WTF? The BC Liberals are NOT the same as Trudeau's Liberals

May 1 2017, 4:47 pm

Ahead of the 2017 BC election, Daily Hive has produced a range of guides to the key issues affecting young voters. To find our full BC Election coverage, click here: Battleground BC.

With the BC Election closing in and some advanced votes already checked, signed, and dropped, it’s important British Columbians know what the names beside those boxes represent.

The federal election of 2015 saw a wave of Liberal support wash across the nation, with Justin Trudeau becoming our new prime minister and the Liberal Party of Canada winning the majority of seats.

However, things are different in provincial politics than they are federally, and, as such, the Liberal Party that you voted for—or against—in 2015 is very different from its provincial counterpart.

In the federal election the big players were the Liberal Party of Canada, Canada’s NDP, and the Conservative Party of Canada.

In BC’s provincial election, it is a struggle between the BC Liberals, the BC NDP and the BC Greens.

BC Liberals more conservative

The absence of a conservative party leaves the BC Liberals the furthest to the right on the political spectrum, according to Stephen Phillips, a political science professor at Langara College.

Compared to the federal Liberal Party, Phillips said, “[The BC Liberal Party] is a more conservative party, so its more of a consistently right wing party, particularly on economic issues.”

Phillips said that while the provincial and federal liberals were formally linked in the past, the groups were severed in 1991, so each party could work on its own terms.

“The reason was to give the provincial Liberals more leeway to take positions that might be at variance with the federal Liberal party,” Phillips said. “If you didn’t have a formal link, then you wouldn’t have to do as much explaining to reconcile those differences.”

NDP and Greens more progressive

Those differences also arise due to British Columbians’ own understanding of their provincial and federal governments, says Phillips.

“[British Columbians] kind of understand that the party system that operates at the two levels is different,” he said.

“In BC, we have two political worlds—provincial and federal—and so you have a number of people, who vote for the Liberals in the federal elections, who vote NDP in provincial elections, as they see the provincial NDP as being a more progressive party than the provincial namesake of the Liberals.”

The best way to get a true depiction of where the provincial parties stand is to take a look at our guides to all the issues and parties:

We’ve also produced a range of quick guides to all the issues to get you up to speed fast.

See also

Daily Hive is your home for BC Election coverage throughout the campaign period. To access our full BC Election coverage click here: Battleground BC.