After oh so brief a break, British Columbians are being plunged right back into election season.
Well, sort of. Premier Christy Clark has called by-elections in two vacant B.C. provincial ridings: Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, and Coquitlam-Burke Mountain.
Tonight, on Drex Live, we spoke with Global B.C. Legislative Bureau chief Keith Baldrey for a little perspective on exactly what that means.
Baldrey says there’s a bit of an anything-could-happen element to elections of this type.
“By elections are their own little political animals, they’re not like general elections.”
To that end, he says, its not surprising that none of the parties are running so-called star candidates. In fact, the candidate with the biggest name recognition is the Green, Joe Keithly, front man from punk band DOA.
Baldrey says by-elections are often a tough match for the sitting government.
“Going back more than 50 years, a sitting B.C. government has only one three of more than 20 by elections. And ironically, Christy Clark has actually won two of them.”
He says that’s because of a combination of factors, including low turnout and the opportunity to “send the government a message” without any real consequences.
So how would Baldrey lay his chips if he were a betting man?
“On paper, it should be a strong B.C. Lib seat, I would not count on that. I think the NDP has a solid shot of winning because a lot of Liberal voters will stay home.”
And in Mount Pleasant?
“It’s the strongest NDP seat in the entire province. I think they could run Jenny Kwan’s pet cat as a candidate, and they would still win there.”