Weaver says formal coalition unlikely, wants official party status for Greens
BC Green Leader Andrew Weaver says he hasn't spoken to either the NDP or Liberals about an official coalition. May 12, 2017. (CTV Vancouver Island)
Published Friday, May 12, 2017 2:10PM PDT
As B.C. waits to find out the results of an uncertain provincial election, Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver is throwing cold water on the idea of a formal coalition with the NDP or Liberals.
Weaver says he’s spoken with NDP Leader John Horgan and Liberal Leader Christy Clark since the May 9 election that saw the Liberals win 43 seats to the NDP’s 41, with the Greens holding the balance of power after winning three seats.
That result could change after a final count takes place from May 22-24, with more than 176,000 absentee ballots still in play and recounts requested in four close ridings.
“This next upcoming week, we’ve agreed to start the more formal discussions with both parties,” Weaver told CTV News Friday. “I’m going to be hiring a chief of staff very soon and the first order of business will be for them to bring a team together to start discussions with both the BC NDP and the BC Liberals to see where we can move forward together.”
With the Greens now holding a key role in the formation of the next government, many have wondered if Weaver will form a coalition with the NDP or Liberals to tip the balance of power in their favour.
At first glance, the Green platform appears to share more with the NDP platform versus the Liberal one, such as positions on campaign finance reform, electoral reform and pipelines.
But the Green Leader says the “c” word hasn’t even crossed his lips – and he’s more interested in getting his caucus of three official party status in the B.C. Legislature.
“We haven’t discussed coalition or minority. I suspect we’re probably not going to lean towards coalition,” he said. “For us it’s important to have our party status, to be there representing British Columbians as BC Greens. We want to ensure good public policy is put forward, but again, everything’s on the table.”
He said the Tuesday results were an indication that voters want the three parties to work together
“I think the most important thing right now is we ensure we find commonalities with the other two parties, build bridges, ensure that we can advance good public policy, and work together on an issue-by-issue basis as best as possible,” he said. “British Columbians don’t want to go back to the polls.”
Weaver also predicted that when the final count is finished, the NDP will regain a seat from the BC Liberals – setting the Legislature up for a 42-42-3 split in seats.
“I suspect that the absentee ballots will favour the NDP and Greens, frankly, because there’s a lot of students who voted on campuses. I think when all is in, we’re probably going to be looking at a 42-42 situation,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of those switch to the NDP with absentee ballots, so it’s exciting times in British Columbia.”
Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon has asked Christy Clark to continue governing until the results of the final count are known.