Neither minority nor coalition likely to last out year

Since the election writ was dropped on April 11 we’ve all witnessed inanely preposterous photo ops, outlandishly absurd soon-to-be-broken promises and never-ending, mind-numbing, stomach-churning television commercials. Four weeks of these sphincter-clenching festivities, fuelled by way too much money in the campaign coffers, had most of us just wanting the election to be over already.

If it seemed much longer than a month, then of course it was. A surreptitious and stealthy campaign began before last year’s Thanksgiving turkey leftovers had been gobbled up, in the form of adverts which relentlessly trumpeted perceived achievements of the government in power.

Sections of the commentariat kept pumping up some parties and deflating others, while pollsters were ultimately correct in advising that any predictions were too close to call; by the time the midnight hour rolled around on May 9, voters appeared to have elected a minority government for the first time in 65 years. The three party leaders all declared themselves vainglorious victors, and there were no lethargic losers — surely, that could only happen in B.C.

Seat numbers have to be finalized after recounts and absentee votes are tallied; only then will we know what our political landscape will really look like for the next little while. Politicians have received an enema from the voters. That should flush out the absenteeism, arrogance and antagonistic actions that have become the norm, and now Victoria’s legislature should become a place of decent and sensible discourse between parties — rather than a zoo containing putridly paranoid partisan political animals.

In keeping with B.C.’s storied political quirkiness, the election was held on the eve of the Flower Full Moon. Traditionally, minority and coalition governments don’t survive very long anywhere; so by the time the next Flower Full Moon lights up the night sky in 2018, we may well be heading towards another election campaign. Stay tuned.

Bernie Smith


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