Brave New World in BC Politics

Wow. This has been quite a week in politics. For any true political aficionado, an election is always must see TV, but Tuesday night really delivered.Down to the wire and beyond it. So far past the wire, you can’t even seen the wire.

And we still don’t know. The BC Liberals are pinning their hopes on Courtney Comox. Surely, they reason, in a riding called for the NDP by only nine votes, a recount (plus the all important absentee ballots) will send them to 44 seats and a majority. The slimmest of majorities — nobody ever better have a sick day if there’s an important vote in the Legislature — but a majority none the less.

This could happen. As many a pundit pointed out on Tuesday, Courtney Comox includes a military base. The theory is that members of the armed forces tend to vote more conservatively — which favours the BC Liberals — and there may be many absentee ballots. But that’s a pretty sweeping generalization to base your future on.

In the meantime, the BC Greens sit in a sweet position. Having trebled their seats in the Legislature… I know they still only have three, but ’trebled’ gives that victory more gravitas, don’t you think? Anyhoo, those three seats currently hold the balance of power. Andrew Weaver is in the position of being able to make demands for cooperation. The prevailing wisdom is that his personal issue is big money, as in removing it from politics. He eyes corporate donations on the BC Liberal side and big union donations on the NDP side and wishes them gone. Can he wean either party from its dependence on those donations? And even if he does gain promises, will they be followed through? Or will it all come crashing down when a tempting donation appears on the horizon?

This will make for very interesting times in British Columbia.

Yes, one exciting week in politics, but you didn’t think President Trump was going to let anyone upstage him, did you? No, The Donald pulled plenty of surprises this week, the first one being firing the FBI Director. Now the FBI director had already become famous for dropping the bomb on Hilary Clinton’s campaign last fall, one week prior to the election. Director James Comey let it out at that time that much more investigation was coming on the Clinton emails. Democrats claim it cost them the election. Republicans, including Trump, rejoiced and pointed the twitching finger of shame at Clinton.

So after firing Comey this week — suspiciously just as he requested more resources to deal with the growing investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia — Trump’s first excuse was that he fired the FBI Director because of his treatment of candidate Clinton.

Really? You expect the public to believe that? Did 350 million Americans just collectively fall off of a fleet of turnip trucks? The White House was still refining their explanations and excuses at week’s end, but there was enough muttering about Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre” that it should concern anyone still on Team Trump.

Trump then went on to meet with high ranking Russian officials this week and barred the American press from attending. He let Russian photographers in though. Again, not a good look.

This is going to bear watching. Are we witnessing the beginning of the downfall of Trump? Or is this going to be swallowed by the American public like every other outrageous thing he’s done since his election?

Frankly, I think it more likely that the NDP, BC Liberals and Greens govern in peaceful harmony than it is that someone in the Republican Party in the U.S. finally stands up and says enough.

But do stay tuned. It’s very exciting.

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