BC election exposed a polarized province

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 20, 2017

Tuesday's election delivered 43 seats to the Liberals, 41 to the New Democrats and three to the Green Party, exposing a deep political divide in the province that is both ideological and geographical.

Horgan says the final results are hanging in the balance and he can't wait until May 24 when we expect all absentee ballots to be in and reminded people that right now, the majority of MLAs are not Liberal.

If Horgan happens to become premier via this election, which seems an outside possibility at this point, it would certainly bring more light to West Shore issues such as transportation and affordable housing, to name a couple.

He said however the government ends up looking, the NDP's increased seat count in the legislature strengthens the party.

Weaver, whose party doubled its popular vote to 16.7 per cent compared with the last election, looked ecstatic as he addressed supporters in Victoria.

The Liberals took 40.9 per cent of the popular vote compared to the NDP's 39.9 per cent.

Solomon initially thought Grade 4 and 5 students might be too young for the vote, but she's since changed her mind.

The Liberals are down four seats from the 47 they held at dissolution, while the NDP are up six seats and the Greens are up two seats.

To which NDP leader John Horgan responded, "A majority of British Columbians voted for a new government".

Weaver said his party would negotiate with both party leaders in the coming weeks and would work with whoever has the most commonality with the Green platform.

As for her plans for a coalition government, Clark says she will be awaiting final results.

Speaking to reporters the day after the vote, Weaver, whose party tripled its support earning three seats in the legislature, said he has no intention of rushing into an alliance with either the Liberals or NDP.

"We have a lot of work to do and we're going to do it together", said Furstenau shortly after her victory.

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".

"We need to see where the absentee votes go", Weaver said.

NDP leader John Horgan spoke later in the afternoon.

That's why Tim Stevenson is very hopeful that the B.C. NDP and Green Party will be able to work together in a new government following the closely contested May 9 election.

"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".

"Mr. Horgan has said he would use all of the tools at his disposal but hasn't been very specific about what those are", she said.

But Clark's single most important priority - developing a liquefied natural gas industry - is a non-starter for Weaver, a former climate change scientist who has fought against LNG. (TSX:WTE), since Clark has proposed a hefty levy on USA coal shipments through the port in response to the softwood lumber dispute.

For example, the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion has been strongly supported by the Liberals but widely opposed by the NDP.

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