Were 1,356,668 Voters Status Quo Content or Just Indifferent?

The politicking re-started on May 10, just hours after we got word a final decision on the May 9 vote would not be available until after May 24. Elections BC declared “the Writ” would be returned May 31, the final whistle on sudden death overtime Election 2017.

While we, the great unwashed, wait for those final numbers to find out who’s really holding the key to the executive wing of government, two of our three political leaders are scrambling to control the agenda. And, they’ve been at it since the major polls closed with the Liberals clinging to government and the NDP and Greens pondering whether to extend a temporary helping hand – or stamp on fingers grasping for a firmer hold on power.

It’s an interesting scenario, a made in BC special with the NDP, renowned for its pit bull approach to problem solving, suggesting the Greens join them to force the government to make policy decisions according their “loser’s” agenda. All quite legal of course, even if a little conscience-stretching to see the least supported party on election day denying policy decisions proposed by the party with the most support.

Leaves me wondering how Green Party supporters and the general electorate would react to opposition threats to ‘do it our way or we’ll destroy this government’ and force a replay of May 9.

It is a debating method unrelated to anything we have seen to date from Andrew Weaver. His constant appeals for reasoned debate in favour of rhetorical demands won him much May 9 support. It also garnered sympathy for his party’s goal of being granted official party status in the House, a status that includes financial and legislature staffing benefits. Bully talk doesn’t fit the Green character we have come to know and respect.

Since my retirement from active duty in the political trenches, I am reliant on media reports for knowledge of political happenings – and confess to a diminishing faith in reporting accuracy when I read editorial comment woven into news stories which should be opinion-neutral – opinion being just that and always open to challenge.

I make this point because I have been hearing and reading that, if Andrew Weaver and his three Green seats hold firm in the final tally, they will hold the balance of power in a divided Legislature – and use that balance to demand concessions to Green Party policies. “Demand” is not the best of words to use in a democracy where “compromise” and “cooperation” are the favoured ways to solve problems. I read a few days ago in my local newspaper that Andrew Weaver now had “the muscle” to back up his demands.” Muscle? Demands? Makes it sound like a back-alley brawl is planned. I would hope logic, compromise and cooperation would be his weapons of choice.

However, as the rest of 2017 unfolds in BC, there will be many difficult decisions for the balance of power Green leader to make. Mahatma Ghandi once advised that on such occasions “when restraint and courtesy are added to the strength (of your reasoning) the latter become irresistible.”

Mr. Weaver will do better following Ghandi’s advice than flexing rhetorical muscle and seconding the NDP claim that the tight election result was a voters’ cry for change. It may be so. However, for sure it was also a cry for a change in attitudes when the Legislature is in session, a cry for reason and respect in debate to replace rancour and insult.always, a final sobering thought on the cry of the electorate: Elections BC states BC had 3,156,991 registered voters on as of April 11 this year. Preliminary counts record 1,800,323 valid votes were cast which means 1,356,668 voters remain content with the status quo or are too lazy to change it.



  1. Geezzz…you’d think the first reply would not be to correct a typo….Anyhow…here’s my thought Mr. Hume…I say that IF there is a minority determined…that the 3-person GREEN caucus sit right where they are….allow the Christy Clark team to attempt to bring forward a supportable budget and provide lots of hints as to what should be in it….THAT IS POWER…. if they give anybody a blank cheque and say “yep..we’re in and will support you for a period of time (>>)” then, in my mind, they lose that power to bring policy and program change….what do you think about that….Otherwise going with NDP only brings political change, they get some of what they want, but they lose the clout to vote against…sitting still in the middle means more impact in debate and forces a government to listen and keeps debate open…I think that’s more practical and sensible…it’s what I would advise…IF IT ENDS UP AS A MINORITY…. IF…we’re not there yet…

  2. btw…You’re welcome…. Qualicum Beach Train Works is where I hang my retired hat…in the old E&N Train Station…..advising young startups and working on community projects….such as doctor recruitment….too bad that’s necessary…Somebody dropped the medical training ball Jim…. Dave Barrett added 20 to W.A.C.’s funded 60 medical student intake at UBC. Pat McGeer persuaded Bill Bennett to let him (McGeer) build a research hospital at UBC and expand intake from Barrett’s 80 medical trainees to 140. Nothing more till the (son of a doctor) Gordon Campbell arrived in 2001 and his government came up with the satellite plan for Prince George, Kelowna, and Victoria to each start out 20…plus (I think you’d have to double check me) 20 more at UBC intself…. getting us up to around 220(?) today. Anyhow McGeer pushed it hard starting back in 1976…and then it wasn’t until Gordon Campbell arrived in 2001 till UBC was forced to take in more. …McGeer turns 90 this June 30.– Jim Bennett

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