By Dean Midyette
The most recent provincial election in British Columbia is one for the history books. On Tuesday May 9th, the governing Liberals earned victory in 43 ridings across our province, with NDP candidates getting the nod from voters in 41 ridings and the Green Party earning three seats.
On most election nights the winning party is clear but not here. In B.C., it takes 44 seats to govern. Adding to the uncertainty was that three ridings had vote spreads of less than 200 between the winning and second place candidates. No seats changed hands after almost 180,000 absentee ballots had finally been counted in late May.
So who will govern without a clear majority?
Earlier this week the NDP and Greens announced a formal partnership, giving them a combined 44 seats, enough to defeat motions of no confidence and pass legislation.
Premier Clark announced that she will not resign as Premier and will put the question of governance before the MLAs in a June sitting of the legislature. Defeat would mean that the Liberals, lacking only one seat for a clear majority, would sit in opposition.
So what does the future hold?
The Liberals were unsuccessful in negotiations with the Greens but can they convince one of the NDP or Green party members to cross the floor with the promise of a cabinet seat or a large infrastructure program in their riding?
Will the NDP/Green coalition last a full four years?
What will happen to large infrastructure projects like the Kinder Morgan pipeline or the Site C dam?
The coalition has pledged to pass legislation eliminating corporate and union donations to political parties, place limits on individual donations and update lobbying laws. They have also promised a referendum on changing our current first-past-the-post voting system to a proportional representation model.
Like election night, we must wait and see what the future holds.