Following Liberal defeat in the Nanaimo byelection, Global TV reporter Sarah MacDonald talked to Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson for the 11pm newscast. She asked what is probably the worst question in the history of BC political reporting.
This was it:
Now we are seeing, I mean when was the last time you’ve seen hype like this for a byelection, this one is obviously unique, but we have seen, I mean, Harris has been able to rally the troops, so to speak, in NDP territory more so than, arguably, any candidate since 2001, since the last time you took the seat here. Now does this signal a changing of the guard from the party? Are you seeing, maybe voters signal to you, you know, we want, you know, a younger demographic coming into the Liberal Party, we want more women, we want more younger candidates, more people of colour. Are you getting that message from voters?
This joyful celebration of a loss came despite star Liberal candidate Tony Harris drawing fewer votes than gained by Liberal Paris Gaudette in May 2017. Wilkinson claimed Liberal gains were “unprecedented”, perhaps forgetting that Mike Hunter previously won the seat for Liberals with a vote share that was 4.3% higher than Harris got in 2019.
One couldn’t help noticing that Premier John Horgan got fewer than 40 seconds to talk on screen about the by-election result and broad provincial issues. Andrew Wilkinson enjoyed more than three minutes of screen time, using it primarily to take shots at his political opponents.
Global’s predecessor, locally owned BCTV, used to be a highly professional news operation, staffed with many qualified journalists.
Oh, how they’ve fallen.
Global’s approach reminded me of this cartoon aimed at Fox News. In BC, we know the political party substitutions that apply: