First Memories of Provincial Politics


Growing up in Victoria, the provincial capital, my first clear memory of provincial politics is a deck. It was a deck that brought down a Premier, and later played a part in bringing down a government.

I remember Fast Cat Ferries that couldn’t go fast enough through Active Pass to make their fast-ness worthwhile. I remember writing election results on a blackboard of my high school classroom in 2001, 77 to 2. I remember being told that politics in my province swings on a pendulum.

After being downtown to watch the protests on the lawn of the Legislature, following the Liberals’ massive cuts later that year, I remember being hooked.

Years later, and after studying politics in University, I still find our province’s way of doing business fascinating. We are a province that doesn’t do anything half way. If the leader of one party steps down, the leader of the opposition does as well. And instead of one party rallying the province against a leaderless government, we are faced with a free-for-all of internal party politics played out on the provincial stage.

We are a province that puts forward an Olympic bid, protests and celebrates winning the same bid, and then comes together to put on the biggest 2 week party that Canada has seen in years.

We are a province of wealth and of poverty. A province where such highs and lows are separated by only a few stops on the bus.

We come from different backgrounds and have different ideologies, different values and different languages.  And in politics we are reactionary and quick to blame.

We complain about the pendulum politics in our province, but when faced with the opportunity to change the way that we elect our leaders, we invariably choose the status quo.

We are capitalists, we are socialists, we are businesspeople and we are hippies. We have Birkenstocks and Cowichan sweaters, lululemons, suits and Canucks jerseys. We have Starbucks on every other corner, and on some corners, even more.

The BC Liberal leadership race is reaching its conclusion and in a matter of days we will have a new Premier, at the head of a government under no obligation to hold an election until 2013. I know I will be watching closely on February 26th, to see what will happen next – will you?

About the author

Pippa Adams has a Political Science degree from the University of Victoria. She is currently studying Communications at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC. Pippa's blog about books, politics, pop culture & life in Vancouver can be found at

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