It’s crappy, but we need another election
By Ian Cobb
At about 4:30 p.m. (Mountain) today, B.C. voters will learn if they have a new NDP government, with a Green Party lynchpin, carrying a 44 to 42 margin on the floor of the Legislature or if a snap election is in our near future.
With the NDP Green coalition holding 44 seats and the Liberals 42 (Liberal MLA Steve Thomson is the Speaker, meaning his vote his lost to the Liberals, short of a tie-breaker needed), it is a certainty that Premier Christy Clark’s reign will be forced to a close.
With a non-confidence vote in play, she must pay a visit later this afternoon to. Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon and as her ‘top minister,’ Clark must advise the Crown about what to do. However, Clark has indicated she won’t provide advice; merely bring up “facts.”
Guichon will then either dissolve parliament and force the province back to the polls, believing her top minister that the province would be in peril with such a thin and unstable government, or she will ask NDP leader John Horgan to become Premier.
Our Lt. Gov. is being placed in a lousy position, as the results of the May 12 election show British Columbians to be fairly evenly split on what kind of government they want.
Should she opt for to allow a John Horgan-as-Premier coalition, with the three-seat Green Party holding the keys to the car and most of the rest of the kingdom, British Columbia will enter a stodgy malaise as governance grinds to a halt and uncertainty grows with the endless back-and-forth ideological attacks.
Horgan will drive forward and seek ways to govern, with 42 opposition MLAs forcing every vote to be lock-stepped (remember, the Liberal speaker can only vote to break a tie) but that effort will result in the coalition hitting the ditch, sooner or later, as Green Party leader Andrew Weaver is sitting behind Horgan, trying to distract him into ‘greener’ lanes.
That being said, it is clear that the best way out of this mess is to call another election, as crappy as it would be to have to go through all that again.
And herein lies the fascinating bit, as a recent poll conducted by Mainstreet Research for Postmedia News show support for the BC Liberals climbing. The Liberals are up seven points from the last poll taken May 11-13, now at 45%, while the NDP and Green Party have each dropped five points, down to 34 and 17% respectively.
And even more interesting is the poll shows 43% of decided and leaning voters in Greater Vancouver now support the Liberals, up from 36% before the election.
The Lower Mainland is where the NDP make hay. Horgan didn’t place foot one near the Kootenays in the May election, wisely focusing his efforts on the massive sea of humanity known as Greater Vancouver. And should Horgan find himself in control of a flimsy, pointless government, you can rest assured he will join the rest of recent NDP Premiers in completely turning his back on rural B.C. so he can mollycoddle the fickle sliding-scale socialists up to their chins in urban B.S. that we rural British Columbians chose to avoid but end up paying for anyway when the NDP are in control.
Many swing voters in the Lower Mainland are now clearly nervous about the direction they helped push B.C. and another election may see the Liberals return to power, again narrowly, but perhaps with just enough to form a majority.
In the May election, the Liberals garnered 796,672 votes, or 40.36% of the total, while the NDP pulled in 795,106, or 40.28%. The Greens captured 332,387, or 16.84% of the votes. That is close.
Hence, the extremely difficult task facing Hon. Judith Guichon.
We are betting she opts to do the right thing and call an election, despite the expense, to allow British Columbians to sort this out, rather than the cock-eyed games of backroom nonsense that will continue should power flip over to the NDP/Green coalition.
That means it is incumbent on all of us – and that means you mister and missus apathy – to get your butts down to the polls when and if the election is called and help sort this important mess out. Please. Enough of this shrugging off your hard-won rights to help chose a government. We can do better than a weak, chaotic minority government but it requires much more buy in from voters.
We’ve all seen what half-hearted voting efforts bring – so let’s correct our wrong and give the Liberals, or the NDP, a clear mandate.
Finally, if you are interested in taking part, the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce is conducting an online survey about the recent election outcomes and voters’ views on it. Take the survey
– Ian Cobb is owners/editor of e-KNOW