BC political parties ponder common issues after close vote, possible deals

13 May, 2017, 11:21 | Author: Glen Fletcher
  • Election puts BC in limbo

A final tally is expected by May 24, when all absentee ballots will be counted.

"So that interpretation is not that the Greens hurt the NDP and allowed Christy Clark to win, but in fact that the NDP would have done worse in this election had it not been for the Green vote". The BC Liberals - a different party to the ruling federal Liberals - won in 43 of the province's 87 districts, while the left-leaning New Democratic Party took 41. The Liberals only need one more seat for a majority.

Johnston said that while that's part of the Canadian system of government, it may be a tough sell to the public.

"If it's true that British Columbians voted for a change, that must mean, if you're Andrew Weaver, ousting Christy Clark from government", Johnston said Wednesday.

With narrow margins in some districts, including Courtenay-Comox, a tally of absentee votes and ballot recounts starting May 22 could still determine the final victor. Absentee ballots and advanced ballots cast outside a voter's riding could change the outcome.

"On the economic plan, I think we're closer to the Liberals than the NDP", he told Global TV.

The riding that could push the Liberals to a majority is Courtenay-Comox, where preliminary results show a nine-vote difference between the NDP's Ronna-Rae Leonard (leading) and the Liberals' Jim Benninger.

"British Columbians voted today to get big money out of politics", claimed Horgan.

These counts mean neither of the two main parties now controls a majority of seats in the B.C. Legislative Assembly, where the BC Greens will hold the balance of power.

Liberal incumbent Jordan Sturdy held on to his West Vancouver-Sea to Sky seat, despite strong showings by both the Greens and NDP.

The George Massey Tunnel Replacement project, Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline and Pacific Northwest LNG, were just some of the massive, multi-billion dollar projects Gardner said could now be at risk. "If the Greens cave in on that and go along with them (the Liberals), that's not going to help Weaver all that much", said Meredith, suggesting going against his anti-pipeline voters' beliefs would not help him at the polls next time.

At last look, however, the NDP had come up at least three seats shy - and possibly more depending on recounts - of knocking off the Liberals.

Both Horgan and Clark said Wednesday they are planning to sit down with Weaver to talk about working together. "We'll get decisions but they will take longer, they will often be more complicated because there will be layered issues in those compromises".

NDP leader John Horgan urged supporters to hang tight, noting the votes have not all been counted yet.

Clark, whose background as a radio broadcaster made her adept at confrontational politics, ran her campaign primarily on job creation, assaulting U.S. President Donald Trump on softwood lumber tariffs, and slamming her opponents for their ignorance at balancing budgets - something her government has done for five straight years.

The Liberals have promised a non-binding panel on the issue.

University of B.C. political scientist Max Cameron said, if the minority government remains, the Greens could set the stage for a historic and fundamental shift in the development trajectory of the province away from fossil fuels to a green economy.

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