An Armchair Mayor editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
MUCH IS being made of the Green Party’s performance in the provincial election this week. It’s being called a break-through. Instead of a single seat, the party will have three when government fires up again.
The party’s popular vote increased substantially, doubling to 16 per cent.
That’s all very nice, but it’s still a modest success in many ways, and maybe short-lived.
If the BC Liberals remain shy of a majority, Andrew Weaver could negotiate some good policy trade-offs and maybe even a cabinet portfolio for himself. But realistically, minority governments don’t last long, and somebody always pays the price when voters have to go back to the polls in a cranky mood.
Theoretically, he could form a coalition with the NDP, giving the two a total of 44 seats. Wouldn’t that be a fine constitutional conundrum for Lft.-Gov. Judith Guichon to sort out?
In Kamloops, Dan Hines and Donovan Cavers both had very respectable showings, with roughly 21 per cent each. But they still both came third behind the NDP candidates, and way behind the two Liberals. Kamloops isn’t going to turn Green any time soon.
A year or year and a half, when we can expect the minority government to fall apart, will pass quickly. Not much time to build momentum, and the reality of actually having a voice in decisions will set in quickly — some people don’t like what you do.
The biggest hurdle, though, is the fact that the Greens will always have to fight to take votes from the NDP, leaving the Liberals a clear field on the right. The most sensible thing to do would be to seek a merger of the two parties but that will get especially difficult if the Greens get into bed with the BC Liberals for awhile.
Not to rain on their parade, but the Greens still have a long way to go before they become a force in B.C.