Wasn’t it Premier Christy Clark who, immediately following the May 9 election, said British Columbians spoke loud and clear about wanting politicians and political parties to work together?
I’m pretty sure it was.
Clark and the Liberals have made it pretty clear since then that they won’t help the NDP and Greens help an old lady across the road. The ‘come together’ rhetoric was just that, rhetoric. It’s the same old politics of division and eliminating that is what British Columbians really voted for.
It’s made for some high drama and the next phase of the tragi-comedy that is B.C. politics plays out on Thursday when the legislature resumes sitting and the speaker saga plays out, one way or another.
And, there is a possibility that British Columbians could be heading back to the polls this summer.
That, I believe, is what Clark and the Liberals are hoping for. The only problem is the party which forces an election will likely be punished at the polls.
My feeling is that Clark and Co. want to force an election, but don’t want to be seen as the ones pulling the trigger on a new vote. That’s why there’s the gamesmanship around picking a speaker. If the Liberals can create enough doubt about whether the NDP/Green alliance can actually form government, Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon, rather than giving them a chance, might just send British Columbians back to the polls.
Clark and the Liberals will do what they then do best … point their fingers at the NDP and the Greens as being the bad guys. “Wasn’t us,” will be the refrain. “We wanted to provide a stable government (even though we weren’t given a mandate, but, tut, tut, let’s not get into those pesky details).”
And NDP leader John Horgan gave Clark and the Liberals a ready-made election issue when he sent his letter to BC Hydro asking them to not sign any long-term deals just yet. That will play right into the Liberals’ campaign playbook of painting the NDP as a government that will stifle economic development. The debate over the merits of Site C will be sidelined as the Liberals tout the NDP as harbingers of doom, pointing to Site C as just the tip of the iceberg. That only has to be enough to swing a couple of ridings.
One thing is certain … ‘getting along’ is going to barred from the B.C. political lexicon.