The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past year, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Before you click away, we have something to ask you…

Do you value independent journalism that focuses on the issues that matter? Do you think Canada needs more in-depth, fact-based reporting? So do we. If you’d like to be part of the solution, we’d love it if you joined us in working on it.

The Tyee is an independent, paywall-free, reader-funded publication. While many other newsrooms are getting smaller or shutting down altogether, we’re bucking the trend and growing, while still keeping our articles free and open for everyone to read.

The reason why we’re able to grow and do more, and focus on quality reporting, is because our readers support us in doing that. Over 5,000 Tyee readers chip in to fund our newsroom on a monthly basis, and that supports our rockstar team of dedicated journalists.

Join a community of people who are helping to build a better journalism ecosystem. You pick the amount you’d like to contribute on a monthly basis, and you can cancel any time.

Help us make Canadian media better by joining Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
We're reader supported.
Get our newsletter free.
Help pay for our reporting.
News

The Doctor Is Out: MacDiarmid's Surreal Post-Election Party

As startling tide picked up Liberals, she was stranded.

By Bob Mackin 16 May 2013 | TheTyee.ca

Veteran reporter Bob Mackin is a member of The Tyee's BC Election 2013 team. Find his previous Tyee stories here.

image atom
MacDiarmid when labour minister: lost to former union leader. Photo: CBC.

It was not looking good at Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid's Vancouver-Fairview campaign headquarters when the polls closed at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

So the volunteers were going to make the best of a potentially bad situation.

Salmon was on the barbecue and beer in the cooler as the webcast of CTV's election night coverage was booted up on a screen inside the former Veste Cucina kitchen design store on West 2nd Avenue.

Early reports from the NDP and Liberal campaign headquarters were telling different stories.

The NDP was in the Vancouver Convention Centre East, the closest venue to the downtown Vancouver cabinet offices in Canada Place. The same venue where Adrian Dix won the party leadership in 2011.

The Liberals were at the Sheraton Wall Centre, where they celebrated the first of three Gordon Campbell-led victories 12 years ago on May 15, 2001. On TV, the NDP setup looked glitzy, with party members milling about in anticipation of history. The Liberals? A tad dull and empty.

Party sources were saying internal polling scenarios contemplated a worst-case scenario of 17 seats across the province. Campaign manager Mike McDonald sent out a plea for Liberal voters to get to the polls with less than three hours to go.

An orange wave was supposedly gathering off the coast and, according to pollsters, set to spread eastward to the Rockies. Then the tide turned. The NDP, poised to be in power for only the fourth time, didn't get the vote out. The Liberals did, perhaps owing to the controversial Multicultural Outreach strategy that was hatched in-house, with public resources, despite government rules. Clark had paid particular attention to private schools, churches and temples in the last two years. Smart places for a retail politician to seek wholesale votes.

Heyman knocked on doors until the end

MacDiarmid had ended her "get out the vote" campaign an hour before the polls closed, but her NDP opponent George Heyman was pounding the pavement and knocking on doors until the very last minute. His office, in a former mattress store on Broadway, seemed tense.

The results rolled in. Leads began to develop and mathematical trends were established, so much so, that winners were declared, riding by riding. Angus Reid pollster Mario Canseco stated earlier in the broadcast that the chances of an NDP win were 90%. At 9:06 p.m., CTV called it a Liberal win. There was widespread disbelief among the dozen people gathered so far. "Are you surprised?" "We won?!?"

A four more years cheer went up.

More results showing the surprise Liberal win -- and shocking NDP defeat -- came in. At a breakneck speed. It was standing room only. Bruce Young, a lobbyist with Earnscliffe Strategy and a high-ranking federal and provincial Liberal strategist, arrived wearing a jean jacket.* Despite the unfolding comeback for the party, he had a concerned look on his face. "She's on pins and needles," he said to one member about the count in Vancouver-Point Grey where the NDP's David Eby eventually won an upset.

'I always believed'

MacDiarmid appeared and was cheered by supporters, but her enthusiasm was muted. Away from her supporters, she admitted her single-digit lead over Heyman may not hold and she may not return to Victoria. She was more upbeat about the province-wide result.

"I always believed that we had a chance to form government again," said MacDiarmid. "I wasn't feeling terribly optimistic."

In the end she lost by 966 votes to Heyman, the former B.C. Government and Services Employees' Union boss. Her total was 9,999. Was it one shy of the 10,000 threshold because of the absentee ballot that Clark may have spoiled at a a Burnaby advanced voting photo opportunity on May 8?

"I don't think it's good to live in the past," MacDiarmid said.

*Correction made May 16 at 10:55 a.m.  [Tyee]

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free

LATEST STORIES

The Barometer

Tyee Poll: Are You Preparing for the Next Climate Disaster?

Take this week's poll