Reaction denouncing a provincial election call for Oct. 24 seems to be in the majority among British Columbians.
Ironically, it’s a majority Premier John Horgan is seeking following the NDP’s confidence and supply agreement with the B.C. Green Party in 2017.
New Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau said the Greens would continue to support the government and there was no need to call an election, but Horgan went ahead and did it anyway Monday.
The decision is rather brazen. After all, there’s a pandemic going on.
Maybe he felt compelled to follow in the footsteps of New Brunswick that became the first Canadian province or territory to hold an election amid the pandemic. But New Brunswick also has significantly fewer cases of COVID-19 than B.C.
There were some immediate comments on the Courier’s Facebook page that have been typical of what many Chemainus area residents were thinking when they heard the news.
“Such disregard for the good of the public during a health crisis,” wrote Chris Istace.
“I just can’t believe he would do this in the middle of a crisis,” commented Arlene Robinson. “So disappointed.”
“What an awful thing to ask us to do right now,” added Susan Margetts.
So why hold the election now? As another Facebook comment indicated, it makes political sense. It’s totally wrong, but the bottom line is politics.
The whole lead-up process to the election will likely be thrown out the window. Can’t imagine any all-candidates meetings garnering a meaningful turnout with a limit of 50 people. And a virtual meeting of that sort would be just too weird.
Then there’s the voter turnout which hit 61 per cent in 2017 and will probably drop significantly because people might just not bother. So will anyone be excited with the results if the turnout falls in the 50 per cent range, maybe even only 40 per cent?
The health and safety of the public should be the primary concern and with the NDP’s strength going into it, the whole point of the process is brought into question.