Well, things just got a little more interesting in the formation of B.C.’s next government.
Let’s hope for all of our sakes it’s not the kind of “interesting” referred to in the old Chinese proverb, “May you live in interesting times.”
On Monday afternoon, just two days before Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon was expected to certify a minority Liberal government, B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver and B.C. New Democratic Party leader John Horgan have reached and agreement the would bring an NDP government “one step closer.”
The four-year Confidence and Supply Agreement is not in itself a coalition government, but it does change the playing field that resulted from a recent provincial election that left the Liberal party with 43 legislative seats — one short of a majority.
Counted together, the NDP (41 seats) and the Green Party (three) would outnumber the Liberal team. But that in itself doesn’t mean a coalition government. As it stands now, Liberal leader Christy Clark is still Premier.
This is all uncharted territory in B.C. politics. Looking to the example minority and coaltion governments at the federal however, it seems very unlikely the NDP-Green pact will survive its four-year term.
The Greens may agree with the NDP on a number of issues, particularly on climate and environmental issues. But Green Party candidates have been running for years on a platform plank of being whip-proof.
Good luck to Horgan with the herding of those cats.
Following the election results earlier this month, Clark promptly threw out some favourable rhetoric suggesting that the parties would need to work together for the benefit of all of British Columbia’s residents.
Certainly, a number of the province’s citizens would be heartened by the idea of politicians putting the people over party.
But while it’s easy to interpret the 2017 election as a call for change in B.C. governance, it’s much more difficult to determine what kinds of change, exactly, voters were clamoring for.
They are likely to get another chance to clear up that point.
The only thing less likely than a Liberal minority to survive the next four years in power is a coalition of the NDP backed by the growing, but still reed-thin, bulwark of the Greens.
So, who’s ready for another election?
— Parksville Qualicum Beach News