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radiantfracture

July 2017

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Our provincial election took place on Tuesday. Well, I say it took place, but the absentee and special votes won't actually be counted for two weeks. There are something like 175,000 of these votes (of about 3.2 million), and some of the races came down to tiny margins -- in one riding on this fine Island, the candidate won by 9 votes (or did she?).

So the election is still in fact taking place, and it's impossible to know the outcome, which is a strange state of affairs.

There are three parties of note in this election: the Liberals, who used to be considered centrist, but are now on the right; the NDP, who are left; and the Greens.

The Liberals came to power sixteen years ago, and that was a moment of revelation for my young radical self. "The parties are all basically the same capitalist powermongers," my rhetoric went, "and it doesn't really matter which one is in power." The advent of the Liberals was the way I found out what you already know, that it matters a hell of a lot, materially, on the ground, in real people's lives, who is in power.

If it isn't obvious, I vote as far left as I feel I can do and still have some chance of bringing a left party to power.

On Tuesday night, at my suggestion, LB, S, and I convened to watch the numbers. (Superstition might have told us not to, given the results of the American election and the number of leftover tacos.)

At first, it looked grimly like a clear Liberal win. Yet as the counts increased, weird things began to happen. Ridings flipped and then flipped again. The Greens began to take more seats. The NDP pulled ahead in ridings they had to win in order to shift power.

LB was on the phone to her mom for part of the time, teasing her about the Green win in that riding.

Conventional wisdom has it that the Greens split left votes away from the NDP. However, S. took a different position throughout. Like C.J. when she said Bartlet's approval rating would go up, he held the position that vote loss from the Liberals to the Greens would reduce the Liberal lead. That seems to have been at least partly true.

Right up until the "end" (really a cliffhanger before a hiatus), ridings kept flipping, and for two brief beautiful moments the screens showed an NDP lead.

"So this is a tie. This election is a tie." I said at one point. This ended up being not quite true.

There are 87 seats in the legislature, and right now the count looks like this:

Liberals 43
NDP      41
Greens    3

-- a hung parliament, technically, though it's being called a Liberal minority government.

And now we wait.

{rf}

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-11 08:06 pm (UTC)
muccamukk: Maria looks extremely unsatisfied with this turn of events. (Avengers: Disgruntled)
From: [personal profile] muccamukk
I guess we now have the answer to "Can BC mess up an election even more than usual." Only 57% turn out, which apparently was better than 2013 by about 2%.

Why on earth don't they count the special ballots at the same time?

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-12 01:36 am (UTC)
muccamukk: Gunnar pointing and saying, "but life's a bitch, and you're cursed." (Sinbad: Life's a Bitch)
From: [personal profile] muccamukk
I think we need better candidates.

Hopefully it sorts itself out, and hopefully at the end it's not another liberal majority. I'm so SICK of them.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-11 08:15 pm (UTC)
green_knight: (Don Quixote)
From: [personal profile] green_knight
Best of luck. (Not looking forward to our elections in June. I've lost all faith in our electorate).

I thought a little bit like that - I came to Britain shortly before Labour got into power, and they were in power for a very long time - a change seemed like a good idea, and there didn't seem to be _that_ much difference between Cameron and Blair. And then I discovered why the Tories are known as 'the nasty party'. We're now a country with >2 million children living in poverty; ridiculous numbers of foodbank users, and a 'benefits' regime that includes leaving people without income for weeks or months for infractions like being five minutes late or having a heart attack during the job centre interview and thus not finishing it.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-11 09:11 pm (UTC)
redbird: congnitive hazard, one of those drawings that can't work in three dimensions (cognitive hazard)
From: [personal profile] redbird
I hope things work out better in B.C. than they did when I sat through a month of this on a larger scale, back in 2000. And yes, a very strange state of affairs.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-11 10:45 pm (UTC)
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
From: [personal profile] redbird

There's also the Seattle election a few years ago, where an incumbent city council member declared victory on "election night" -- and then gave a gracious concession speech a couple of weeks later.

That may be more apropos: as you may know, Washington elections ate done entirely by mail. Election night is the deadline for mailing ballots, and when they start counting. It turns out that the first ballots received address not statistically representative, and the challenger's supporters averaged noticeably younger than the incumbents's.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-11 11:30 pm (UTC)
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (raccoons of the resistance)
From: [personal profile] sabotabby
We are all waiting with you. I barely know anyone in BC but everyone I know is watching what happens obsessively.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-12 01:04 am (UTC)
sabotabby: (lolmarx)
From: [personal profile] sabotabby
I mean, my friends and I are disproportionately political junkies, so I'm not sure how indicative it is of the general population's interest, but yeah.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-12 04:23 am (UTC)
rahirah: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rahirah
How nervewracking. Elections are bad enough when they're over the next day.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-12 06:25 pm (UTC)
kaffyr: (Neal & the news that's unfit)
From: [personal profile] kaffyr
Here in the States, fans of democracy would kill to get turnout as high as 57 percent. I just covered a set of elections where the turnout was about 21 percent. Sigh.

Good luck; I'm also paying attention to the pending Nova Scotia elections, since that's where I grew up.
Edited Date: 2017-05-12 06:25 pm (UTC)

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