Business is safe in B.C. British Columbia had an election Tuesday, and the center-right party, the B.C. Liberals, retained power. According to this story in the Vancouver Sun, the vote was Liberals, 44.4 percent; New Democrats, 39.5 percent; Greens, 8 percent; and Conservatives, 4.8 percent.
The B.C. Liberals have been in power for 12 years. Really they are conservatives, though there is a tiny Conservative Party more to the right than they, and the Liberals are generally not as conservative as the Republicans here in the U.S. The B.C. Liberals are a business-friendly party whose leader, Christy Clark, championed the prospects for liquefied natural gas exports from Prince Rupert or Kitimat and the construction of an oil refinery, also planned for northern B.C.
Their principal rivals, the New Democrats, are social democrats, making them something like leftier Seattle Democrats. Their power base is Vancouver and Victoria and some of the coastal area. Their leader, Adrian Dix, campaigned against inequality, saying, “We’ve had the highest level of inequality in the country. This has to change.” Well, he lost.
The New Democrats took 33 seats, three less than before. The Liberals took 50 and the Greens took one. The Liberal victory was a surprise: Christy Clark’s government has not been all that popular, and the polls said it was going to lose. But the last time the left was in power, in the 1990s, B.C.’s economy did not go well, and the Liberals took pains to remind voters of that. They have won.