The shopping around of Green support is unethical – and should be illegal too

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Editorial

By Umendra Singh –

The Green Party has won three seats – out of 87 – in the BC Legislature. It did not win the election.
It won just over 16 percent of the popular votes which means that more than 83 percent of popular votes did not go its way.
While commendable that after years of trying, the BC Greens have won three seats, it should not be taken as a license to govern.
It would be a travesty of our democracy if the BC Greens were allowed by the BC Liberals or BC NDP to impose its political will on this province with just over 16 percent of the popular votes.
Some of the policies that the BC Greens are proposing, such as taking away union and business funding of election campaigns and other electoral reforms ideas, are good and worth considering or evening legislating into law.
But these BC Green policies should not be implemented as a political ransom pay off by either the BC Liberals or BC NDP desperate to form the next government.
A weakness in the Westminster style government is that in close elections, like the one that took place in BC last week, the party that has the least support among the voters (like the BC Greens) sometimes gets to play the role of “kingmaker”. Don’t be mistaken by nice term. There is nothing kingly or diplomatic about it. It is blackmail – pure and simple. “Give me what I want or I will go to the highest bidder – your political rival,”. And make no mistake, there are billions of dollars at stake in forming and operating a government in BC – both sides will gain. In business or any other field, this kind of behaviour would be frowned upon. So why should it be acceptable in politics?
Should not it be illegal for a political party to provide political support to prop up a government – any government – in exchange for a political favour ? Why can’t the party that has won the most seats govern – it will never have a majority but that is what the voting public wanted in the first place. Each issue would be debated and voted on its merit and there will be no steam rolling of government agenda in the Legislature.
And all three political players in this case should be ashamed of themselves as all of them have openly committed to engaging in this political blackmail.
Both the BC Liberals and BC NDP have said they are willing to play ball with the BC Greens and give them what they want in order to get the Green support to form government. It would be refreshing for a political party and its leader to say it will not be blackmailed into doing something that was not part of its election platform. But that would be asking too much from our political leaders, it seems. And the Greens? For a while there, I thought the BC Greens were indeed different. But they are just like the rest – willing to sell their political souls to prop up a government they campaigned against. This is shameful.
Christy Clark, John Horgan and Andrew Weaver, please have some integrity.

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