UNBC Lecturer Weighs in on B.C.’s Political Situation
Prince George, B.C. – Jason Morris, political science lecturer at the University of Northern British Columbia, has reacted to news Liberal Premier Christy Clark plans to let the legislature decide on the future of the government (see previous story here).
“British Columbians can feel frustrated at all the uncertainty since the election but they can also be thankful for this great opportunity to get insight into the way governments transition in a liberal democracy in a peaceful and straightforward manner,” he tells 250News.
“How it’s going to look as we look ahead will be very challenging for the next premier with such a razor-thin majority of seats in the parliament. Even if one MLA had a death in the family and couldn’t be there, there’s serious procedural challenges to keeping the government alive.”
Morris is referring to the deal ratified by the BC NDP and BC Greens today. Under the agreement, the NDP has agreed to advance several legislative and policy initiatives identified as a condition of support by the Greens including:
- Reforming the electoral system, getting the influence out of politics, and reforming lobbying rules;
- Fast-tracking enhancement of K-12 education funding;
- Eliminating Medical Service Premiums;
- Addressing the opioid crisis;
- Opposing the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion project;
- Sending the Site C dam to an independent review
“When you add that caucuses of the NDP and the smaller BC Greens, despite having some agreement made, will have to deal with the day-to-day issues that come up to govern and somehow keep everything together if they wish to prevent an election from coming soon.”
He adds history tells us that “minority governments don’t last a full term.”
“And the odds would be a maximum of two years in duration. But that also refers to minority government that have stronger number of seats with which to work with.”
You can rest assured that with the Greens never holding any position of power before this election, and the NDP having been out of power for the last 16 years they will do everything they can to ensure that they stay in power.
I’m guessing a few Liberals may decide to quit politics and this would trigger a few bye elections that could go in the NDP’s/Greens favour.
A sad disappointment coming from you.
This is a political coup on our parliamentary electoral system that will not be as Jason Morris says…
‘History tells us most minority governments don’t last a full term’…
when the aim of this backroom deal is not to cobble together a minority government to last a term; but to seize political power in perpetuity for the elite class that controls the top echelons of the political party apparatus.
This is not a deal about British Columbians. It is a deal to steal the accountability and the integrity of our elections from the benefit of British Columbians. It is a deal for the greed and lust for unaccountable political power by the would be apparatchik of party power elites representing the parties.
The partisan will be blind to this because they want to believe it is about them and not their enslavement.
The proportional representation system they plan to foist on us before we ever vote again guarantees them list appointed MLA’s in our legislature in perpetuity tied to their province wide popular vote. In this last election the greens would be able to appoint up to 11-MLA’s from their list of party supporters and illumine. These would be MLA’s that had no direct accountability to the voters and they would have to come from somewhere….
Our legislature is constrained from any new growth in MLA’s, so naturally these new list appointed MLA’s will come at the expense of rural and northern local representation to make room for the newly appointed list candidates (as knowledge of this deal leaks into the Northern consciousness the idea of a independent North will take hold). Its a direct attack on the concept of having local MLA’s representing the idea of a representative parliamentary system (clearly we no longer have that anyways with the population disparity in the province).
Our constitution never speaks of political parties. Political parties were not even on the ballot in Canada until 1973. Political parties are alien to how our political system is designed to work.
Christy Clark should fight at all cost the coup over our parliamentary system that elevates parties over that of elected MLA’s.
Cementing the control of the appointments of seats in our legislature to the inner workings of political parties that can sell any hype and have no direct voter accountability to their appointments is a coup of the system… if done through backroom deals and subterfuge then it could be called treason.
Proportional representation relies on the ideals of identity politics that classifies people into special interest groups that can be played against one another. It enables stagnation and extreme partisanship within the parties, whom then become paramount over the system itself.
All of them are hypocrites in pursuit of power. They were all elected by a ranked ballot when they took the leadership of their parties, yet a ranked ballot is not good enough for the citizens on ballot day when deciding who our MLA’s would be? Instead we should be voting on hot button dog whistle politics for the privilege of having our MLA’s appointed by the party insiders after the election.
A ranked ballot would preserve our local elected MLA.
A ranked ballot would ensure a majority elected MLA… elected on issues, rather than a negative first past the post, or the first past the post premiership of the proposed proportional rep system.
A ranked ballot takes into account the entire consensus of the political spectrum through the ranking of candidates… but does not require the gerrymandering of electoral districts, the consolidation of rural ridings, and the ignorance of our representative parliament.
A coup took place today, but not a coup to remove the BC liberals, rather a coup from an ideology akin to communism in its promotion of partisan identity apparatchiks that would be infused into the system with little public accountability and job security for life… a coup of the system through changing our democracy from representative democracy to proportional representation and the the permanent control of our parliament by political parties for their interests first and foremost.
RIP to the ideals of democracy in BC on this day….
Stick with first-past-the-post. A ‘ranked ballot’ is as flawed as proportional representation. All the best organised party craving power has to do is convince its members to only vote for their candidate on the ranked ballot and no one else. The NDP would be particularly adept at doing this. If other Parties can’t, or won’t, do the same thing, their members’ secondary choices will help defeat them.
‘None-of-the-Above’ at the bottom of every ballot would be the best change we could make, since it would force those seeking election to find out what and how the people of their constituencies want to be ‘represented’ ~ what are the results desired from the collection and spending of their tax dollars. It would be a ‘sanction’ that the public has over ALL those seeking office at election time. But a ‘ranked ballot’? No, that won’t make anything more democratic in any meaningful sense.
Next municipal election we need to hold the litmus test for our local politicians if they support local MLA’s and Northern participation in Victoria… or if they are on the side of the apparatchiks appointments on our behalf in Victoria. And if the BC liberals show no sign of fight in protecting our democracy then the door will be wide open for a true Northern, rural, representing party or league to fill their void.
Either way here in the north we will get screwed.. The question is how bad compared to previous governments? Lets hurry up and get some solid decisions going from the government so that people can carry on with their lives and make decisions accordingly. Being in limbo like this creates a lot of uncertainty.
What bothers me, is the first thing the NDP will do is fire all the political appointees which will come at a cost and then appoint all of their own. Then, they will redecorate all of their offices, change all the letterhead, many applications for Ministerial approvals on all sorts of business will have to start all over again with a new Minister, and all this chaos is based on a one seat difference based on an agreement signed by two men who at this point have no authority in government.
If I was the Lt. Governor, I’d do the election again. There’s too much disruption changing governments only to hand over power to a “coalition” who can fall apart if only two MLA’s don’t make it to a confidence vote. The people have not really spoken very clearly.
In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Clark is hoping just that. It only takes one of the other 44 to get sick between now and June and she can survive a confidence vote. The NDP and Greens are going to have to move all their members over to the Island well in advance of the vote just to make sure they’re all there.
If that fails to give cc a majority ,what then best out of three ? If the cpc party of BC had three seats you’d soon see those two righties snuggle up and you guys would be loving it ,touting it as a very democratic move .
Actually, I think it would give the NDP a majority because many of the Green voters would likely change their vote to NDP to ensure there isn’t a Liberal majority. Vote splitting hurt the NDP more than it did the Liberals.
But as it stands now, 2 sick NDP or Green MLA’s and the Liberals can bring down the government and we’ve spent all this money changing things for nothing – and we’d still have the cost of an extra election – just 12 months from now.
But maybe that’s the Liberal strategy. Let the coalition lead, let them put up or shut up, and then when voter’s remorse kicks in, wait for an opportunity to bring the government down.
Seems all the options just end up costing us more money.
Not so ski . The Greens took votes from the lib/con side . Principled libs have no home in the corporateocracy that they have turned into under the Christy/Harper left overs . We are still awaiting for the RCMP verdict on the corrupted house of cash built by Christy and gang .
I think the legislature should of been recalled this week . The recounts were done last week , let’s get on with it , have the speech and vote on it . If the greens have a deal with the ndp to defeat the liberals so be it . Like it or not this is how our democracy works . Delaying the process is not .
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