The B.C. mining community’s heartbreak over the early exit of the Vancouver Canucks from the Stanley Cup playoffs (so fast, fans didn’t even have time to loot the downtown core) has been soothed by the surprise majority win of the pro-mining Liberal party in yesterday’s provincial election.
In a stunning defiance of pundits and pollsters who had almost unanimously predicted at least a minority government for the left-leaning opposition New Democratic Party, Premier Christy Clark led her Liberals to a resounding win that captured 44.4% of the popular vote compared to the NDP’s 39.5%. That translated into the Liberals taking 50 of the province’s 85 seats, or five more than the party had going into the election.
Clark lost her own seat, and will now seek a new one in a safer riding. Remarkably, Canada now has four women premiers in the four leading provinces, with three having assumed their positions in general elections.
Living in a province critically dependent on resource extraction to fuel the economy, B.C. voters clearly put aside their assorted pet peeves built up after 12 years of Liberal rule provincially and stuck with the gang that’s pro-resource development.
The NDP losing ground in a lot of the northern jurisdictions is particularly telling.
At a time when miners are being beset with governments around the world surprising them just about on a monthly basis with tighter regulations and higher taxes, this is one political surprise that has left miners with an extra spring in their step.
On the other side, NDP supporters definitely counted their free-range, organic chickens before they hatched, and are now likely to knock failed NDP leader Adrian Dix from his perch, and in frustration, take on more “direct action” street activities over the summer, especially in respect to some of the more contentious resource development projects in the province.
In particular, Dix’s decision two weeks ago to oppose Kinder Morgan’s proposed expansion of its oil pipeline from Alberta to Burnaby was intended to win over voters who were considering the Greens, but he looks to have lost a lot more voters than he gained simply because so many people in B.C. know that their work depends on resource extraction.