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.
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: