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BC Votes 2017: Ridings where vote split was a factor

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Andrew Wilkinson

All eyes are on Courtenay-Comox, where just nine votes separate NDP candidate Ronna-Rae Leonard from Liberal candidate Jim Benninger.

Wednesday morning, a panel of three political science professors - Gerald Baier, Kathryn Harrison and Richard Johnston - as well as senior researcher Grace Lore from Equal Voice spoke about the previous night's provincial election results. A dialogue about how we do things, what we should do, how we want to shape the future of our province.

The teachable moment exists in the fact that this electoral result, namely a minority government, is the norm rather than the exception in countries that elect their politicians using proportional representation.

"A majority of British Columbians voted for a new government and I believe that is what they deserve", NDP leader Horgan told jubilant supporters to chants of "NDP, NDP".

Liberal cabinet ministers who were defeated Tuesday included Peter Fassbender in Surrey-Fleetwood, Suzanne Anton in Vancouver-Fraserview, Amrik Virk in Surrey-Guildford and Naomi Yamamoto in North Vancouver-Lonsdale.

Weaver said the Greens are open to talking to both the Liberals and New Democrats about governing, but until the votes are counted it's too early to discuss political deals.

The NDP won 41 seats and the Green Party nabbed a historic three.

He said his party, and his campaign, had a plan and a message that was stuck to and seemed to resonate on the doorsteps in the riding during the campaign.

"We still made history, there was bears on an election sign, the most bears Oak Bay's ever seen", Casavant said. But Horgan would not make a commitment to working with the Green leader in a minority government. After that, said Baier, if the margin between the first- and second-place candidates is still 0.2 per cent or less of the total vote in that riding, then a judicial recount would automatically take place. "If he plays the short game, he doesn't have the stability of a coalition, but he does have this huge clout and bargaining power where he can hold the gun to both the NDP and the Liberals and say, 'You know, it's a good idea if you make me happy". The party's first priority, he said, will be removing big money from politics. They might have ended 16 consecutive years of right-of-center government in B.C. Meanwhile, the Greens have opposed the project while the NDP has teeter-tottered but has said it's against it.

While this very prospect triggered a constitutional crisis in 2008, when federal Liberals and New Democrats struck an ultimately unsuccessful arrangement with the separatist Bloc Quebecois to replace the Conservative minority government of Stephen Harper, it is totally legitimate under the Westminster system of parliamentary government as used in British Columbia. He did suggest that the NDP and the Green Party may find common ground on two files in particular - banning corporate and union donations, and electoral reform. "People tend to vote along party lines and I get that... but I had so many fantastic comments, I've been overwhelmed with the number of people who said, "We wish you were our candidate"... it's heartwarming, because I know I ran an honest campaign". Supporting minority governments is usually perilous for the smaller parties, he said.

The Green Party and NDP share similar ideas in some areas, such as opposition to Kinder Morgan's pipeline and raising carbon taxes, Bloomberg reported.

"Weaver naturally has to worry that backing Horgan and the NDP means backing the losers and seeming to buck the decision of the electorate", he told CTV News. "Optically, that's not great".

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