Tuesday, April 16, 2013

This is not a two party race

Christy Clark is trying to say this is a two party race as are the Concerned Citizens for BC.  The NDP may not be saying as formally, but the subtext of most of their stuff and that of their allies is that is only a two party race.   I am sure me disagreeing is not a shock given my partisan involvement with the #3 party in BC, but it is not an outright "Include the Greens" type of plea.  When I look at this election I see either a one party race or a four and a half party race.

The reality is that we will see an NDP majority government.   The public is not going to wake tomorrow and fundamentally change how they have been thinking for the last several years.   When we are talking about who will be government only one party is in the race.

When I look at every possible source of data as to public opinion in relation to this election I do not see anything that would indicate the NDP will drop below 43% to 45% of the vote.   At the same time there is nothing to indicate the Liberals are in any danger of even reaching 30% of the vote.  The ceiling of the Liberals and the floor of the NDP are insurmountably too far apart.  

If Christy Clark were miles more popular than her party there would be some chance of a recover, but her personal approval ratings are no longer ahead of the party as they were last summer.   If one uses leader approval as a way to read potential for party growth, neither the NDP nor Liberals have growth potential.  Meanwhile both John Cummins and Jane Sterk do have space for the party support levels to grow to match leader approval levels.  What should be of concern for the Liberals is that according to the newest Angus Reid survey Christy Clark now has a lower approval score than Jane Sterk of the Greens does.

In reality this election is a four and a half way race because there are four parties and four independents that have a serious chance of winning seats in the election.    This is the first election since 1996 in which more than two parties are serious contenders for seats.  Since who is going to be government is obvious, I think that it makes more sense looking at this election in terms of what the opposition will look like.

The real question in this election will be what sort of opposition do you want taking on Adrian Dix and the NDP in the legislature?


chuckstraight said...

Because of our antiquated voting system- it really is a 2 way race in most cases. With a proportional system not so much.

Anonymous said...

'Scuse me? Why the media is always an unofficial opposition to the NDP. I don't expect it to be anything different this time around.

scotty on Denman said...

The Greens and the BCCs participate as spoilers. In a sense they demonstrate why pro-rep is a bad idea: when a small party holds the balance of power in a hung parliament it essentially punches way higher than its weight, a circumstance pro-rep most often provides; in effect, a tiny portion of the electorate calls the shots over the larger portion, like what happens in Israel. To my mind, this is anything but proportional representation. Vote-splitting has a similar aspect: small parties that split the vote in effect thwart the wishes one of the parties that garnered more votes. Fortunately our Single-Member-Plurality system does not tend to produce hung parliaments. Small parties still can spoil, though, and with two such spoilers in our current campaign, the contest can hardly be characterized as a match between the two larger parties by themselves.