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Posted: October 6, 2018

Strange political bedfellows make for strange dance moves

“Perceptions,” by Gerry Warner

Op-Ed Commentary

“Politics makes strange bedfellows” has got to be one of the oldest clichés in the political lexicon and never has it seemed truer than in the announcement this week of the $40 billion Kitimat LNG plant.

BC Premier John Horgan, who still belongs to the NDP as far as I know and Justin Trudeau, still the Liberal Prime Minister of Canada, couldn’t pat each other on the back hard enough as they stood on the podium in Kitimat and jointly made the blockbuster announcement.

Isn’t it great when politicians throw partisanship out the window and overcome their differences in pursuit of the public good if indeed spending $40 billion to launch more super-tankers down the B.C. coast to Asia is in the public or the environmental “good?” (Someone should ask the whales and the dolphins what they think about that!)

But it doesn’t end here.

Also in for effusive praise this week, even if she did some of it herself, was former B.C. Premier Christy Clark, the Pied Piper of liquified natural gas (LNG), who in the past promised new LNG plants by the dozen for B.C. but never produced a single one before the voters showed her the door. But in truth Clark deserved some of the limelight for her dogged pursuit of an LNG industry in B.C. during her days in power even if it didn’t happen and caused her to break her promise that it would wipe out the province’s debt.

But there was one politician who wasn’t smiling on this happy day. And that, of course, was BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver who flat out rejected the proposed mega plant and said he and his tiny party of three would vote against any government legislation authorizing the giant project.

Welcome back Andrew. I thought you threw your Green principles out the window when you and your trio of green MLA’s supported the go-ahead given by the NDP to the controversial and unnecessary Site C hydro project. Ain’t if funny how these things come back to bite you in the butt?

But the most delicious irony in this whole LNG saga is yet to come because sooner or later the NDP government is going to need support in the legislature for some aspect of the Kitimat project. And where’s it going to come from? Not from the Greens. Weaver has made that clear. There’s only one independent in the BC Legislature so the necessary voting support for the NDP can only come from one source – the BC Liberals.

Now doesn’t that warm the cockles of your heart? The two main parties in the province reaching across the aisle to support the public good, if it is the public good, but we’ve already been there. What started out as a cynical coalition of necessity between the NDP and the Greens morphs into at least a temporary coalition of the Socred/Liberals and the Godless socialists. Only in B.C. you say and I say you’re right!

If this strange alliance comes to pass – and I don’t see how it can be avoided – it will be the most bizarre chapter yet in the sordid story of B.C. politics. Up to this point, Premier Horgan has kept his whimsical alliance of NDP socialists and Green environmentalists together with dance steps that would shame Michael Jackson.

But if he gets in bed with the Liberals, however short and however necessary, he will find himself on the apex of a slippery slope that will lead to only one thing – catastrophic defeat for him and his party in the next election.

Keep in mind the sly Liberals already enjoy a one-seat advantage over the NDP in the legislature, and if the shaky marriage of the NDP and the Greens comes asunder, the Liberals will already be in the lead when the next election rolls around in less than three years.

Up to this point, Horgan has shown himself very adept at making the right dance moves to retain power. But in the future, he’s going to have to dance like a prima ballerina to stay in power.

Gerry Warner is a retired journalist and practising Christian Anarchist, who has never held a card in any political party.


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