The votes are in, and Christy Clark will remain premier for the time being.
It comes on the heels of a cliffhanger election that left the province with a minority parliament, and the Liberals apparently in the driver’s seat holding 43 seats to the NDP’s 41.
The Green Party holds three seats, and pending the results of absentee ballots and a recount in Courtenay-Comox, the balance of power.
If one party does not emerge with a majority of seats after an election, convention dictates the Lieutenant Governor offer that opportunity first to the person who previously held the job.
In this case, a spokesperson for Christy Clark tells CKNW Judith Guichon had that conversation with her Wednesday morning.
The potential minority situation has Premier Christy Clark talking up how much she values the Greens, who until now, had been essentially a fringe party with a single MLA.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Clark deflected a question on how much she’s to blame for the reduced Liberal vote into a chance to embrace the Greens.
“People clearly wanted to see us work together with other parties, and they wanted to in this case certainly see the Greens play a much bigger role and that’s really what happened in this election”
Clark added that the Liberal vote went down, the NDP vote stayed the same, as the Green vote went up, saying she’s taking her cue from the voters.
“What they wanted really out of this election is that they wanted to make sure that we did things differently. They elected a really significant Green presence and certainly a lot of people voted for the Greens across the province and so I intend to listen to that.”
“The Game’s not over”
But NDP leader John Horgan is striking a defiant tone the day after British Columbians went to the polls.
“The game’s not over, there’s still 176,000 seconds left on the clock, and I’m going to wait and see what the final outcome was,” Horgan said referring to the approximate 176,000 absentee ballots that won’t be counted until May 24.
Horgan was non-committal about a possible coalition with BC Greens, but didn’t waste time drawing similarities between the two parties.
“I’m confident that the values I share with them will come forward in the days and weeks ahead.”
Horgan admits he exchanged a phone call with Andrew Weaver but both stopped short of any talk about working together.
“We both agree the BC Liberals have failed British Columbians in a number of areas, and we have a range of issues in common but our focus is on the people of British Columbia.
And if Mr. Weaver and others want to join me, I’m happy to do that.”
Horgan says his staff have been following up with the Greens with more plans to meet in the coming days and weeks ahead.
Green and orange?
While saying the Green Party is focused on good policy and will work with either party, it certainly sounds like party leader Andrew Weaver has more in common with the NDP than the Liberals.
“We both believe that the disparity between those who have and those who haven’t clearly got out of control. We both agreed that education is our top priority as we reaffirmed in our platform. We both agree that big money needs to be banned from politics. We both agreed on a number of issues, yes,” he said.
As far as past conflict with Horgan, Weaver says they are both passionate people who are passionate about people.
In the run up to the election, Weaver said that he had three make or break issues when it came to propping up a party in power, including ending corporate and union donations, a referendum on some form proportional representation, and a significant increase in education funding.