With the provincial government still in limbo until full recounts of the May 9 election polls are tabulated, what form the government will actually take still remains a mystery.
Full results and a clearer picture of what the future of B.C. will be is expected by May 24, until then, however, the province’s big three parties are scrambling to plan for whatever outcome may occur.
To talk through exactly what that planning might entail, General Manager of Edelman Vancouver and former Press Secretary to Premier Gordon Campbell, Bridgitte Anderson spoke to Jon McComb on Wednesday.
First and foremost, Anderson says the current situation is uncharted territory for everyone involved, with both the Liberals and NDP “on the edge of their seats” waiting for the results.
“It really is a time that we have not seen before in British Columbia, where we really don’t know what’s going to happen.”
She says the Greens, in particular, will need to prepare should the recount result in a minority government.
According to Anderson, Andrew Weaver will be faced with a tough decision of who to support.
Though it may seem like support for the NDP is a no-brainer for Weaver, she says it’s a matter of looking from a bigger perspective.
The electoral map currently shows that the widest support for the NDP centred in Metro Vancouver, while the widest support for Liberals centred in the Interior.
It’s the choice between playing to the Green Party’s base by siding with the NDP or looking to secure a foothold in areas where they don’t already have much support.
She says it illustrates the stark difference between urban and rural voters in B.C.
“Whoever is going to lead this province is going to have to take a look at that… recognizing that this is a province based on resource development, balanced with issues Metro Vancouverites are dealing with on a day-to-day basis.”
However, Anderson says a surprising play toward the centre of the political spectrum by the Greens seems more and more likely, mostly due to the negotiation team the party has assembled.
She says the addition of Norman Spector, who served as an advisor to former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, will bring some much-needed experience to the table.
“[It’s] a very smart choice for the Greens, because they do need some expertise to see what options are the best for them.”
Either direction the final results swing, Anderson says pressure will be placed squarely on Christy Clark’s shoulders.
The election results sent a clear message that many British Columbians want a change in how the province is run, bringing questions about her leadership to the fore, both inside and outside the party.
Anderson says those questions may have some hard-to-swallow answers for the leaders of the party.
“I would imagine that the Liberals are doing a lot of soul-searching and very seriously considering what their best options are.”
But Anderson says these are the times that Clark shouldn’t be underestimated.
“When the cards are on the table and she’s given a situation like this… let’s not forget that this is where she often shines.”
Whatever the result when it all shakes out, Anderson says the final tally will bring about drastic changes for both the parties and citizens of British Columbia.