Now what? Election puts BC into political parts unknown

Wednesday, 17 May, 2017

The chance of the Green party holding the balance of power in a minority government situation was a possibility.

Asked what he thinks of the Lieutenant Governor's choice to ask Clark to continue to lead the province, Horgan says he believes the final decision is hanging in the balance.

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark's Liberal Party was neck to neck with the left-leaning New Democratic Party in an election that could spell uncertainty for multibillion-dollar energy projects.

Green Party leader Andrew Weaver easily won his seat again in Oak Bay-Gordon Head but unlike previous sessions of the legislature, he won't be the sole MLA for the party.

That includes the Courtenay-Comox riding, which was won by NDP candidate Ronna-Rae Leonard by an astonishing nine votes.

"But this is what we do know".

If grade school students were deciding the next B.C. government, John Horgan and the BC NDP would have a strong majority.

"We have a lot of work to do and we're going to do it together", said Furstenau shortly after her victory. British Columbians voted today for proportional representation.

Clark has said she intends to lead the next government, but Horgan has not conceded defeat.

Peter Fassbender, the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and the Minister Responsible for TransLink, has lost his seat, as has Suzanne Anton, the Minister of Justice.

With the vote count not complete, the Liberals, which are not linked to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's federal Liberal Party, had won 43 seats in the 87-seat provincial legislature.

Weaver said it's too early for him to say whether he would back the Liberals or New Democrats but he was willing to compromise and was scheduled to meet with both Clark and Horgan on Wednesday afternoon.

BC Liberal canadidate Stephen Roberts said, "obviously there's been a bit of a wind change in the air here ..."

"It is a finish that we have not seen in a very long time in British Columbia", Clark said. "The only thing I said was, 'Well, you're going to have to be accountable at the end, when the other groups challenge you and ask you questions. This campaign is not over until all ballots are counted".

The NDP already endorse Weaver's two preconditions for a coalition with the Green Party.

"I would expect as soon as government sits in the legislature there will be legislation to ban big money in politics", said Weaver. The NDP has tabled legislation on six occasions proposing to ban union and corporate donations.

Richard Johnston, a political scientist at the University of British Columbia, said he doesn't expect negotiations on the possible framework of a minority government to start until after the final results are known.

It also depends what "deals" the Liberals and the NDP offer the Greens.

New Democrat Leader John Horgan voted at an advance poll.

"Small parties like the Greens are forever disadvantaged by a first-past-the post system".

While still short of the four seats needed for official party status, Weaver was pleased with the "first ever Green elected caucus in North America".