Martyn Brown: “Low Ball” Andy Wilkinson’s B.C. Liberals strike with gutter-attack only they could think is funny

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      Today, Twitter is on fire with a viral video of B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson and his “team” all laughing at Jane Thornthwaite’s disgusting comments about Bowinn Ma.

      Thornthwaite is the B.C. Liberal incumbent candidate in North Vancouver–Seymour, while Ma is the NDP’s sitting member and slam-dunk soon-to-be-winner in North Vancouver–Lonsdale.

      If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the video, in all of its shameful living colour, showing just how deep in the gutter “Low Ball” Andy’s has happily sunk in deriding all women and people of colour with “Loathsome Jane’s” unbelievable stab at racially sexualized humour. 

      To add insult to injury, Thornthwaite didn’t even have the decency to initially apologize for her offensive comments.

      This is what she posted in response to the Twitter torrent:

      Is she off her rocker?! Or just determined to prove herself wholly unworthy of elected office?

      Nearly two hours later, Thornthwaite followed up with an apology.

      Honest to God, and the B.C. “liberals” wonder why they are wallowing in the polls, trailing the NDP by over 30 points among decided women voters and likely twice that again among women of colour?

      This is what they think is funny, in these Trumpian times that have so alienated people of every gender and ethnicity from politics and politicians?

      If there’s a sliver of silver lining in this sorry spectacle, it’s that Ma and the voters she so proudly and effectively represents will have the last laugh, when John Horgan’s government is re-elected with likely the largest majority in B.C. NDP history.

      Ordinarily, in the face of any such campaign debacle, one would expect and demand the offending party’s leader to immediately force the likes of Thornthwaite to resign. She’d be thrown out on her ear in a heartbeat as the candidate.

      Not this time, however, since it was the party leader—Low Ball himself—who sat there chuckling at Loathsome Jane’s revolting “Ralph roast”.

      It never even dawned on Wilkinson that what Thornthwaite was saying was even wrong. That’s how pathetic and disturbingly tone-deaf his “leadership” is, a fossilized dinosaur he, who is even more out of steps with the times than any of his contemporaries in modern history.

      Yet, what about the other B.C. Liberal candidates, especially women and people of colour?

      Will any of them have the intestinal fortitude and moral mindfulness to stand up, speak out and call for Thornwaite’s resignation and for every one of those brain-dead, zoomed-out Brady bunch to apologize?

      Not likely. Though they were sure quick to cheer on former B.C. Liberal leader, Christy Clark, in her condemnation of the “brutally sexist business” of politics. 

      Will she now call for Thornthwaite’s head? Do tell, Christy? 

      Bowinn Ma, 35, was the youngest member of the legislature when it was dissolved to set the stage for the current election campaign.

      Meanwhile, the two other main candidates will have yet one more reason to convince North Vancouver-Seymour voters that it’s time for a change.

      No one more so than the NDP’s Susie Chant.

      Yet Thornthwaite’s self-ridiculing performance also gives the B.C. Greens’ Harrison Johnston yet another arrow in his campaign quiver.

      Congratulations, Low Ball, you and Loathsome Jane have handed John Horgan’s most diverse-ever NDP team one more campaign advantage—as if it needed one—to defeat all that is so sadly emblematic about your party as it truly is behind closed doors.

      Some 53 percent of the NDP’s candidates are women. A quarter of its team are persons of colour. Five of its candidates are Indigenous, three are people living with disabilities, six are from the LGBTQ community, and four are youth.

      All of them must be shaking their heads, dismayed at Thornthwaite’s act of self-immolation and encouraged by the massive public response in denouncing her ignoble affront to Ma’s character, gender and ethnicity.

      Around noon today, Ma directly added her voice in response to this fiasco. It was eloquent, deadly and powerful — and sure to hit its political mark, to boot.

      The saga didn’t end there. A couple hours after Ma’s heartfelt response, Low Ball himself weighed in.

      This was Andrew Wilkinson, “doing everything [he] can to make sure women are welcomed, encouraged, and treated with respect in politics and public life.” Which speaks volumes, in all the worst ways about his sad leadership.

      As the only female leader in this election, the B.C. Greens’ Sonia Furstenau also has one more reason to make her case for change in Tuesday’s leaders’ debate.

      Today, every B.C. Liberal should be red with embarrassment, blue with anger, and green with envy of what a party and leader who is not theirs might stand to offer all British Columbians.

      In this age of unconscionable “dog whistle” politics, Wilkinson’s soul-shattering silent pitch represents all that makes too many voters want to turn away from politics and scream bloody murder at the likes of Thornthwaite.

      Martyn Brown was former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell’s long-serving chief of staff, the top strategic adviser 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 2009, and in addition to his other extensive campaign experience, he was the principal author of four election platforms. Contact him via email at