Despite all the claims we are constantly hearing that Christy Clark’s B.C. Liberals won a strong mandate from the people of British Columbia on May 14, I think it is important to recognize that those claims are based on the flim-flam of our electoral system, rather than statistical reality.
In the election, the Liberals were able to win the support of 795,943 voters, which represents just 24 per cent of the province’s 3,310,213 eligible voters.
Where but in the bizarre never-never land of our weird electoral system would 24 per cent be considered even minimally acceptable, let alone enough to serve as the basis for claiming a huge success?
For example, who would go to a doctor who succeeded in only 24 per cent of his minor operations? Who would fly on an airplane with a pilot who was able to land his plane safely only 24 per cent of the time?
Or who would patronize a grocer if only 24 per cent of the food he sold was safe to consume?
I fully acknowledge that the B.C. Liberals won the election fair and square under the existing rules of the political game. I also recognize that the opposition parties obtained even more pathetically smaller shares of support from eligible voters: just 21.6 per cent for the NDP, 4.4 per cent for the Greens and 2.6 per cent for the Conservatives.
Nonetheless, I find it quite shocking that a 24-per-cent level of achievement in the election is sufficient to take total control of the government of B.C. for four years, when it is a standard that would represent abject failure in practically any other area of human endeavour.