By David F. Rooney
The final count of last month’s provincial election results by Elections BC provides us with some numbers we all need to think about.
Voter participation across BC was just 57.8 per cent and here in Columbia River-Revelstoke it was even lower — just 54.7 per cent.
In terms of actual numbers, there were 3,116,626 eligible voters in our province but only 1,803,051 voted. Here in our constituency there were 24,467 voters of whom only 13,393 cast ballots.
The share among all four candidates in our riding looks like this:
- Norm Macdonald, NDP: 6,463 — 48.26%
- Doug Clovechok, BC Liberal: 4,847 — 36.19%
- Earl Olsen, BC Conservative: 1,162 —8.68%
- Laurel Ralston, Green Party: 921 — 6.88%
These low voter-participation rates should be a matter of some public concern as the legitimacy of any government depends on the public’s consent to be governed, as determined though the electoral process. If voter participation rates start falling below 50 per cent it will be increasingly difficult for governments to claim that they truly represent the populations they govern.
On another note, the final count of all ballots resulted in the loss of one seat, Conquitlam-Maillardville from the BC Liberals’ Steve Kim to the NDP’s Selina Mae Robinson. That leaves the BC Liberals with 49 seats (up four from the their pre-election count), the NDP with 34 seats, the Green Party has one seat and maverick Independent Vicki Huntington holds the seat of Delta South.
The final provincial tally by party looks like this:
- BC Liberals: 795,946 — 44.14%
- NDP: 715,999 — 39.71%
- BC Green Party: 146,607 — 8.13%
- BC Conservative Party: 85,783 — 4.76%
- Libertarian Party: 2,049 — 0.11%
- All other parties: 56,667 — 3.14%
Elections BC says parties not listed individually are grouped in the ‘other’ category. These include the Advocational Party, B. Vision, BC Excalibur Party, BC First, BC Marijuana Party, BC Social Credit Party, British Columbia Party, Christian Heritage Party of B.C, Communist Party of BC, Helping Hand Party, The Platinum Party, Unparty: The Consensus-Building Party, Work Less Party and the YPP. This category also includes Independent candidates and candidates with no ballot affiliation.