Green vs Orange vs Blue

May 11, 2017 May 11, 2017
   Politics, Flower, 105vr
+ A flower opening      
+ A flower opening      
+ A flower opening      

What is my point?

Tuesday was election day in BC. Canadian politics, of course, is such weak tea compared to the goings on down south that you've probably not heard about it. So today I'll explain and recap.

BC has three parties (with colors of green, orange, and blue) vying for control of the province, three parties so similar they'd all fit comfortably within the US Democratic party. The election started with a dissolution of the legislature. This was followed by several weeks of vigorous campaigning during which time the in-power party lavished the voters with gifts bought from a new-found pot of gold, a vote-buying attempt so blatant as to make this jaded American blush. Also during this time one of the opposition parties promised gifts from their expected-to-be-found pot of gold. Then last Tuesday we voted. Finally, the votes were counted and I volunteered to observe - scrutineer they call it - the vote count.

What did I observe, err, scrutineer? Well, I found ballot counting in BC to be a charmingly no-tech process. Each ballot is counted by hand by being placed into one of five piles, five being the number of candidates in the running. I know I mentioned three parties earlier, I should have said three major parties. As I watched the counting I couldn't help feeling appreciation for this process that lays the foundation for our system of governance. I also couldn't help thinking that this particular implementation wouldn't work in a jurisdiction with more than one contest on a ballot, such as California where my last ballot had over thirty contests.

And what are the results? At the moment it looks like no one got a majority, though we won't know for sure for something like ten or eleven days. It turns out not all votes get counted on election night and since the election was so close these uncounted votes could swing the election. And why such a delay? That is because BC allows a voter to cast a vote anywhere in the province but it has to be counted in their home precinct and the snail they use to move the ballots takes, um, a week to transit the province. Because mountains and snow I guess.

Whoever wins, BC won't change much. Both because of the closeness of the results and because the parties just aren't that different. Not that the differences aren't material - a forest here, a hydro dam there, an oil pipeline somewhere else - but because no one party seems to have all the answers. And none of them appear to be evil, like you-know-who.

Anyway, spring is here, the days are longer, the temperatures rising, and the flowers are popping out everywhere. I really like the color and details shown by this flower as it gradually unfurled its petals and opened to greet the sun.