'This BC government is not going to last long', says political expert

May 10 2017, 6:59 pm

Three days after the BC election and many of us are left wondering what will happen next.

Will Christy Clark stay in power for long? Will the BC NDP and the BC Greens form a coalition? There are so many questions that could use some expert insight.

Daily Hive reached out to UBC political expert David Moscrop to discuss what happens next.

How long will the government last?

Right now, BC has a hung parliament, meaning no party has won a majority government.

For now, Christy Clark will remain BC’s premier, at the request of the Queen’s repesentative in BC, Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon.

Moscrop says it could take weeks to know what will happen next. This is because absentee votes still need to be counted, and some ridings will have to undergo recounts.

In the coming weeks, Guichon, will either ask Clark to form the next government or accept Clark’s resignation should another party prevail, either in votes or negotiations.

“We won’t really know until maybe the end of May, or maybe even later, as to what is going to happen… One way or any another, this government is not going to last long. Now the question is, does it last weeks? Does it last 18 months?”

BC Greens play an important role

The BC Greens will have a crucial role to play in the coming weeks as party leader Andrew Weaver and his fellow elected candidates, Adam Olsen and Sonia Furstenau, may have to decide if they will work with the BC Liberals or the BC NDP.

“They are in a really tricky spot,” said Moscrop. “I sense that Andrew Weaver desperately prefers to work with Christy Clark over John Horgan.”

Moscrop explains that because Clark has been asked to remain as premier for now, Weaver may decide to join forces with the BC Liberals.

“If I’m in (Weaver’s) head, I’m thinking, ‘I’ll work with Clark. I will work to try to get proportional representation on a referendum ballot.

‘I’ll try to get political donation reform. Maybe I’ll trade off Kinder Morgan. Maybe I’ll trade off site C and we’ll stomp on LNG a little bit as a bargain and hope my supporters live with that and forget by the time the next election rolls around,'” said Moscrop. 

However, this decision would most likely not sit well with the majority of BC Green party supporters, whose aim is likely to get the BC Liberals out of power.

He is in a really in a challenging position, the Greens can no longer play the purity card,” said Moscrop. 

‘Young people stayed home again’

Despite the opportunity for change this election, voter turnout was still on the lower side.

Approximately 60% of registered voters cast a ballot in this year’s provincial election, according to early estimates from Elections BC.

It indicates what I would imagine that young people stayed home again,” he said. “That’s not surprising.” 

It’s worth noting here that no age group breakdown is yet available, so it is impossible to say who did or didn’t vote when it comes to age.

Moscrop says that declining voter turnout has been an ongoing trend across the democratic world.

“I would say when the leaders do speak to the people and impact turnout, it’s the exception.”

For Moscrop, neither Clark or Horgan did anything to inspire young people to get out and vote. However, the BC Greens did play a role in making this race tighter than usual.

I think the fact that the race was close was due to folks in really competitive ridings who thought the Greens had a shot.”

See also
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