The public has spoken, albeit not in the way politicians would have you believe.
Although preliminary results have a minority legislature currently in the cards, voters did not tell politicians they want them to work together, as Christy Clark said last week.
Now, it’s entirely possible that voters do want that. But there’s no checkmark that one can tick to select more co-operative parties. In our present system, voters choose their preferred representative. Whether in B.C., or in Canada, minority legislatures barely ever happen; when they do, they’re a result not of some overwhelming desire for inter-party peace, but rather of general dissatisfaction with both the governing party and the alternatives. (That could change if we ever get proportional representation.)
Of course, the ultimate outcome of Tuesday’s election won’t be known until more than a week from now when absentee ballots are counted. That uncertainty underscores just how disconnected political speech is. Had nine people in one riding chosen differently on Tuesday, you can bet we’d be hearing a much different tune from all three parties.
As it is, only a couple things are clear: more voters abandoned the BC Liberals than four years ago – but many of those chose to cast a ballot for the Green Party, rather than the NDP.
Oh, and you can bet there are a few people who really, really wish they had bothered to cast a ballot.