There’s an interesting theme emerging in the B.C. election and that theme is “meh”.
Voters opinions are so all-over-the-place that it’s hard to get a feel for how things will eventually fall out. Plus no one seems really sure who they will vote for, or why.
A recent Angus Reid poll spells it out in all its inscrutability. For instance, three-quarters of B.C. residents (76%) agree that the current Liberal government is “only interested in helping its political donors and big business”.
Wow, that’s not good. But, when asked which leader is best suited to deal with the economy, those polled chose the BC Liberal’s Christy Clark.
Mind you, they chose tepidly — keeping with the meh theme. 27 per cent chose Clark, 24 per cent chose the NDP’s John Horgan, and only 5 per cent chose the Green’s Andrew Weaver. 30 per cent is unsure, which is quite a high number.
Now turn the question to dealing with the environment, and British Columbians endorse Weaver to the tune of 26 per cent. Horgan gets 19 per cent and Clark only 15 per cent. But again 40 per cent have no idea.
Next up, dealing with health care. In that Horgan gets the win with 30 per cent feeling he would best deal with this complex issue. Clark gets 19 per cent and Weaver, 7 per cent. Again the undecided, the meh, are over 40 per cent.
Okay, NDP followers have to be feeling pretty good. Except…. three in five (62%) say neither of the opposition parties have a real plan to help British Columbians.
Also coming in at 62 per cent is Christy Clark’s disapproval rating, compared to 35 per cent for Horgan and 22 per cent for Weaver. That means that only 31 per cent of British Columbians approve of Clark’s performance, which is below the bar set by Donald Trump — not something to brag about.
But, 31 per cent is nowhere near what Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is dealing with. Wynne’s latest approval rating is 12 per cent. Twelve! Now Wynne has a year before she faces re-election, but at 12 per cent approval, she could start door knocking now and still be in terrible shape next spring.
But that’s Ontario. Here in B.C. the election is much closer, and therefore the polls may tell us more.
Insights West also polled British Columbians and again they responded with a resounding meh.
Who is the most trustworthy? John Horgan at 21 per cent. Weaver gets 19 per cent and Clark is in Wynne territory at 13 per cent. But… 47 per cent are unsure. Think of that. Almost half of B.C. residents aren’t sure they can trust any of the party leaders heading into the election. Although Weaver is apparently the “most authentic”, according to 23 per cent of those polled, which I guess you can interpret any way you want.
In other fairly meaningless statistics, John Horgan is the most likeable at 22 per cent. Mind you, Clark comes in at 21 per cent in likeability and Weaver at 15 per cent. Again, 41 per cent are not sure if they like any of them.
And for the most meaningless question of all, who would you likely invite over to dinner, Horgan squeaks out a win at 23 per cent over Weaver’s 21 per cent and Clark’s 20 per cent. Personally, I don’t really care whether I’d enjoy a candidate coming over for dinner. It’s really got nothing to do with job performance whether a person would be an interesting dinner companion. You don’t pick your doctor that way, or your tax preparer. Why pick your Premier based on personality?
Most likely to keep their promises to electorate? John Horgan at 25 per cent. Weaver gets 18 per cent and Clark, 17 per cent.
Most likely to pay back a loan – Horgan and Clark tie at 19 per cent. Weaver gets 15 per cent. I guess this question speaks to trustworthiness but again, you are just being asked to make an assumption based entirely on what you may assume. Again, over 50 per cent apparently don’t think any of them would repay the loan.
Finally, most likely to say anything to get elected. Clark leaps into the lead on this with 55 per cent believing she’d say anything. Wow. Horgan gets 18 per cent on this and Weaver is clearly thought to be more principled with only 2 per cent believing he’d say anything.
So what do all these numbers mean?
It looks like the election is totally up for grabs and the populace really uncertain about everything. Interestingly, the only time numbers were above 50 per cent was on negative questions.
So the population is feeling a bit surly and a whole lot of meh.
Who will win the election? Meh.
Carolyn Grant is Editor of the Kimberley Bulletin