Quest Lecture Series: Local politics in the post-Wild West Era

Join us for our virtual Quest Lecture Series, presented by Squamish Public Library, Whistler Public Library, Pemberton & District Public Library, and Quest University.

Local Politics in the Post-Wild West Era: An analysis of British Columbia’s 2022 municipal elections
Presented by Dr. Stewart Prest

It is a period of significant transition in municipal politics in British Columbia. There are competing explanations for this change, including both the emergence of the housing crisis and broader issues of urbanization as a defining set of issues, as well as recent changes to election financing regulations. As a result, we are seeing considerable experimentation and evolution among local political candidates and parties. Looking at both available survey data and the accompanying political discourse regarding local politics in BC, I will break down the results of the 2022 elections in municipalities in BC, including Vancouver and Squamish, among others. The elections represent an important “evolutionary moment” in numerous municipalities across the province, and the patterns that result may have long term implications, defining the practice and policies of cities across the province for decades to come. Key questions will include, what issues brought voters out? What kinds of political coalitions emerged? How did candidates adapt to the new municipal political financing regulations? The answers will inevitably be partial given the recency of the election, but nonetheless highly illuminating as to what the future holds for politics in BC’s cities.

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