Green Party leader Andrew Weaver says that no conclusion is a sure thing, as serious negotiations begin with the BC Liberals and BC NDP.
Weaver and the Green Party are being wooed by both of B.C.’s main parties, with their three seats liable to drastically change how the provincial government will form.
He says negotiations are currently underway, despite the fact that both parties were resistant to the prospect ahead of the election.
But now that the Greens’ seats can swing things in their favour, Weaver says anything can happen.
“It would be irresponsible for us to preclude negotiations with any political parties simply because they have not said something in the past. We’re in discussion with both.”
However, he says no agreements will be made until three important conditions are met.
“Party status in a means and ways that allow us to do our job: number one. Number two: ban big money. We’ve banned it – I’ve said that all along. And number three is discussion into proportional representation and a plan to get there.”
The third one is a dealbreaker for Weaver, and something he says Liberal leader Christy Clark has been unclear about her stance on.
“The Premier’s on record, for example, saying that she liked proportional representation when she was in CKNW. I admit I am somewhat skeptical about what’s happened over the last few years because we haven’t seen any movements in that direction.”
He also blasted the Liberals for their handling of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, which he says is another large factor for the Greens.
“It is utterly irresponsible of the B.C. Government to claim that they have met five conditions when they never articulated what those conditions were. It was pure political spin by Ms. Clark.”
When it all shakes out, Weaver says he expects the results of the election to remain in place, even after recounts and absentee ballots are tallied.
And he says even if recounts result in the Liberals receiving a majority, the fact that they’ll likely need to give up an MLA to be Speaker means 44 seats aren’t enough to get things done alone.
“So the Liberals will need to work with us either way, whether it’s a minority or a majority government.”
Those recounts are slated to being Monday in the highly-contested riding of Courtenay-Comox, where the difference of only nine votes prevented the Liberals from forming a majority government.
A surprising addition
While the addition of Norman Spector to the Greens’ negotiating team has raised some eyebrows, Weaver says what the team needed was strategic political advice and Spector brings that in spades.
“[He] was Chief of Staff for Brian Mulroney. He did negotiate the free trade agreement NAFTA. He was a deputy minister in the BC government. He’s a PhD political scientist.”
What makes Spector’s addition particularly interesting is the fact that he’s involved at all.
“He’s never been a member of a political party before,” Weaver says. “Many people might not know that.”
In a previous interview with CKNW, University of Victoria professor Norman Ruff called Spector “one of the leading practitioners” of political negotiation.
Weaver says he and newly-elected MLAs Sonia Furstenau and Adam Olsen are setting the political agenda.
Chief of Staff Liz Lilly is the final member of the Greens’ negotiating team.