What Happens if Canadians Elect a Minority on Monday?
Prince George, B.C. – If we’re to believe opinion polls (and that’s a big if, remember the 2013 provincial election?), Canadians are getting set to elect a minority government.
If that happens, what next? We posed that question this week to UNBC Political Science professor Dr. Gary Wilson.
“It really depends on the nature of the minority government,” he says. “The Conservatives before were in a minority situation and managed to get support from one of the other parties and ruled as a minority with that support.”
However he admits that could become tricky for the Conservatives this time around considering the Liberals and NDP have vowed not to support them.
“I think whoever wins the largest plurality will get first shot at forming a government but if it appeared they didn’t have the confidence of the House of Commons it could very well revert to, okay, who else is going to give this a try and that’s where we’d see a coalition emerge.”
Wilson says that could result in a majority coalition between the Liberals and NDP.
“No one has really talked about that a whole lot in this campaign. In some ways they’ve ruled it out but there’s a definite possibility,” he says.
“And then of course the horse trading starts with who would be the prime minister and where would the cabinet positions go and that sort of thing.”
Regardless of who wins, Wilson is expecting an interesting vote Monday night, both nationally and locally.
“For the first time in a long time there’s a sense that there’s a possibility of change at the local level,” he says.
“Especially in the Cariboo-Prince George riding, and I don’t want to make predictions but just looking at the polls there is some anticipation that there will actually be a race this time which is really interesting.”
He says the big increase in advance voter turnout makes things even more intriguing.
“I’m optimistic that groups that maybe haven’t participated in large numbers before are starting to come out and vote,” says Wilson.
“I think that may be one of the reasons why we’re seeing this larger turnout at the advance polls and hopefully that extends to the regular polls on Monday.”