Tolerance, Finally

Letter From British Columbia

The implosion of the right-wing official opposition Alliance Party under its young evangelical leader Stockwell Day dominates the headlines of most of Canada's papers and feisty tabloids: Will the "gang of eight" dissident Alliance MPs be hung out to dry? Will Stock get drummed out over some Zionist-sounding remarks that set the tender Canadian sensibilities so on edge? Will that toad Joe Clark, leader of the squishy center-right Progressive Conservatives, capitalize on the Alliance's disarray and bring his party back from the near-death experience of the last two elections? Will this keep the right split for the next decade, ensuring Liberal dominance? Inquiring minds want to know.

In the rest of Canada, that is. British Columbia is preoccupied with its own drama. After a decade on the outs, the B.C. Liberals are back in power—and then some. Unlike the last election, when the Reform party split the B.C. conservative vote and returned the New Democratic Party (NDP) to office for a second tragic term, Gordon Campbell's party won a decisive 77 of the 79 ridings on May 16 with 56 percent of the total vote.

As impressive as that victory sounds (imagine a U.S. Congress with 425 Republicans in the House and 96 in the Senate), it's actually a lowball figure. Acting NDP Premier Ujjal Dosanjh's concession of defeat a week early deflated some of the anger voters had for the NDP and suppressed turnout:...

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