John Hor­gan and An­drew Weaver

Vancouver Magazine - - Cover Story -

Hor­gan: e (#16, 2016) // Weaver: s ( NEW) BC PREMIER; LEADER, BC GREEN PARTY

The Un­likely Part­ner­ship It wasn’t sup­posed to end like this. May’s pro­vin­cial elec­tion should have been a cake­walk for Christy Clark, with Canada’s top-per­form­ing econ­omy at her back and an untested NDP leader as her op­po­nent. And yet, when the nal vote was tal­lied, Clark’s Lib­er­als ended up with abaremi­nor­ity—and An­drew Weaver’s Green Party, win­ning ahis­toric three seats, hold­ing the bal­ance of power.

What would Weaver do? That was the ques­tion that hung over the prov­ince for three weeks af­ter elec­tion­day. On May 29, af­ter the re­sults were conrmed, Weaver and NDP leader John Hor­gan an­nounced a power-shar­ing deal that brought anend to 16 years of Lib­eral Party rule.

Some ob­servers won­dered whether a deal was pos­si­ble, given the an­i­mos­ity shown be­tween Weaver and Hor­gan in the leg­is­la­ture and on the cam­paign trail. But ac­cord­ing to Jus­tine Hunter, the Vic­to­ria-based leg­isla­tive re­porter for the Globe and Mail, there was lit­tle doubt who Weaver would sup­port.

“Both of th­ese men have long-term goals that re­quire that they get along— and so far, they are show­ing they are far more prag­matic than those pub­lic ex­changes would sug­gest,” says Hunter, who has cov­ered pro­vin­cial pol­i­tics for al­most 30 years.

While it’s clear what Hor­gan gets out of the deal—the long-cov­eted premier’s seat—for Weaver, the ar­range­ment rep­re­sents astep in alonger-term game: bring­ing elec­toral re­form to B.C. and, with it, a so­lidied po­si­tion for his in­sur­gent party. “The Greens want Bri­tish Columbian vot­ers to see that a mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment can work, and then they want to ac­tu­ally change the vot­ing sys­tem,” says Hunter. “If that re­mains their cen­tral driv­ing force, then I think this could eas­ily last be­yond the av­er­age shelf life of a mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment in Canada.”

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