So how long will our new NDP provincial government, propped up by the Greens, last?
In a nutshell, it’s complicated. NDP Leader John Horgan became premier-in-waiting Thursday following a vote of no confidence in the Liberal government, bringing to an end that party’s 16-year run in power. The new political landscape in Victoria is a 41-MLA NDP minority, with support from three Green MLAs to make 44 MLAs in government — the minimum number of seats for a majority in the House — going up against a 43-MLA Liberal opposition.
Will it be workable?
“That’s going to be an interesting challenge for them,” said Marvin Hunt, MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale. “We haven’t had a one-seat majority in the history of B.C.”
“The history is that minority governments, normally, only last 18 months is the normal, OK? Now that’s with a normal minority,” Hunt noted. “This is a minority of one, which makes it even more precarious, I would say. It’s going to be extremely interesting to watch it unfold, and let’s be bluntly honest with ourselves, Horgan and Weaver are not the best of friends. So there is a tension in their relationship as well that is also going to be a part of how history is going to work its way out. It’s certainly going to be an interesting adventure walking through it.”
Bruce Ralston, NDP MLA for Surrey-Whalley, says the NDP, with help from the Green Party, will rise to the occasion.
“We’ve been asked to form a government, and we’re ready to do that,” Ralston said. “The numbers are tight, but it’s quite achievable.”
Ralston figures the cabinet with be chosen in a few weeks. “The timeline is not certain.”
“We’ll be looking at legislation based on our principles, making life more affordable for people, fixing services people count on and building a sustainable economy. But as to specific legislation? Um, not just yet.
“We’re going to focus on our priorities,” Ralston said. “People are tired of the B.C. Liberals and their rich friends, and they’re looking for change.”
Surrey sent six NDP MLAs and three Liberal MLAs to Victoria in the May 9 general election.