No such thing as a ‘right-wing split’

O'Mahony's success is because she 'has been a "canvassing machine" in three successive elections'

Every media outlet in southern B.C. has expressed surprise over the last few weeks over the By-Election win in Chilliwack/Hope by the NDP and specifically by Gwen O’ Mahony.

Prior to the election of April 19th, some political “pundits” were predicting a win by either the BC Liberals or by the BC Conservatives. Only a few were giving the NDP much chance. They based their assumptions on the fact that the NDP had never won before in the Chilliwack area.

Such highly simplistic evaluations could be expected from political novices; however, one would expect a bit more thought from people who supposedly spend their lives in the political realm of BC politics.

However; these mistaken predictions paled in comparison to many of the more recent explanations as to why Gwen O’Mahony won in such a positive manner.

I could not believe what I was reading when I read that many media writers explained Gwen’s victory as a result of the so-called “right-wing split”. Many even went so far as to state that if there had not been a Conservative candidate that the Liberals would have won.

Such nonsensical statements ignore the hard reality of what has occurred in this area over the past three years and give no credence at all to the intelligence of the electorate.

I was personally very involved in all three of Gwen’s campaigns over the past three years. I was her campaign manager in 2009 and in 2001 and played a major role in this more recent by-election win. I know for a fact that there were at least three very powerful reasons why Gwen won this by-election- reasons that had nothing to do with the “right-wing split”.

First, Gwen has been a “canvassing machine” in three successive elections. She has personally knocked on over 30,000 doors since early 2009. I know, because I either accompanied her on most of those visits  and/or personally planned every single canvassing effort.

Gwen was and is very able at the door and has the unique ability to get her message across quickly. People sense that she is a conscientious person- one really worth electing.

Secondly, this recent by-election brought to the local NDP a well-organized campaign like never seen before. There were several hundred volunteers who came out to ensure that the voters were contacted and our positive message was put forth. While the Liberals ran on a negative, attack campaign, the NDP message of a positive alternative resonated.

Thirdly, for the first time in history, the NDP matched the opposition financially. In the past, we often had to run a campaign on 10 per cent or so of what the BC Liberals had. This makes it very difficult to conduct proper newspaper advertising, radio ads or flyer distribution. For once, the NDP was on an equal par in these areas and our efforts paid off.

For any person to suggest that the Liberals would have won this by-election if there had not been a Conservative candidate is pure nonsense. I asked many of our canvassers what the issues were that they heard at the door. The constant refrain heard was an urgent need to get rid of the Liberals. It is very obvious that, if there had not been a Conservative candidate, the vast majority of the 25 per cent who voted Conservative would have either stayed home or voted for Gwen O’Mahony.

So, please- let’s put this fallacy to bed forever- the “right-wing” split was NOT the reason the NDP won in Chilliwack/Hope.

Dick Harrington- Chilliwack

 

Just Posted

Funding uncertain, but Agassiz’s Storytime in the Park will go on, organizer says

The literacy program takes place each summer in Agassiz, Harrison and Seabird Island

Hang gliding video gives stunning view of Harrison and Fraser river confluence

Aerial view shows striking difference between two rivers as they meet

Young Chilliwack singer launches career with French classic

Deanne Ratzlaff performs as featured vocalist in La Vie en Rose in Chilliwack, London and Paris

The most h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s spelling bee you’ll ever see in Chilliwack

Secondary Characters Musical Theatre hits the stage with The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

RCMP use helicopter and police dog to search for suspect on Sts’ailes First Nation

Man known to police fled an allegedly stolen vehicle and firearm on the reserve north of Chilliwack

VIDEO: Agassiz remembers local officer at grave-marking ceremony

Montague White-Fraser had been buried in the Old Cemetery for 92 years without a headstone

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

Cars keyed on BC Ferries after alarms bother dog on board

Delta police arrested one passenger on suspicion of mischief

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Two toddler siblings found drowned on First Nation in Alberta

The siblings were found drowned on their family’s property, according to RCMP

Chiefs honour Indigenous leader wrongfully hanged in B.C. 154 years ago today

Chief Joe Alphonse says they want his remains returned to his homeland in B.C.’s Cariboo region

Rare white ravens spotted again on Vancouver Island

Nature photographer Mike Yip said mysterious birds back in Coombs area

B.C. government seeks advice on reviving Interior forest industry

Public website opens as meetings start with community leaders

Most Read