Right-wing split a ‘fallacy’

Such highly simplistic evaluations could be expected from political novices

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

Prior to the election of April 19, 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/Hope 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 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 involved in all three of Gwen’s campaigns over the past three years. I was her campaign manager in 2009 and in 2011 and played a major role in this more recent byelection win. I know for a fact that there were at least three  powerful reasons why Gwen won, 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 byelection 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. 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 byelection 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.

Dick Harrington

Just Posted

Fire crews battling Laidlaw house fire

Neighbours say the family are safe, still unconfirmed by fire department

UPDATE: Man in mid-20s killed in targeted shooting in Abbotsford

Location of shooting the same as where innocent bystander Ping Shun Ao killed in 2015

Warm zone opens for Hope’s homeless population

Two men facing homelessness said they spend 50 hours per week outdoors

Fraser Health asking local taxpayers for millions more in health care capital funding

Health authority wants Fraser Valley taxpayers to triple annual contribution to 5.75 million

Busy first month for Hope’s extreme weather shelter

Two men, homeless, want warm spaces during day

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

Hope hikers encounter wolf near Alexandra Bridge

Wolf sightings uncommon, number of wolves growing in B.C.: conservation officer

Hope drag racer pursuing perfection at the drag strip

Rick Limb’s mission: reliability and consistency

Mother struggles to make rent after robbery outside ER

Gofundme campaign started to cover costs

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

RCMP nail sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Snowfall warning for Coquihalla

15 to 20 centimetres expected, Highway 1 still closed from rock slide

Letter: Hope churches come together for week of Christian unity

Dear Editor, Every year, between Jan. 18 and Jan. 25, Christians around… Continue reading

Most Read