File photo.

Editorial – Voters think little of political opportunism

John Horgan is playing a very cynical game with his own government’s health message

British Columbians will go to the polls on Oct. 24, as decided by NDP leader John Horgan.

The legitimacy of six months of public health edicts are now in question because of a man that has proven himself a political opportunist that wants to secure his place as premier by cashing in on some rosy poll numbers.

That’s six months of rules, regulations, edicts, decrees and laws designed to keep the public safe and secure from an invisible enemy that apparently the government of this province believes has been beat.

With his doorstep announcement on Monday, Horgan’s message was that you aren’t allowed to gather in groups larger than 50 people, restaurants aren’t allowed to cater to their floor capacity, schools aren’t allowed to function normally – but British Columbians are allowed to vote for John Horgan.

With this election, Horgan has proven that he would sacrifice goodwill and bi-partisanship for the sake of another term in the big chair.

The optics are devastatingly bad. All the hard work: the economic pain, the unemployment, the travel restrictions, the mental health catastrophe – it was for an election to be safe, apparently, not for life to go back to normal.

Why should anyone believe the NDP leader or the health authorities if the government itself has decided that an election that isn’t scheduled for over a year in the future is worth holding today?

Today, when British Columbia is seeing a sustained rise in active cases of coronavirus infections.

Today, when Canada has returned to numbers of daily increases of positive tests last seen in May.

How can Horgan expect British Columbians to take the pandemic seriously, when the message sent by calling a snap election is that he doesn’t?

The government of British Columbia has taken an indefensible position, one that, for victory, depends on a level of trust and optimism that simply isn’t available among voters in 2020.

Horgan currently ranks as the most popular premier in all of Canada. Whether those poll numbers translate into a majority in Victoria, Horgan will have permanently damaged the image of his government’s attitude and approach towards tackling the pandemic that – if global health authorities are to be believed – will be with us for many years yet.

With that point, perhaps Horgan has a case. It is true that in 12 months when the election is meant to have been held, there may still be an ongoing pandemic, so holding an election now may well be the best option. For John Horgan.

He, and all his colleagues in the NDP will have their work cut out for them in the next few weeks as they try to move the discussion beyond the optics and on to the economic rationale.

So we might as well get on with it, the horse has well and truly bolted.

Horgan is betting it all that voters will reward his cynicism, but watching elections around the world in the last few years has proven that voters think dimly of brute opportunism.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health records third COVID-19 death

A new community outbreak was reported at Okanagan Men’s Centre in Lake Country

NAV CANDA is considering closing its station at the West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Nav Canada considering closing station at West Kootenay Regional Airport

The organization is conducting a service review at Castlegar’s airport

Signs are posted at the entrance of newly deactivated roads. (Photo Contributed)
Road Rehabilitation & Access Management Workshop cancelled

The event was scrapped as a result of new social distancing expectations

Games will be different for the Ghostriders this season, without hundreds of fans cheering them on in the bleachers. (File Photo)
Fernie Ghostriders kick off first exhibition game of 2020/2021 season

The Riders played their first game together as a new team on Oct. 18

The exterior of Sasko Manor in Sparwood showing the sundeck windows boarded up. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Left in the cold: Sasko Manor residents complain of ongoing renovations leaving their units open to the elements

Residents of Sparwood apartment block say they’re living in the cold due to construction works

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Most Read