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.
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 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.