When it comes to federal elections, BC is a little different from the other provinces.
Looking at the last three federal elections, based on seats, the Maritimes lean towards the Liberals, the Prairies lean blue while Quebec and Ontario tend to make big swings. In 2008, Quebec went strongly for the Bloc Québécois, in 2011 it went heavily NDP and in our most recent election, it went Liberal. Ontario went somewhat Conservative in 2008, strongly Conservative in 2011 and strongly Liberal in 2015.
BC meanwhile, in the last three elections elected between 25 to 33 per cent of their seats to the NDP, is the only province to elect a green candidate and split the remainder of their votes between the Liberals and Conservatives.
The consequence of this all is, that it can feel like BC doesn’t get a say in the election. BC is neither part of the base of one of the major parties, nor does it swing heavily in such a way that it appears to play a big factor in the outcome and makes it seem as though the outcome is done by the time it gets to BC.
This is a slight mischaracterization. In the most recent election, BC awarded 17 seats to the Liberals. Had BC voted differently, it would not have changed the winning party, but it would have changed it from a Liberal majority government to a minority government. The same thing applies to the 2011 election where BC awarded 21 seats to the Conservatives. Again, had BC voted differently, it would have been a Conservative minority as opposed to a majority.
BC may not get to single-handedly decide which party wins the election, but it does get to decide whether the winning party will have to cooperate or not. That’s not a bad position to be in as a province.
Additionally, with a relatively consistently split seat allocation, BC is a province of many strong but differentiated opinions. That’s something to be proud of.
I for one, am pleased that as a province we don’t adhere to one political party regardless of what they say or do nor that it is a total crapshoot where anything can happen depending on the direction of the wind.