results will not be known for another three weeks according to Elections BC, Dan Coulter holds a commanding lead over BC Liberal Party incumbent John Martin.
|Tim Cooper||BC Green Party||1,294||10.86%|
|Dan Coulter||BC NDP||4,575||38.39%|
|John Martin||BC Liberal Party||3,511||29.46%|
|82 of 82 ballot boxes reported||11,918||100%|
The obvious caveat to the preliminary results is revealed by the total votes counted so far: 11,918.
- In the 2017 provincial election, 19,305 Chilliwack voters cast their ballots.
- In the 2013 provincial election, 21,103 Chilliwack voters cast their ballots.
This means between 7,000 and 9,000 mail-in votes are, potentially, yet to be counted.
That’s enough to elect any candidate in this electoral district, including last-place candidate Libertarian Andrew Coombes.
How Did This Happen?
So why did this deeply conservative electoral district abandon its decades-long commitment to conservative candidates and elect the NDP candidate?
There are three primary reasons Dan Coulter may walk away with the win:
The NDP-led coalition government has, overall, done a good job handling the reigns of power and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sure, this election was completely unnecessary and everyone, including Premier John Horgan knew it but his gamble paid off. Horgan now leads, barring exceptional changes to the preliminary results after mail-in ballots are counted, a majority government for the next four years.
The BC Liberal Party still wears the stench of their own decades-long corruption under former premiers Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark. Three and a half years and a new leader simply isn’t enough to wash away the bad taste in people’s mouths.
It didn’t help that the BC Liberal Party’s platform failed to resonate with voters. Their primary campaign slogan, Restore Confidence, is completely out of touch with the reality faced by voters today.
British Columbians don’t lack confidence in their provincial government, despite Horgan’s blatant electoral antics in calling this election.
Horgan’s job on pretty much any front, with the glaring exceptions of forestry and pipelines, has been decent. His handling of the pandemic, at least as far as the general public is concerned, has also been good.
Of all Canadian provinces, the COVID restrictions enacted here are some of the least oppressive anywhere in Canada.
BC Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson is about as warm and welcoming as the Arctic ocean.
Added to his lack of charisma is his decision to kick Laurie Throness out of his caucus in the middle of the election.
Laurie Throness, MLA for Chilliwack-Kent, was ordered to resign from the party after his unwoke views made headlines during the campaign. This did not sit well with conservatives or Christians in the Fraser Valley.
BC Liberal Party incumbent John Martin can thank Wilkinson’s refusal to allow non-woke views in his caucus for Martin’s loss.
Conservative and Christian voters tend to vote on principle, they tend to vote for integrity, and Martin’s resounding defeat shows they refused to vote for a party with no moral backbone.
So much for the so-called big-tent BC Liberal Party.
Howling at the progressive moon didn’t pay off for Andrew Wilkinson or the party he leads, so will the BC Liberals want Wilkinson’s head on a platter next?
Yes, they probably will, but for all the wrong reasons.