Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

BC election exposed a polarized province

Frank Williams | 19 May, 2017, 16:00

If Clark can't maintain the confidence of the legislature, Guichon could invite the opposition parties to attempt to form their own government-or she could dissolve the legislature and drop the writ on a new election.

After the initial results were in Tuesday, Horgan said the outcome shows British Columbians want a change in government after 16 years under the Liberals. If that seat flips to the Liberals after the final vote tally in two weeks, Clark will regain a bare majority government - even without the Greens' support.

In the run up to the election, Weaver said that he had three make or break issues when it came to propping up a party in power, including ending corporate and union donations, a referendum on some form proportional representation, and a significant increase in education funding.

"British Columbians sent a very strong message to all sides of the legislature. And they voted for an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top", he said.

Weaver said he's prepared to negotiate with both the Liberals and NDP to see which has the most in common with the Green platform.

An unlikely but still possible scenario could see a coalition government of the NDP and Greens, the combination of which would have won in a dozen more ridings if not for vote splitting.

Horgan didn't directly say a coalition is in the works.

Both Horgan and Clark said on Wednesday that they intend to sit down with Weaver to talk about working together.

There were approximately 51,000 absentee ballots in the 2013 election, and Elections BC will make its final count of this year's ballots between May 22 and 24.

Local elections 2017: Labour loses control of Glasgow
Nicola Sturgeon has said a Scottish Parliament vote in support of a second ballot has given her a mandate for another referendum. Ukip's sole win was a gain from Labour in Lancashire, as its vote share collapsed nationally from from 22% to less than 5%.

"The game's not over", said Horgan, who refused to concede defeat on Wednesday.

"The most important issue for us right now, the number 1 deal breaker, is banning big money in B.C. politics", said Weaver, a climate scientist who became the first Green elected to B.C.'s legislature four years ago.

The Liberals accused the NDP of failing to explain how they would pay for their campaign promises.

That happened even though Clark spent $15 million in taxpayer dollars on partisan government advertising wrongly promoting the B.C. Liberals and having the most heavily corporately funded political party in Canada, raising over $12 million in 2016.

As British Columbia heads into the possibility of a minority provincial government, the party with the fewest seats may have the biggest role to play in shaping the tone and policies of the new government.

Harrison said it is not clear, with the Liberals still in power, how the Green Party can achieve its goals of stopping the Site C hydroelectric dam in northern B.C. and the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from Alberta to Metro Vancouver. He said voters want changes to political fundraising laws and electoral reform - two of the Green party's priorities. Supporting minority governments is usually perilous for the smaller parties, he said.

At his news conference in Victoria, Weaver said the NDP and Liberals reached out to his party to set up meetings.

"He's a smart, thoughtful, reasonable guy, and so we've found places where we can work together". "Optically, that's not great".


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