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The BC Election Result

Discussion in 'Politics' started by revsdd, May 10, 2017.

  1. revsdd

    revsdd Faith ... Not Fear

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    As we've noted at times, it's difficult for whatever reason to get a discussion going on Canadian politics. I did think that the election results in British Columbia last night were interesting. It's a minority government - the first in BC in something like 65 years. The BC Liberals won 43 seats, the BC NDP won 41 seats and the BC Greens picked up 3 seats.

    This is new and uncharted territory for the Green Party in Canada. They've never really even been close to having anything resembling power or influence. Now, suddenly they have the balance of power in BC and will basically decide who gets to govern. Christy Clark has already said that she'll stay on as Premier, but in the wake of the election results, it's really up to the Greens whether they support the Clark Liberals or the NDP led by John Horgan. And I wonder what they'll be looking for in exchange for their support.

    It's a tough decision. Propping up a minority government doesn't usually work to the advantage of the party doing the propping up. If things go well the governing party gets the credit and if things don't go well the electorate swings to the Opposition and not the third party that kept the government that's not doing well in power. So the Greens in BC have some tough decisions to make. I expect Elizabeth May (as a Green MP from British Columbia) will share her opinion with Andrew Weaver (the Green leader in BC) but probably not publicly. This is quite an opportunity for the Greens - but it also comes with some big risks.

    In a way up until yesterday you could say that the Greens in Canada were as pure as the driven snow. They've never really had to start thinking about what their priorities are, what they're willing to compromise on, what party they prefer to work with, etc. etc. It will be fascinating to watch - even if from a distance.
     
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  2. GordW

    GordW Church-Geek-Oramus

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    THere is one riding where the margin was 9 votes so there is going to be some time before results are official..it could then sway the Liberals into the barest of majorities.

    From what I hear there is little evidence that the parties involved will be really willing to play nce together--which is a requirement either for a coalition (which if it could happen would give either the Liberals or the NDP a majority depending who the Greens play ball with) or for a minority government to be maintained.
     
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  3. Mendalla

    Mendalla Administrator

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    I've already heard that the Greens are insisting that electoral financing reform in the vein of what has already happened in other jurisdictions (banning corporate and union donations and that sort of thing) is a non-negotiable. That could be a tough pill to swallow for Clark, who has kept BC out of the whole wave of financing reform that has been going on since Chretien banned corporate donations federally. Not sure what other strings they'll be attaching.
     
  4. Carolla

    Carolla wondering & wandering

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    So - politics is definitely NOT my area of strength ... hence a question (hold your laughter please!) - do the Greens need to declare an alliance, or could they vote issue by issue as they see fit?

    It is an interesting position for them for sure, and I imagine a bit of a surprise to the Liberals. Wonder if they will listen any better now?
     
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  5. revjohn

    revjohn Well-Known Member

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    Greens get to play King/Queen maker eh?

    That should be interesting. Briefly.
     
  6. revsdd

    revsdd Faith ... Not Fear

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    They could vote issue by issue. If they do that, however, they could be blamed for causing instability and uncertainty. Having power - even the balance of power in a minority government - is a potential minefield no matter what they do.
     
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  7. Tabitha

    Tabitha journeying

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    It's really still up in the air. and I did vote in the election. Elected officials have been known to cross the floor. Greens could swing to either side depending on each issue. A vote of non-confidence could occur.
    I think Christy may be premature in celebrating a win!
     
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  8. revsdd

    revsdd Faith ... Not Fear

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    One thing I chuckle about is that some of the news coverage makes one think that minority government is some unknown thing and that BC is trying to chart a course through completely unknown waters. Yes, there hasn't been one in BC in 65 years. Yes, they are inherently more unstable that majority governments. But we use the same system of government through the entire country, and it's not as if there are no precedents anywhere in Canada for what happens when there's a minority.
     
  9. Luce NDs

    Luce NDs Well-Known Member

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    Greens ... the return of Demetria and all associated ... the sacred blanket!
     
  10. BetteTheRed

    BetteTheRed Well-Known Member

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    As I've said elsewhere, I'm fond of minority governments. Demands constant relationship building and accountability.
     
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  11. Mendalla

    Mendalla Administrator

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    Combined with a willingness to pull the trigger at the slightest provocation in order to upgrade to a majority. Seriously, most Canadian minorities simply focus on trying for a majority, not relationship building. Look at Petersen here in Ontario. As soon as he thought he could win, "Bam!" new election.

    If we would start accepting formal coalitions, rather than forcing an election as soon as a minority government loses a vote, then the relationship building could happen. The Conservative-Lib Dem coalition in the UK is the model we need. It had its problems but it lasted longer than most Canadian minorities.
     
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  12. Northwind

    Northwind Newly minted moderator. Still knitting.

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    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Clark is not known for her cooperative spirit. I know the Lt Gov of BC has asked Clark to continue to lead the government. No one has conceded defeat. Why would they in this situation? They are counting absentee ballots and there seems to be a lot of those. Also as @GordW said, there are ridings that have to be recounted because the results were so close.

    I had to laugh at the results in Fort St John and Dawson Creek areas. They were celebrating the win of the conservative, I mean Liberal candidates. As if there was any question.........it has been said that a yellow dog could run in those ridings and would win. That being said, FSJ finally has a literate, intelligent representative.
     
  13. Luce NDs

    Luce NDs Well-Known Member

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    Does politic and polity by definition indicate some extremism? Yet the extremists do put the policy down ... as they can't really see it ... naiveté can be a creeping ailment ...
     
  14. GordW

    GordW Church-Geek-Oramus

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    Technically speaking Clark heads to government as long as she has the support of the majority of the MLA's. THey don't all have to be from her party. And so until she is defeated in the house on a non-confidence vote or otherwise admits she no longer can gain the confidence of the house she is the premier.
     
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  15. revsdd

    revsdd Faith ... Not Fear

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    My interest in this, of course, isn't really who ends up heading the government. It's the fact that the Green Party is in a totally unfamiliar (in Canada) territory, finding themselves with actual influence. Until now, it was a great victory that they won a seat in Parliament (Elizabeth May) and that for a while they held two seats in Parliament (thanks to a floor crossing) but they never had any sway or influence over events, and it's been actually very generous of both the Conservatives and the Liberals (since they took power) to allow Elizabeth May to ask questions in the House - because they don't have to, since she's a party of one, and therefore technically an independent. But the Greens have never really had to make decisions. All they've had to do is stick to their talking points. Now they'll be judged not for their words but for their actions and decisions. I think it will be interesting to watch as they sort this out and make some tough decisions for the very first time.
     
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  16. Graeme Decarie

    Graeme Decarie Well-Known Member

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    The great (and terminal) weakness of the Greens is their failure recognize the realities of trying to straighten us out our priorities. To do that requires a political, social, and economic philosophy that it just doesn't have. Environmental destruction is essential to the immediate purpose of much of our capitalist system. Dealing with that require a view of politics that goes beyond anything I have seen in the greens. It's a party of good intentions - but stunningly naive about The political requirements to achieve what they want to.
     
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  17. chansen

    chansen Pleasant Enough

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    I like how you explain that, Graeme.
     
  18. Luce NDs

    Luce NDs Well-Known Member

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    Could still create chaos, or anarchy in some circles ...
     
  19. Graeme Decarie

    Graeme Decarie Well-Known Member

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    eventually, it will create chaos and anarchy. We need fundamental changes to our political and economic system. But power is in the hands of people who like the present system because they're getting stunningly rich out of it.
     
  20. revjohn

    revjohn Well-Known Member

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    I guess nobody reads, "The Prince" any more.

    Once upon a time there was at least a concern to appear like you were acting on behalf of the people.
     
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