Written by Adam Johnson on September 23, 2020 for our series Earnscliffe BC Election Insights.
Elections matter, they have always mattered. While that saying is sometimes overused, for the BC Liberals they needed this. For the Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Wilkinson, this election will give them a podium and potentially a broader set of issues to talk to British Columbians about, past B.C.’s COVID-19 response.
Being leader of an Opposition Party is not a lot of fun. I can think of a lot more jobs that I would sign-up for. Being a leader of a party that was in power for 16 years, won the most seats in the last election and had to rebuild with a lot of long-time MLAs is very challenging. It is hard to get MLAs, staff and supporters to realize rebuilding takes work and a very different approach than when in government. Andrew Wilkinson and team set out on this path 3 years ago of rebuilding the BC Liberals and trying to build a new brand that resonated with urban and centrist voters.
In March 2020 everything changed. We all started to understand the world changed dramatically with COVID-19. Politics as usual was parked, the one-time medical doctor and deputy minister, now Opposition Leader, knew the right thing to do was to be a British Columbian first. This approach was the right thing to do for British Columbia but as a politician, it became increasingly challenging to get the BC Liberal side of the story out. With an election now upon us, voters will start to question who is best set to lead, who has the vision for the future and have a robust conversation about ideas. Elections matter, we are in one, now we will see if the BC Liberals can show a strong vision for the province and win a few more seats they need for a majority.