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BC NDP, Green Party agreement is not a coalition

Last Updated May 30, 2017 at 7:52 am PST

Summary

The two parties have, instead, come to terms on a 'confidence and supply agreement'

Expert weighs in on the reluctance from the Greens to enter a coalition

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – This afternoon the BC Green Party and NDP will be releasing details of their agreement to work together to form a minority New Democratic government.

But don’t use the “C” word.

The parties have been very clear they would not be forming a coalition in Victoria, but would enter into a four-year “Confidence and Supply Agreement.” It guarantees Green Party support for any NDP budgets or confidence motions, but not for any other measures in the Legislature.

So, why the reluctance on behalf of Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver to fully endorse the NDP and form an actual coalition government?

“During the whole process he has said he has no interest in a coalition because he sees that as handcuffing his ability to advocate for the Green Party platform,” explains Justin Ling, a political reporter with VICE News. “It’s a bizarre strategy because he’s not actually supporting a government, he’s tacitly allow one to survive over the other.”

Ling thinks it’s odd. “It’s not really how our parliamentary system should be operating. In most functioning democracies in the West in this scenario, you just form a coalition. If a third party who has the balance of power supports one party over the other, you simply endorse them and enter into government with them.”

He points out that’s how it works throughout Europe, much of Asia and in Australia. “The reticence of the Green Party to actually enter join a coalition is beyond me. Really you can do more for your constituents at the Cabinet table than you can as the third party with no real responsibilities.”

Details of the agreement between the parties won’t be released until the NDP caucus approves the deal until just after 2 p.m. today.

But Liberal leader Christy Clark may not give up the premiership without a fight.

“My guess is that she’s not going to concede. I don’t think the NDP/Green majority is sufficiently great to cause her to concede. I think she will test her luck in the Legislature,” says Hamish Telford, a political science professor at the University of the Fraser Valley.
Telford says it just takes one NDP or Green MLA to miss a vote, and the Liberals would survive a confidence vote.

After winning the most seats in the May 9 election, Clark remains premier for the time being and can ask Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon for the chance to face the Legislature, resign or request another election.

Weaver and NDP Leader John Horgan are hopeful Guichon will agree to give the NDP the opportunity to form government without an election.