Everyone was shocked by Tuesday night's BC Liberal election victory. Everyone but me.
I haven't trusted a pubic opinion poll since 2000. Why? Because most pollsters in Canada, like most journalists in Canada, are liberal. And despite best intentions, they rarely ask the right questions.
Obviously, the face of B.C., quite literally, is changing.
According to a 2011 Statistics Canada report, about 1,191,900 immigrants live in B.C., a province of 4,419,974 people. That's 27 per cent of the population and growing.
Immigrants account for 45 per cent of the population in Vancouver, 52 per cent in Surrey, 59 per cent in Burnaby and 70 per cent in Richmond. Immigrant populations are rising everywhere, even in the whitest regions of the province.
And they aren't buying what the NDP is selling. Big government. Vast social programs. Union allegiance.
Quite the opposite.
Immigrants, generally speaking, are Canada's hardest working people. They start small businesses. They work long hours. They pay business taxes and permit fees.
They don't relate to Robin Hood politics. They work hard for their money and they want to keep it.
Moreover, most newcomers in B.C. come from China. (South Asians represent the second largest immigrant group.) And many Chinese-Canadians left their native land in search of freedom. They value the equality of opportunity over the equality of outcome. They dominate our university student populations and help lead Canada's high-skill industries. When choosing political parties, they are more likely to choose a party that represents those values (in rhetoric, at least) over a party that more closely resembles Beijing.
In the home, the Chinese community remains famous for its commitment to family.
According to StatsCan, 56 per cent of adult Chinese-Canadians are married, compared with less than half of the overall adult population. More strikingly, only 10 per cent of Chinese-Canadians aged 65 and over live alone, compared with 29 per cent of all seniors in Canada.
The stats, unlike the polls, don't lie. The Chinese, B.C's fastest growing demographic, eschew the state and choose self-reliance. That's bad news for the NDP, which still sings off a song sheet from the mid-twentieth century.
The culture in B.C. is changing. The province, separated by Alberta from the rest of Canada, continues to drift right. The NDP couldn't beat a divided party led by an on-the-run premier. In its current form, it will remain the perennial opposition, buoyed mainly by the tired white faces of West Coast socialism.