Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

The BC Liberals win a minority government


The B.C. election is over, but with the Liberals winning only a minority of seats, the Green Party holding the balance of power-and with the results from at least one key riding still to be determined-questions about who will form the next government in the province remain unresolved.

Hamish Telford, a political scientist at the University of the Fraser Valley, says even if the Liberals take control of the legislature by picking up an extra seat once absentee ballots are tallied, that would still leave the party with a razor-thin majority at 44 seats in the 87-seat legislature.

He insisted throughout that he was willing to work with either main party, although the bitterness between him and NDP leader John Horgan was on display many times during Weaver's four years as a lone Green MLA.

This election was Clark's second as premier.

Three strong personalities - the leaders of the provincial Liberals, the NDP and the Greens - battled it out on the campaign trail but will now have to figure out who will work with whom. Its signature policy is to roll back Medical Services Plan premiums by half, a measure that the NDP supports and that may well satisfy Weaver's long-standing call to get rid of MSP.

The unofficial results showed Liberals finished with 40.85 per cent of the popular vote, down about four per cent from 2013.

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But Weaver said the top priority for the Greens is removing the influence of big money from politics. They finished with more than 16 per cent of the popular vote based on Tuesday's preliminary results.

"A majority of British Columbians voted for a new government and I believe that is what they deserve", NDP leader Horgan told jubilant supporters to chants of "NDP, NDP".

"I do intend to work across party lines... whether it's a majority or a minority government that I lead", she said.

The Liberals broke out to an early lead, but the seats in favour of the NDP grew swiftly as more votes were counted. Several ridings were decided by fewer than 300 votes, including Courtenay-Comox, where the NDP won by a mere nine votes.

With a majority elusive, the three probable seats for the Greens now raises the serious possibility that Weaver and his caucus may hold the balance of power in a minority government. A dialogue about how we do things, what we should do, how we want to shape the future of our province.

It's not easy being Green on British Columbia's political scene - especially for a party facing a hard choice in who it might back in a minority government.

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Cameron says in some cases where the NDP lost and the Green vote could filled the gap, like Columbia River-Revelstoke, the story isn't really the Greens.

"The big win for the Green Party is electoral reform because small parties like the Greens are forever disadvantaged by a first-past-the-post system".

Both leaders are in communication with Weaver.

"This is truly historic", she said.

The NDP and Greens were perceived as opponents of resource development such as the Site C hydroelectric project, the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, and liquified natural gas proposals. (TSX:WTE), since Clark has proposed a hefty levy on US coal shipments through the port in response to the softwood lumber dispute.

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