Results a sign voters want parties 'to work together,' Clark says


Preliminary results show Premier Christy Clark and her B.C. Liberals securing 43 seats, one count short of the required majority of 44.

"They really seemed to understand the platform issues and why they're important and just the fact that they're going to grow up and inherit what we've got here in B.C.", she said.

Kathryn Harrison, also a professor at UBC, says the Greens must weigh the risks of either choice, but the Liberals may wait to do any negotiating until after May 24, when a final count of ballots is expected.

The political commentariate is ruminating over the dozens of "what if?" scenarios following Tuesday's provincial election, which resulted in a hung legislature. At the outset of the campaign, Weaver made it his mission to expand his party's presence in the legislature, saying that if he was the only Green elected, he wouldn't run again.

The Greens received eight per cent of the popular vote in the 2013 election along with their lone seat, but Weaver boldly forecasted gains in areas of NDP strength on Vancouver Island and the Kootenays. Or he could simply allow the Liberals to govern as a minority government, in which case the Green vote will become crucial to passing key policies.

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He did suggest that the NDP and the Green Party may find common ground on two files in particular - banning corporate and union donations, and electoral reform.

"If it's true that British Columbians voted for a change, that must mean - if you're Andrew Weaver - ousting Christy Clark from government", said UBC's Richard Johnston.

"I do intend to work across party lines... whether it's a majority or a minority government that I lead", she said.

Clark noted that her party won the largest share of the popular vote as well as the most seats.

The NDP won one riding by only nine votes, making a recount a certainty that will determine the difference between a minority and an ultra-thin majority if it were to flip to the Liberals.

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If the results hold, the Green party would hold the balance of power in the Legislature with its historic three-seat victory.

"We need to see where the absentee votes go", Weaver said.

Although Weaver stressed he was willing to work with both the NDP and Liberals the day after the election, and even stressed his party's greater alignment with the NDP, Moscrop believes there's a good chance Weaver will choose to support the Liberals as they try to form government. A dialogue about how we do things, what we should do, how we want to shape the future of our province.

Weaver confirmed that he had met with NDP leader John Horgan, and that the two leaders agreed on many issues, including education and income disparity.

"Small parties like the Greens are forever disadvantaged by a first-past-the post system". (TSX:WTE), since Clark has proposed a hefty levy on US coal shipments through the port in response to the softwood lumber dispute.

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NDP Leader John Horgan opposes Kinder Morgan's C$7.4 billion ($5.4 billion) Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion and has also expressed reservations about the $27 billion Pacific Northwest liquefied natural gas terminal that Malaysia's Petronas wants to build.