This is no time for gloating as the BC Liberals make promises – promises that would have been shocking coming from them even a few months ago.
All eyes are on the B.C. legislature as we wait to see how our MLAs deal with the Liberals’ offer to hike income assistance, ban corporate and union donations, increase daycare spaces, come up with a poverty plan, provide help for middle class renters and eliminate the need for a referendum on new transit funding.
Yes, those who have called for each and every one of those things – including John Horgan and the BC NDP, and Andrew Weaver and the Greens – can take some comfort in a contrite Christy Clark making an about-face as she and her party prepare for a rocky ride ahead.
Does the mea culpa seem insincere? Absolutely, although some will say the BC Liberals learned from their election thrashing and are simply following the people’s will.
Whatever your point of view, the fact is that these late-breaking announcements do little to engender confidence in Clark and co. or to ensure the stability of the current B.C. government.
Even if you don’t want another election – and a poll this week says most don’t – there could be one in the winds, and the BC Liberals are in the best position to pull off a win because they are still filling their election treasure chest and they have a simple, if tiny, majority of seats and votes on which they can build.
They will be using this opportunity to show that they have listened to voters and are not so skinflint or arrogant as to not make changes to policy when they are necessary.
As people look for who to blame for the situation, it will be tempting to point fingers at all three parties. But it was the BC Liberals who lost the election they should easily have won by ignoring, for years, the keenly felt concerns of the suburban middle class.
In the background, as well, is uncertainty about the Trans Mountain pipeline and, especially, the Site C dam construction, which is very close to the point of no return. The coming election, if there is indeed one in the near future, will be asking voters to make a choice on those two issues in particular because they seem to be most in jeopardy with an NDP/Green partnership.
Clark is making a bet that voters will prefer stability and a purportedly kinder, gentler BC Liberal government, leaving GreeNDP twisting in the win.