The power of Green

Will it finally happen? An NDP minority with the Green Party holding the balance of power in BC?

Last week the writ was dropped and the provincial election is, finally, formally underway. What makes this election possibly unique in our history is the fact that the NDP and the Liberals are in a statistical dead heat coupled with the polling of the Greens province-wide and in particular on Vancouver Island. (The approval rating of BC Green leader Andrew Weaver tops the premier’s while NDP leader John Horgan tops them both.)

What this means, bottom line, is that the Greens need win only a very small number of seats and they will hold the balance of power if the NDP and Liberals end up tied. From my point of view, an NDP minority with the Greens holding the balance of power would be a perfect outcome. Let me explain.

An NDP minority government with Greens holding the balance of power would finally put an end to the economically and environmentally disastrous Site C Dam project. Photo credit: Emma Gilchrist, DeSmog Canada (CC by 2.0).

Four years ago, the NDP reluctantly took a position in opposition to Kinder Morgan largely as a result of pressure from the Green Party. Today, the Greens are the only party firmly opposed to BC Hydro’s Site C Dam. It’s no secret that the NDP caucus is divided on this issue. An NDP minority with the Greens holding the balance of power would certainly put an end to this fiasco.

Perhaps the Vancouver Park Board is another indicator of how a Green minority can influence the entire elected body. As you may know, the park board is made up of seven park commissioners, only two of them Green. Vancouver Aquarium’s imprisonment of whales and other cetaceans has been a controversial issue for decades. It divided the park board when I was a park commissioner in the early ’90s. Recently, the board voted unanimously to bring cetaceans in captivity to a halt. All Vision Vancouver and NPA commissioners voted with the Greens in favour of this very positive motion. This would not have been possible without the bridge-building of Stuart Mackinnon and Michael Wiebe. (Wiebe is also now park board chair, thanks to both NPA and Vision support.)

At the federal level we can observe the bridge-building record of Elizabeth May, and we’ve already seen the positive impact Green Party leader Andrew Weaver has had in the provincial legislature.

If you want a more productive and environmentally progressive BC government you will be doing like me — keeping your fingers crossed for an NDP minority with Andrew Weaver and more Green members in the legislature holding the balance of power.

Election Day is Tuesday May 9, 2017. Elections BC information on where/when/how to vote is here:

2017 Provincial General Election

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3 Responses to The power of Green

  1. Anne Roberts says:

    The examples you give of good Green positions (Site C, whales in captivity) are persuasive, but to me Andrew Weaver’s positions on education are a deal-breaker. He supports “choice,” which translates into support for privatization of schools, arguing public schools should be out there competing in the marketplace for students. I live in a community, not a market, and I want all public funds to go to public schools that are operated in the public interest. Weaver also attacks the BCTF for representing their members and supposedly protecting bad teachers. Given the time and money the BCTF put into the court case that now requires the Liberals to put significant money back into the educational system, you’d think Weaver might be more appreciate of their efforts.

    • Trevor says:

      Actually if you read the BC Greens’ platform you’ll find that it is very much in favour of public education. The Greens would leave the private school system as it is (which incidentally the same position as the NDP), and direct all additional education funding into the public school system.

  2. Gary B says:

    Anne, you aren’t accurately representing current Green Party policy. For instance, the following comes right out of the Green platform:

    “A B.C. Green government will increase funding for public schools, beginning in 2017/18 at $220 million and rising to $1.46 billion in 2020/21, to allow schools and school districts to invest in every child and prepare students for the emerging economy, and to invest in innovation and technology. This is in addition to the $330 million committed by the B.C. Liberal government to address the recent Supreme Court ruling on class size and composition.”

    “A B.C. Green government will invest $35 million in nutrition and physical activity programs to promote learning readiness and improve student health.”

    “A B.C. Green government will invest $140 million over three years to train teachers to deliver the new curriculum.”

    …To cite just three planks in the Green Party platform.

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