Cuevano ~ Jorge Aranda

Horgan is the new BC Premier

A couple of months ago, worried about the agenda of the BC Greens leader and his likelihood to collaborate with the BC NDP, I wrote:

Andrew Weaver, please prove me wrong! Agree to a solid, stable collaboration with the BC NDP, one that will bring forth electoral reform, enact environmentally strong policies, and reverse the damage done by the current government. Many of us would be happy to give you our support in future elections if you do so.

Well, after a roller-coaster ride, John Horgan, the BC NDP leader, is the new Premier; Weaver proved me wrong; and I am extremely happy about all this.

Weaver's (and his party's) support for the new BC NDP minority government seems strong, and the Greens appear to have forced the NDP hand somewhat: the new government commits to an electoral reform referendum, to re-explore the viability of the Site C dam project, to stop oil pipelines construction projects in BC, and to a number of additional sensible policies.

This path to Horgan's premiership was absolutely unlikely, but the outcome is equally promising.

Unlikely, because it relied on very slim margins of victory in several ridings, as well as on the support of an opponent with which, from the outside at least, he seemed to hold a bitter rivalry.

And promising, not just because the policies of the new government are big steps in the right direction, nor because the Greens will help keep the NDP honest and on target, but because, in a time with a generally dark political outlook, the NDP/Green agreement shows the way towards inter-party collaboration in Canada. I have always been puzzled at the lack of collaboration under the parliamentary system here, which seems to have much less interplay than similar systems in Europe. I believe Canada suffers from some fear or aversion to rise to a collaborative pattern, and to the extent that the BC NDP/Green agreeement is successful, we will gradually learn to think of collaborative solutions by default.

(One additional source of hope: the arrival of Sonia Furstenau, a teacher and environmental activist turned politician, to the Legislature as the MLA from Cowichan and Deputy Green Leader. Best of luck to her, to Horgan, to Weaver, and to everyone in the new government.)