This is what you call a close election.

When your blogger gave up and packed it in for the night, the vote in the British Columbia general election was still essentially a tie: B.C. Liberals 42, B.C. New Democrats 42, and Greens 3.

By morning a lot may have changed, or very little, in which case the Lieutenant Governor will have to do her job.

Either way, I don’t suppose it’ll be long before Premier Christy Clark is looking for new employment.

This could result in a situation that’s sad but not bad for Alberta’s New Democrats: an unsympathetic but easy-to-work-with Liberal government, either a slight majority or a narrow minority. This, by the way, would be the most heartbreaking outcome for B.C.’s social democrats since the squeaker election of 1952 that brought W.A.C. Bennett’s Social Credit Party to power.

Or one that’s bad but not so sad: a simpatico but harder-to-work-with NDP government.

Or one that’s just terrible: The otherwise likely to be co-operative Liberals propped up by extremely unco-operative Greens.

There will be more when we know the results and have some time to think about them. Until then …

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  1. I suppose in some ways this result should not be too surprising. For a long time, BC has been polarized and fairly evenly split between the NDP and whatever party is on the right.

    There are some close races, there will be recounts and absentee ballots to count as well, so a change by a seat or two still could still change a lot. It seems like BC has adopted the American approach this time where the final results will be known not in hours but in weeks.

    As someone who has followed this BC race a bit, it seems like all three main parties ran fairly good campaigns and all three have leaders with some strengths – hence perhaps the close outcome.

    If after the recounts, etc.. the result remains the same it appears the Greens will be the King or Queen maker. They are an interesting combination of fiscal conservatives, social progressives and of course environmentalists. Except perhaps for their views on the environment they might be considered to be fairly centrist politically and there are areas where they could work with either other party and areas where there would be difficulty.

    I think their insistence on political finance reform is a good thing. It might be a thing the Liberals find hard to accept, but it would be a good thing for BC. Interestingly, the Greens haven’t set out any preconditions yet about environmental policy but if they hold the balance of power I expect it will not be full steam ahead on resource development like it was previously under the Liberals.

    Canada has had a lot of experience with minority governments, so hopefully BC will figure it out and make it work, if that’s what the final outcome dictates, just like others have in the past.

  2. It has now been declared a minority government when I turned on the news this morning. They seem to be falling short these past two elections in 2013 and this most recent election. I have no doubt that the NDP will win because it is party that can take power at this moment. The minority government will demonstrate how well the Greens do now they have 3 seats and could swing the balance of power.

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