Martyn Brown: Derailing Campaign Clark

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      It is often said that elections are won by those who show up. At the ballot box. At campaign offices and events. And in all the media read, seen and heard by those who don’t.

      In this day and age, it is too easy to forget that fundamental axiom: those who show up in the greatest numbers usually prevail. Especially if they are loud, proud, prominent, and passionate.

      You want a new government? You want to derail the B.C. Liberals’ campaign and send Premier Pixie Dust packing?

      Stand up and be counted. It’s that simple.

      Trouble is, the simplest things are also the hardest to learn.  

      Look closely at any of the campaigns in British Columbia that could have been the losing parties’ for the taking, and you will see: we wrote the book on “elections for dummies”.

      Will we ever learn that campaigns ultimately ride on our individual actions and choices, for which we alone must take personal responsibility?  

      Elections are above all lost by apathy, complacency, organizational ineptitude, and the inability to execute strategies that start and end with motivating voters to action.

      It need not be the case this time, for those who are not keen on once again learning the hard way that looking to others to stand up for your electoral interests is a risky strategy in avoidance that is defeatist at its core.

      The path to victory is not hard to fathom for anyone who really wants to make an individual difference in helping to beat the B.C. Liberals.

      Think of it as the V6 exponentiation, where the chances of victory are increased by the power of voting, volunteering, validating, getting visible, being vocal, and going viral.

      Formulaic and simplistic? You bet. But it works.

      Anyway, there is nothing wrong with a good mnemonic device that might help people remember what too many frustrated losers have repeatedly failed to take to heart.

      For readers who know all about campaigns and are well-practised in the dark art of politics, this very lengthy primer probably won’t tell you much you don’t already know.

      But for first-time voters, for relative newcomers to B.C., and for those who in past elections mostly viewed politics as a spectator sport, it never hurts to reflect on that old adage “every vote counts.”

      Just because it is trite doesn’t mean it is not true.

      It should serve as a catalyst for individual action that can make a world of difference between winning and losing—between getting the change you want, or living with another four years of a government that is not working for you.

      The tips that follow in this long read may be self-evident to politicos and campaign pros, yet they bear repeating, as far and wide as social media and word of mouth will allow.

      Remember—and act—on these Six V’s to Victory, and you will be amazed at how easy it is to derail Christy Clark’s campaign, wherever she goes, or whatever she would rather read, see, and hear in the news.

      With your own voice and your one vote, you can help turn the tide, to usher in change that simply won’t happen if we allow inertia born of apathy to again reign supreme.

      Elections B.C.

      1. Vote

      Voting is the ultimate act of showing up. Yet even that most basic democratic duty seems too much of an imposition for too many. Including for those who later whine about the governments they helped elect by sitting on their hands.

      The stats on voting behaviour tell us all we really need to know about political lethargy. Time and again it produces governments the polls suggest are opposed by a majority of voters, who further compound their woes by dividing their opposition into losing pluralities.

      Over 1.3 million more British Columbians were eligible to vote in 2013 than in 1983—3,279,141 vs. 1,947,617 eligible voters, respectively.

      Yet four years ago, 133,705 fewer citizens actually voted than that number who were eligible to vote three decades earlier.

      Hard to explain, considering that the proportion of eligible voters who were registered to vote actually rose over that time, from under 91 percent in 1983, to almost 97 percent in 2013.

      In 2009, only 51 percent of British Columbia’s eligible voters showed up to vote, as compared to almost 71 percent, in 1983. Pathetic.

      In the eight provincial elections over the last 30 years, the number of registered voters who actually cast a ballot declined from almost 78 percent in 1983, to only 55 percent in 2009.

      The turnout rose a hair in 2013, to barely 57 percent.

      Whoopee. Once again, the horrendously low turnout saved the incumbent government’s ass, as it did in each of the last three elections.

      The last time the NDP won an election in British Columbia was in 1996, when the B.C. Liberals actually won more votes, but won fewer seats.

      Why? Because the NDP’s vote was consolidated. The B.C. Reform Party and former Liberal leader Gordon Wilson’s PDA diluted the Liberal vote in key swing ridings, taking almost 15 percent of the vote between them.

      The tables were turned in 2001, when Gordon Campbell’s Liberals consolidated “free enterprise” party won 77 of 79 seats, with almost 58 percent of the vote. They were aided by the Greens’ 72 candidates that garnered over 12 percent of the vote, leaving the NDP with under 22 percent and only two MLAs.

      It is unclear how the Green party might affect the NDP and Liberals in this election. Though it is a safe bet that it stands to cost the former more votes and seats than the latter, in most of the swing seats that are ripe for the picking.

      Then again, in the last election, it was arguably the Liberals who bore the biggest brunt of the Green vote on Vancouver Island, which the NDP nearly swept, winning 11 of its 14 seats.

      But things are different this time.

      The Conservatives won’t have more than a handful of candidates provincewide, as compared to the 56 candidates they had in 2013, under a well-known leader, who mostly drew their support from the Liberals. You can pretty much assume most of the nearly 86,000 votes they got, which represented almost five percent of the vote, will overwhelming default to the Liberals.

      Most materially, the Greens will likely have a full slate of 87 candidates, instead of only 61 candidates four years ago.

      With a highly credible and popular leader, Andrew Weaver, and a campaign bus, a stronger platform, and much more money to compete, it will be a fight to the finish for each and every vote in so many more ridings. Even in some traditionally “safe” seats.

      To state the obvious, which party you show up for will make or break the NDP in this election.

      Think your vote doesn’t matter much?

      Consider this: if the B.C. Liberals had only earned another 3,340 combined votes in 1996 (in Burnaby North, Burnaby-Willingdon, Cariboo South, Kootenay, Saanich South, and Vancouver-Fraserview), they would have won the election with six more seats than the NDP.

      With an extra 704 total votes in only two of those six seats, there would have been a minority B.C. Liberal government. The two B.C. Reform MLAs and one PDA MLA would have held the balance of power.

      The lesson? If, and where, you show up to vote always matters. And nowhere more so than in competitive ridings.

      Last election, the Liberals won 11 swing seats by a margin of victory that was less than the number of votes won by the Greens. That disproportionately hurt the NDP, which lost two of those seats by about 200 votes.

      You might want to review those results if you live in Boundary-Similkameen, Burnaby North, Comox Valley (now Courtenay-Comox), Delta North, Fraser-Nicola, Maple Ridge-Mission, Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, North Vancouver-Lonsdale, Port Moody-Coquitlam, Surrey-Fleetwood, or Vancouver-Fraserview.

      If only those 11 seats that swung on the Green party’s vote had instead been won by the NDP, Adrian Dix would have formed the government. Christy Clark would have only won 38 of the 45 seats the B.C. Liberals captured, while the NDP would have won 45 seats, as opposed to the 34 it actually did.

      By the same token, it is worth remembering that the NDP only won Coquitlam-Maillardville by 41 votes, while the Green party collected 1,891 votes in that riding in 2013.

      In Saanich North and the Islands, the NDP only won by 163 votes over the second place Liberals, as the Greens finished a close third, only 379 votes removed from the winner.

      A similar story played out in six other ridings, where the New Democrats’ margin of victory was less than the Greens’ vote. They included Burnaby-Deer Lake, Burnaby-Lougheed, Cowichan Valley, Saanich South, Vancouver-Fairview, and Vancouver-Point Grey.

      Remember that when the advance polls open on April 29 and 30, and May 3, 4, 5 and 6, and on the formal election day, on May 9.

      Those who show will control the show.

      Don’t bitch if you don’t vote. Better yet, don’t stop there if you want to drive that voting turnout in your preferred party’s favour.


      2. Volunteer

      The second most obvious way to show up is to volunteer.

      Voter apathy has kicked all parties where it really hurts, in their organizational capacity and in their pocketbooks.

      They are all spending more of their statutorily limited election budgets to pay staffers to perform duties and services that used to be executed by volunteers.

      Those days are long gone, as the opposition parties particularly struggle to find people willing to show up as needed, to do all of the things that must done to be successful.

      The Liberals, by contrast, have reams of political hacks whose government jobs depend on their political masters getting reelected. Many of them volunteer or work for peanuts, fighting to keep their lucrative jobs and public paycheques.

      The NDP used to have a killer volunteer machine that ably supplemented its union-backed “loaned” campaign workforce. Not so much anymore.

      Its largely younger support base wrongly imagines that remaining “unsullied” by all that formal campaign stuff, and simply talking about politics on social media, is a suitable substitute for more dedicated action.

      Wrong. And how. This time, more than ever, Uncle John and Uncle Andrew need you.

      To put up signs. To knock on doors. To identify their candidates’ committed vote. To help organize and execute campaign events and the leaders’ tours. To help voters get to the polling booth. To serve as scrutineers in counting ballots. And yes, to give money—whatever you can afford—to help their parties pay their campaign bills.

      It is so basic, yet so important.

      If you really care about derailing the Liberals’ campaign, you will not wait to be asked. You will act on your own volition. You will show up. At your local candidate’s campaign office, or perhaps at your chosen party’s campaign headquarters, and ask them to put you to work as an unpaid volunteer.

      Those of you who already so selflessly do that, God bless you. You are the lifeblood of any campaign and a credit to democracy.

      Then powerhouse senator Ted Kennedy's public endorsement helped Barack Obama win the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.
      Sage Ross

      3. Validate

      Validation: it comes in many shapes, forms, and sizes.

      A few affirming words of praise about a person, party, or policy. A large crowd, enthusiastically applauding a leader’s stump speech. A grateful nod, smile, or embrace at a candidate’s event. A letter to the editor. A formal endorsement. An expert assessment.

      The opportunities for validation are endless in any campaign. They influence momentum as they move the media to write, say, and show what your party wants to communicate—as opposed to what its opponents will inevitably have to say.

      Yet for all that, validators are also surprisingly hard to come by.

      Even when asked, too many people are simply too afraid, or too lazy to show up and offer the type of visual, persuasive, and vote-building support that all candidates and campaigns desperately need to win.

      Want to really help? Validate those who you want to be victorious.

      If you have special skills, credentials, experiences, community standing, name recognition, et cetera—contact your favoured party to offer yourself as a validator. It might take you up on that offer, and call on you to publicly support its leader, platform, and team at a campaign event, in a campaign ad, in published campaign materials, or in a zillion other ways.

      Yes, serving yourself up as a validator can put you at odds with some of those who want to reelect the government with which you are at odds.

      It takes moxy and pride of purpose. It sometimes even entails a reputational risk. Which is why validators are worth their weight in gold.

      Each platform announcement, each speech, each “streeter”, each unsolicited media interview, and each frame capturing a leader’s listening subjects contributes to a campaign narrative, which usually rides on the strength of its validation.

      What you like, support, or otherwise endorse matters. And so much more so, if you expressly communicate that to others, through pictures, words, and body language.

      Validate a leader, candidate, and party and you will earn their undying gratitude in a way that no amount of corporate money can buy. Especially in a future campaign finance world that rightly prohibits corporate and union political donations.

      In that world, I predict, validation will become the new political currency that matters most to grateful politicians.

      Best of all, it is a free commodity for anyone smart enough or committed enough to offer it in the service of needed change for the betterment of British Columbia.

      Show up for the cameras, the microphones, and the media. Fly your party’s flag with pride and authority.

      Trust me, you will feel good, knowing that your personal contribution of helping to validate Horgan’s Heroes or Weaver’s Wonders will also counter the Liberals’ lies, as it will arm voters with new ammunition to terminate the Clark government with extreme prejudice.

      B.C. NDP

      4. Get visible

      Pictures are worth a thousand words. Campaigns are battles of competing images that conspire to tell a running story about who is winning, who is losing, and why.

      Nothing is more important in winning that battle of images than showing strength through numbers. To win, you need to be visible.

      Show up at campaign events, rallies, protests, and all-candidates’ meetings, and pretty much anywhere your chosen leader might hope you would appear.

      Anyone who was alive in decades past, in the campaigns that time forgot, will tell you: the crowds are way smaller nowadays. Supporters stay away in droves, hiding out behind their computer screens, mobile devices, and televisions, opting to watch rather than to actively participate.

      When you are visible, campaigns become more viable. When you are not visible, campaigns become enervated, demoralized, and optically deflated.

      Believe me, all leaders live in dread of their invisible “supporters”. Nothing ruins their day like showing up to an event and finding almost no one there. Sometimes the media outnumber the supporters.

      The lack of visible support at so many NDP events in 2013 sapped the life out of Adrian Dix’s campaign. Small crowds and a lack of visible support and energy create a campaign death spiral that kills momentum and repeats itself, as Ujjal Dosanjh so brutally learned in 2001.

      Do your team a favour and add to its visible strength. And never commit to attending an event that you have no real intention of going to. It’s not only dishonest, it also leaves an empty chair that was set for you. And when there are too many of those, it is one of the worst campaign optics imaginable.

      Showing up for your own team is only half of the equation, be it to cheer on your candidate at a town hall meeting, at an all-candidates’ meeting, or at a campaign event.

      You want to really send Christy Clark for a loop? Have the gumption and strategic good sense to show up as a visible detractor at her events.

      It only takes one person to utterly ruin any campaign’s day. The NDP used to know this. I can tell you, it sure put the fear of God in my former party’s camp, especially in 2005, when its protesters so effectively dogged Gordon Campbell’s tour.

      It only takes one person to get in any leader’s face. Doing that is almost certain to dictate their campaign coverage on the nightly TV news, and it’s rarely pretty. In fact, it usually overwhelms whatever message or announcement that leader was hoping would dominate the day’s news.

      All mediums are obviously important in campaigns. But in deciding each day’s winners and losers, TV rules. In fact, no other medium matters much to most campaign managers, if the TV images and stories are mostly winners, reflecting well on their campaign and equally poorly on their competitors’ campaigns.

      Television is all about action, conflict, and emotion.

      It cannot resist covering those elements, no matter how smitten the likes of Global and CTV might be by Premier Pixie Dust’s smile, or by her picture-perfect “jobs” photo ops, which also feed off staged action and emotion.

      To be clear, I do not condone any type of action that might be physically violent, hurtful, or unlawful. Not at all.

      But getting visible in ways that command news coverage means coming armed with placards and other signage. It means not shying away from appropriate forms of political confrontation. And it involves staging your own photo ops, for your own intended political effect.

      Is there anything more cynical than the Liberals’ deathbed pledge to cap the regional bridge tolls, which they imposed in Metro Vancouver? It wasn’t in the budget and is not believable.

      The Liberals’ tolls now cost many regular Port Mann commuters $1,860 a year—after taxes. [That's based on the $155 monthly rate times 12, rather than on the $3.15 per trip rate.]

      The Forces of No need to remind people crossing the bridge of that fact over the next four weeks, with a well-armed and highly visible “perma-protest” on that bridge.

      There was a time when environmental organizations were experts at that, sometimes even in the midst of campaigns. They, too, have a crucial role to play in this election, in presenting a compelling visible presence in opposition to Kinder Morgan, Pacific Northwest LNG, and other environmentally destructive projects that are opposed by the NDP and Green party.

      Fact is, when leaders know they are bound to be confronted—sometimes by people yelling, crying, chanting, or simply brandishing signs that negatively brand them and their campaigns—they tend to retreat into bubbles that also deprive their campaigns of momentum.

      Just ask Stephen Harper. Or more recently, consider the small but very effective protest against the proposed Massey toll bridge, which drove that announcement indoors and allowed the protesters’ message to dominate the news.

      I know, it is a lot to ask. Perhaps not so much if you have been personally offended, hurt, or shunned by the Clark government. Of whom, there are many.

      Twenty-eight days: that is the length of the campaign. It only takes 28 highly visible actions to effectively control a campaign’s media coverage, which also produces another beneficial effect.

      When campaigns live in fear of hostile and ever-present crowds or visible opponents, they also tend to withhold information about where the leader is headed until the last moment.  

      That, in turn, leads to smaller crowds, less enthusiastic support, sometimes weaker media coverage, and all sorts of stories about a leader that fears his or her own electorate. If Clark’s campaign is boldly confronted in that way, even by solitary figures who refuse to be intimidated, her own supporters will almost certainly lose patience and say or do things that knock the campaign off-message.

      The narrative is not great for a B.C. Liberal government that is already widely regarded as arrogant, out of touch, a bully, and utterly consumed by carefully staged photo ops.

      Last election, Christy Clark pretty much went anywhere she wanted to go with impunity. Her most ardent and natural critics typically just didn’t show up. And night after night, she won the news coverage.

      Know this. The opposition parties have an innate advantage going into this campaign in driving stories that hinge on individuals’ visible opposition to the only leader who is the premier.

      It is very hard to protest any opposition leader’s events in a way that similarly resonates, as the B.C. Liberals’ found out time and again, when I ran their public campaigns.

      The Dosanjh campaign had no success in trying to physically confront and villify Gordon Campbell in 2001, before his party decimated the NDP and he became the target.

      It was hard to get any voters too exercised about the NDP’s former leader, Carole James, in 2005 and 2009. She is not only likeable—like John Horgan—but she never did anything to anybody in government, not having ever served as premier.

      Which is to say, it is much easier to disrupt and derail a sitting premier’s campaign events than it is to do that to anyone who is running to replace them.

      Be visible. Be fearless. Be in the Liberals’ face as events and good form allow, as you also stand up and show up for Horgan, Weaver and their teams.

      Stephen Thomson

      5. Be vocal

      Campaigns only resonate if their message is heard. Governments rarely fall if they are successful in silencing their critics, or in simply outshouting them.

      You want to knock the B.C. Liberals off of their message block? Turn up the volume. Never whisper when a scream is more appropriate and never be mute when your concerns beg for your added voice.

      I have already noted some of the ways that anyone can contribute to that mission by speaking out loudly and often, at every available forum. 

      Social media is obviously great, but it helps no one if you only use it to preach to your already committed choir, or to shout out at others who are equally dedicated to drinking their own bathwater.

      Being vocal tends to work so much better when what is being said might actually reach a receptive target audience.

      Think of this: every story on Global TV’s six o’clock news reaches literally hundreds of thousands of viewers. CTV and CBC also reach large, if much smaller audiences, that all dwarf the typical audience in most other forums.

      Showing up for television by being vocal at each and every campaign event it covers reaches undecided voters who will never read a #bcpoli tweet. Subject-specific sites and forums tend to attract mutually exclusive audiences of mostly decided voters.

      The goal is to reach out and shout to the masses who are sitting on the fence—especially the people you know or talk to in your workaday and your social life. Getting vocal means initiating conversations and advancing your positions on issues that matter, for change that matters, to people who for the most part are not inclined to talk about politics.

      Of course, that includes your friends, in face-to-face interactions and on social media. But beyond that, it means reaching out to the people who read letters to the editor and posted comments on media stories, editorials, and commentaries. It means speaking out to the people who listen to hotline shows; to those at the doorstep who might be open to what you as a canvasser might have to say; and to all those who will welcome your political engagement in helping them to formulate their own positions.

      Here’s another thing. You may often know way more about B.C. Liberal candidates' backgrounds and social media habits and postings, or about government failings, government waste, program failures, and potential scandals, than either the NDP or Green party might know.

      Nothing can work better to derail a campaign than bringing to light a litany of revelations about the governing party’s candidates or conduct. That information is like kryptonite: it can be deadly.

      I can’t tell you how many times I heard after a campaign was over about some juicy bit of information that was never uttered when it might have materially mattered. Don’t assume what you know or heard is already known by others.

      If you know something that warrants scrutiny and that might prove embarrassing to Team Clark, speak up. Tell your local NDP or Green candidate, alert their central campaigns, or quietly—and always appropriately—bring it to the media’s attention.

      Winning campaigns thrive on good opposition research. If you’ve “got the goods”, get vocal.

      You will be surprised to learn how loudly your one voice might resonate, either on the record, off the record, or even anonymously.

      6. Go viral

      I am the last one to give anyone advice about how to make the most of social media. Except to make this point: in a campaign, the weirdest, least expected things can go viral with minimal effort.

      It has never been easier than it is today to create campaign stories and storylines that are impossible to ignore and that can create no end of headaches for their subjects, if properly unleashed.

      My advice?

      Photograph, video, and record everything at all-candidates’ meetings, at B.C. Liberal candidates’ public forums, and in all campaign venues, as appropriate and allowed for.

      That approach is not to be confused with what the Liberals did, on February 25, when a taxpayer-funded caucus researcher surreptitiously recorded young New Democrats without their permission at a party-hosted youth forum on housing.

      It should be clear to anyone who wants to defeat the ruling party that it will use any means at its disposal to collect whatever digital “evidence” it can to try to embarrass the NDP.

      Turning the other cheek does not work in politics. What works is being better at each and every aspect of the game than the other guys, including using technologies to their full effect.

      You simply never know what might come out of any candidates’ mouth, or how they might look when they say it, or how those images and actual words might ripple on social media.

      Again, such images and wacky words can dominate a campaign for a day or two, at minimum, and in extreme circumstances, they can oblige a candidate to resign. Seems to happen these days with increasing frequency.

      Speaking of which, candidate nominations close at 1 p.m. on April 18.

      So, if you really want to cost the B.C. Liberals a seat and you have a devastating picture, video, or news scoop about one of their candidates, you might want to wait until then to share it.

      Personal testimonies, clever graphics, humorous images, homemade videos—they are all potential campaign fodder for our times that might go viral.

      Now why does that conjure up the Surrey Creep Catchers’ video that is now flooding the airwaves? Beats me. But you get the point.

      Imagine if someone had a posted an iPhone video of Christy Clark running that red light with her young son in her car, which she happily divulged in 2013? Might have hurt a lot more than that revelation did, as it was casually revealed, in a Postmedia mid campaign fluff piece about her.

      Point is, we are only now beginning to feel the full political force and effect of the Internet that Donald Trump so boldly took to places that no one has ever gone before, or I dare say, particularly wanted to go.

      It is a forum that is tailor-made for ridicule, lasting images, and ephemeral political hits—all of which might be especially relevant in this provincial election, if it goes viral.

      Yet as we all know, nothing goes viral unless it is shared. But when it is, it can derail a campaign faster than you can write #yogagate.

      In her wildest nightmares, Christy Clark never imagined that her Yoga-on-the-bridge photo op would cause her so much grief. It took her a political eternity to surrender and cancel that event, genetically prone as she is to digging in her heels and defending the indefensible.

      As we have seen from her reaction to the housing crisis, the campaign finance scandal, the fentanyl tragedy, the health firings scandal, or so many other scandals, Clark is slow to concede the error of her government’s ways.

      In politics, speed kills, and nothing spreads a story faster than social media. Including those that gain long legs from Clark’s innate gut response to attack the messengers who publicize her party’s many transgressions.

      It is in her DNA to attack, deny, and cover up. She only flees from the scandals of her government’s own making when fighting back doesn’t work. Typically, after they have hit home on Global, or gone viral.

      Again: action, conflict, and emotion. It is the stuff of You Tube and every other social media platform. Whatever finds its way home to those channels in campaigns is there to be shared. Do that, far and wide, at every chance, and you will help to control the daily campaign news.

      In this campaign, time and again throughout every one of its 28 days, the overworked scribes and reporters will always turn to those sources for their stories. Many of those professional journalists pooh-pooh the bloggers who actually feed them their daily bread. You shouldn’t.

      Rather, if you are not someone who closely follows politics, you should tune into the e-channels that will astound you with stories, facts, and images of our political world gone wrong.

      However you landed on this magnum opus of an article, stick with the Straight and you will always be rewarded.

      Or click on the myriad other sites that will rock your world with daily exposés and commentaries that do more to break real stories than we typically find these days in the mainstream media.

      Check them out. Learn something new that really matters. Gain perspectives that you won’t find in the newspapers that are so blatantly beholden to Big Oil and that are so far up the Liberals’ keister, they tend to speak to you through those subjects mouths.

      The Tyee is always a good place to turn. Its just-published piece on what it bills as “98 B.C. Liberal Falsehoods, Boondoggles and Scandals” is a good place to start, painful as much of that trip down memory lane is for this Campbellite to behold.

      You want to learn about B.C. politics and help its digital sleuths go viral?

      Go to the master, Bob Mackin, who has set the bar for his peers in researching, writing, and breaking important originally sourced political news stories for nearly a decade, as you can read at will on his original blog.

      Believe me, as someone who was also at the brunt of his unique and cutting brand of investigative journalism, his freedom of information requests and extensive network of sources causes many a restless night for the B.C. Liberals. Almost every week he divulges something that might stand to go viral, if he could find a way to increase his daily readership beyond those of us who are politically obsessed.

      Beyond those sources, here is my list of favourite others, whose ongoing dedication to speaking truth to power and original contributions never cease to amaze me.

      Merv Adey, Norm Farrell, Bill Tieleman, Integrity B.C., and Laila Yuile all offer incredibly valuable information, analyses, and insights that you will be driven to share if you take the time to read what they offer all British Columbians for free.

      And don’t forget to touch base with the parties’ websites throughout the campaign. The NDP and the B.C. Green party will both have much to offer that should be of widespread interest, regardless of how that info might be ignored by the major media.

      When any of those daily digital offering show up on those websites, you can make a world of difference in setting the Liberals off their game by sharing those nuggets as broadly as you can.

      With organization, dedication, and tenacity, voters can send Christy Clark's B.C. Liberals to the opposition benches, just as they defeated Stephen Harper's government in 2015.


      There you have it: six suggestions to think about, talk about, and perhaps embrace, to make an individual difference in derailing the B.C. Liberals’ seemingly eternal gravy train.

      The Power of V6: victory earned through the compounded power of voting, volunteering, validating, getting visible, being vocal, and going viral.

      Which, in this author’s B.C. edition of Elections for Dummies, offers its own equation: ABC x V6=NDP +1.

      Wherein Anybody But Clark times that Power of V6 will most likely produce an NDP government, with one Green-held riding, if voters like you show up as they might.

      No doubt, it’s very early in the game, and anything can happen.

      The Greens might well do better. The New Democrats might exceed expectations, as I expect they will.

      Or nothing will change and the B.C. Liberals will once again have the last laugh at all those who learned nothing, did nothing, and got what they deserved.

      Martyn Brown was former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell’s long-serving chief of staff, the top strategic advisor to three provincial party leaders, and a former deputy minister of tourism, trade, and investment. He also served as the B.C. Liberals' public campaign director in 2001, 2005, and 2005, in addition to his other extensive campaign experience, and he was the principal author of four election platforms. Contact Brown at