(1) 250.472.8528
andrew.weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca

It’s been well over a month since the May 9th British Columbia election and the BC legislature has still not reconvened. There has been absolutely no need for the delay. The legislature could and should have been recalled in early June (as the premier stated she would) in order for the BC Liberals to test the confidence in the house. Instead, the BC Liberals continue their political calculation of delay and distraction, all the while sowing the seeds of fear within the electorate.

What’s become increasingly apparent is that to the BC Liberals, a “stable government” means one in which they can ram through any piece of legislation they want without having to engage the opposition or listen to the ideas being brought forward by others. But to most, a “stable government” is one that actually has the confidence of the house. We have an incredible opportunity before us to engage in bipartisan decision making. We have an incredible opportunity to do what we were elected to do: govern, work together, put the interests of people first. Instead, the BC Liberal games continue.

The day after the election the Premier stated “British Columbians sent a very strong message to all sides of the legislature: They want us to work together collaboratively and across partisan lines“. I agree. So let’s get on with it.

It’s time for the Premier to give British Columbians the certainty they deserve. It’s time for us to start addressing the many issues facing British Columbians on a daily basis. It’s time for all of us to treat the electorate with respect.

I thought it would be instructive to provide a timeline comparison with the recent election in the UK that also led to a minority government. I think you’ll find it very telling as to what is going on in BC. The UK have had an election, recalled parliament, elected a speaker, come together with a minority government agreement, and will read the speech from the throne as we sit on the sidelines watching the BC Liberals attempt instill fear and uncertainty in the electorate. If ever there was  an example as to why after 16 years of governing it is time for the BC Liberals to be put in a time out, it is what is playing out right now in British Columbia.

BC dates and events are in Green; UK dates and events are in Blue.​


The Timeline


April 11, 2017: Premier Christy Clark drops the writ and a BC Election is called for May 9, 2017.

April 18, 2017: Theresa May calls a snap election in the UK for June 8, 2017 subject to the passing of a motion to move away from their fixed election date system.

April 19, 2017: UK parliament votes 522 to 13  in support of the early election.

May 9, 2017: British Columbia general election.

May 10, 2017: Premier states British Columbians sent a very strong message to all sides of the legislature: They want us to work together collaboratively and across partisan lines

May 29, 2017: BC Greens sign a “supply and confidence agreement with BC NDP.

May 30, 2017: Premier states that she will: “bring the house back in early June and made the decision to test the will of the legislature after consulting constitutional experts.

May 31, 2017: Election writ returned to the Chief Electoral Officer.

June 8, 2017: UK general election

June 10, 2017: Theresa May signs a “supply and confidence agreement” with the Democratic Unionist Party to support a Conservative minority government.

June 13, 2017: The UK House of Commons returns and a Speaker is elected.

June 19, 2017: The Queen’s speech is to be read in the UK House of Commons (assuming that the ink dries on the goat skin in time!).

June 22, 2017: British Columbia reconvenes the legislature, elects a speaker and delivers speech from the throne.

June 26, 2017: Earliest possible day that a confidence motion could pass.


At the end of the day, the BC Liberals are in the drivers seat in determining the date on which confidence is tested. I look forward to more clarity being given in this regard.

5 Comments

  1. Mark West-
    June 19, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    I usually don’t comment on these kinds of things.. but.. I’ve voted a few times for the Greens federally and provincially, but was always frustrated my vote never seemed to go anywhere. Now it seems like the Green vote is materializing and that’s exciting! But the deal with the NDP is worrisome..

    I hope that the Green Party can further grow it’s vote, I believe one day they could form government. Going along with the NDP will not help to create a distinction between the two parties. During the election, the NDP campaigned vigorously that the Green Party wasn’t where people should vote. On my neighbourhood Facebook group, NDP supporters implored day after day not to vote Green. As soon as the NDP thinks it can get a majority, it will claim successes as their own, call a snap election and Andrew will probably be solo again.

    I know the Liberals are not natural partners for the Greens but that is where the opportunity lies. The Liberals are already changing. Imagine having an extended period of time where you can claim every little & large change of course made by the government was because of the Green Party. Then if the Liberals get sick of it, and call of an election, the Green Party will be the party front and centre drawing the line on whatever issues caused the election.

    The core NDP supporters are loud and empowered with activism, but when we think about the future of the Green Party, I’m not sure the best course is to listen to the party who wishes the Green Party didn’t even exist… (and shares much of the same voter base)

    Anyways, just one man’s opinion.. thanks for listening :)

  2. Dave Ferguson-
    June 18, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Legislature is a crime scene; should be locked-down to preserve evidence.

  3. Kevin Logan-
    June 18, 2017 at 8:24 am

    There is lots too learn from the UK experience, but Weaver’s interpretation of it is not where the lesson lies.

    Rather the whole story in the UK is the rise of Jeremy Corbyn. And how he managed the election results of a minority parliament vs how the GreeNDP alliance has, under the tutelage of the likes of Norman Spector and others with experience in end running the processes of the Legislative Assembly.

    Let Jonathan Pie explain in three minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsGVghRBdKI

    If you think the seat of the revolution in BC is Oak Bay, its probably time to think again.

    Here is some UK precedent the good doctor should bone up on:

    1924: then-leader Ramsay MacDonald was immediately invited by the king to form a minority Labour government when the Tories – the largest single party – could not pass its King’s Speech. MacDonald did not have to seek a coalition or demonstrate a functional majority

    1929: MacDonald was again invited to be PM, even though Labour had won only 287 of the then-615 parliamentary seats, after Tory PM Baldwin resigned upon being unable to command a Commons majority. Again, MacDonald did not have to demonstrate a functioning majority

    1974: Harold Wilson was invited by the queen to form a government after Edward Heath’s attempts to agree a coalition with the Liberals failed. He immediately formed a minority government in spite of stating firmly that he would not seek nor enter any coalition

    2010: Then-PM Gordon Brown resigned immediately it became clear that he could not command a Commons majority, even though David Cameron had not yet agreed a coalition with the LibDems’ Nick Clegg. The coalition gave Cameron a functioning majority – but before the deal with the LibDems was finalised, he was summoned to the Palace ‘as a matter of course’.

    Found here (the whole piece is worth a read): https://skwawkbox.org/2017/06/12/in-law-if-may-cant-pass-queensspeech-corbyn-automatically-becomes-pm/

    So why are you fumbling up this alliance and taking the heat of Clark to manage the minority house so prematurely Mr Weaver? I find it hard to believe you drove a deal that did not have the numbers to work, but that is what you did. Why?

  4. Randall Wilson-
    June 17, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Dr. Weaver has learned the political art of deception. And has again demonstrated that while he may be a fine mathematician and scientist he is woefully deficient in his grasp of BC history and parliamentary procedures in this province.

    What he fails to note is that because of the close vote and large number of absentee ballots the results of the election on May 9, 2017 were not in fact finalized by the Chief Elections Officer until the final count on May 24, 2017… some 15 days after the general election. Given the close result the BC Liberals could have easily achieved a majority which makes this unlike any previous BC election since 1952 when Social Credit was first elected in a minority government and even there the Social Credit was going to be in aminority in any event.

    Also even discounting the close results the time period is still short historically.

    How about we look at recent BC history so we are comparing apples to apples and not BC apples to UK orangutangs. In this case I will note the election date and first session of the new Legislature (aka BC Parliament) date.

    BC general election, 2017 – voting day May 09, 2017 – Legislature first session June 22, 2017 (44 days)
    BC general election, 2013 – voting day May 14, 2013 – Legislature first session June 26, 2013 (43 days)
    BC general election, 2009 – voting day May 12, 2009 – Legislature first session August 25, 2009 (106 days)
    BC general election, 2005 – voting day May 17, 2005 – Legislature first session September 12, 2005 (119 days)
    BC general election, 2001 – voting day May 16, 2001 – Legislature first session July 24, 2001 (70 days)
    BC general election, 1996 – voting day May 28, 1996 – Legislature first session July 15, 1996 (49 days)
    BC general election, 1991 – voting day October 17, 1991 – Legislature first session March 17, 1992 (153 days)

    Congratulations Dr. Weaver you are now a politician.

    The two shortest times in the past 25 years have been the last two BC elections so Premier Clark has both records.

  5. Granger Evans-
    June 17, 2017 at 5:38 am

    Clear and concise. Times up, lets get to work . If it can be done by a whole country , it is easy to accomplish by a province surely. No more gamesmanship Christy.