Political Chess: The Aftermath of the BC Election

Political Chess: The Aftermath of the BC Election


The election on May 9th created BC’s first
minority government in over half a century, leading to a 52 day long game of political
chess. And the truth is, it’s not over. So don’t look away, because ultimately,
its going to be public perception that decides who will win. Both the Liberals and the NDP gave what were
essentially victory speeches on election night, the liberals because they got more votes than
any other party and the NDP because a majority of British Columbians voted for change. The Greens and the NDP quickly brokered a
deal giving them more seats combined. Still, the Liberals had the first shot at
forming government and the first act of any new government is to give a speech from the
throne, as an outline of their plans. But this is where it starts to get really
weird. The speech was a surprise because the majority
of promises they made weren’t in the Liberal election platform al all. In fact, many of the ideas were directly out
of the NDP or the Green platforms. For example, a ban on corporate and union
donations, an electoral reform referendum, the elimination of bridge tolls, raising the
carbon tax… Now there’s a few ways you can spin this. You could see it as an attempt by the Liberals
to work as a minority government by revising their platform to work with the other parties. On the other hand, it could be seen as setup
for a cheap political play – forcing the NDP and the Greens to either support a liberal
government or vote against their own policies. Either way this was a risky move by the Liberals
– it wasn’t the platform their supporters voted for. Taking this even further, the Liberals introduced
bills to give the Greens official party status, and banning corporate and union donations
– Both concepts they had opposed till now. The NDP and Greens voted these bills down
immediately – calling them distraction and delay tactics. The NDP then introduced a confidence motion
on the throne speech, which is a vote that could topple the government. And after the Liberals delayed as long as
they could, they eventually lost that vote and Christy Clark went to the Lieutenant Governor
and advised her to call a new election. Instead, she offered the chance to form government
to the NDP, because of the NDP/Green agreement. That brings us to today, with premiere designate
John Horgan about to form an NDP government in 16 years. However that’s going to be far from easy. The liberals have 43 MLAs
and the Greens and NDP together have 44 but they still need to elect a speaker. This is someone chosen from the MLAs to ensure
the legislature runs smoothly. Traditionally they’re elected from the governing
party and they stay in that role till the next election but when the Liberal government
fell, the speaker of the house resigned. So, when the NDP and Greens elect a speaker,
the legislature will be down to an even split and the tie breaking vote will go to the speaker
themselves. Now, you’d expect them to vote with their
party but it is tradition for them to vote for the status quo, which the Liberals have
argued means to to not use their tie breaking vote to support new policy. So what can we expect at this point? Well there is an easy way to test if this
short-lived liberal government was legitimately trying to work with the opposition or if they
were just playing political games. The new government will introduce their own
bills on the same issues we saw in the Liberal throne speech, if the Liberals vote in favour
of them, they’re actually trying to work together with the opposing parties. But, if they vote against the issues they
just started supporting, then it’s a pretty strong indicator they’ve been just playing
games all along. Either way, it’s likely that we’ll see
another election very soon. Did British Columbians vote in a Liberal government, did we vote for change? Both of those statements are true. All three parties know this, and they’re
working as hard as possible to make sure that when the next election rolls around, we’re only going to see things their way Thanks for watching, we seriously are going
to be talking about much more than BC politics on this channel and we have some really exciting
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6 thoughts on “Political Chess: The Aftermath of the BC Election

  1. Looks like the NDP and Greens are just playing games too, since they could have gotten their own policies through easier and quicker than they will now. The Liberals will obviously have to oppose them now. They were playing games but those games would have benefited the people of BC more than the NDP/Green "coup" is going to.

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