EDITORIAL: Time to refocus on B.C. politics

The B.C. provincial election is just around the corner and parties are starting to gear up for it

With many B.C. residents still trying to process the idea of a Donald Trump presidency, the focus close to home is slowly, but surely beginning to shift to our own politics.

The B.C. Liberals, New Democrats and Green Party have already begun the process of confirming candidates for the spring 2016 provincial election. For those of us on the West Shore, that includes the Esquimalt-Metchosin and Langford-Juan de Fuca constituencies, both of which are longtime ridings held by the NDP, the party angling to form government next year.

Child and family services advocate Mitzi Dean was officially declared this week as the heir apparent to three-term NDP MLA Maurine Karagianis in Esquimalt-Metchosin. Another longtime MLA, NDP leader John Horgan, is running again in Langford Juan de Fuca. The B.C. Liberals will soon declare Cathy Noel their candidate to run against Horgan, but have yet to declare a candidate in Esquimalt-Metchosin. Other parties often declare later.

While residents likely won’t start seeing candidates pounding the pavement and knocking on doors until after the new year, voters can begin now to look at who’s out there and start thinking about what kind of government they’d like to see in power in B.C.

Trying to figure out how people are thinking is something political parties and candidates have done for countless elections. Many use polls to help determine strategy, as Hilary Clinton’s campaign did in the U.S. But polls showing her leading Trump heading into election night came under fire in the wake of his shocking victory.

The broad critique of polling in general reminded us of the last B.C. election, when polls showed the NDP leading the Liberals late in the campaign before the stunning election night defeat that prompted then NDP leader Adrian Dix to quit the job.

Analysts then said the Liberals did a better job of getting their supporters to the polls, while the NDP – normally the masters at that game – saw their traditional supporters stay away thinking the win was in the bag.

We don’t think any party or candidate will take voters for granted this time around.