Monday, May 29, 2017

Political pundit doesn't see stars aligning for a North Coast cabinet position

For those that follow politics, this week in British Columbia is offering up much in the way of drama, one part Game of Thrones and one part the resolution of a prime time TV series cliff hanger, one that brought the election season ending finale to its surprising conclusion.

Sometime this week British Columbians will learn which way the political winds are blowing as Green Party leader Andrew Weaver settles on which party he and two other Green MLA's will be supporting to lead the next government of British Columbia.

While we all await Mr. Weaver to send out those puffs of white (maybe that should be Green) smoke as to where his party will direct their support in the upcoming minority government, Rob Shaw from the Vancouver Sun was doing a little cabinet making for NDP leader John Horgan, should he find himself Premier elect by the end of this week.

Cabinet making speculation is starting
to build with a decision on which party
will for the BC Government expected
to be made this week 
However, someone might want to keep his story from the Sun away from North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, with Shaw's handicapping of a potential cabinet competition for a would be Premier John Horgan, leaving Ms. Rice seemingly not even in the starting gate when it comes to a front bench position in any potential NDP government.

As part of his look at the state of the current political drama, the Sun writer examined some of the challenges that Mr. Horgan will face as he tries to balance urban and rural concerns, as well as to reward those candidates who have toppled some high profile Liberal candidates during the recent election campaign.

He notes that experience will be a key for building confidence for any cabinet with Adrian Dix, Mike Farnworth and Carole James among those veteran NDPers who are being tapped as potential cabinet material.

While those names are more than familiar for British Columbians, it's the rising stars that Shaw highlights that suggest that the North Coast may have to resign itself to space on the back benches once the Legislature returns.

The Sun article takes note of six rising stars that Horgan will want to bring into his cabinet, among them Melanie Mark, who while having some attachment to the North Coast is more better known as a Vancouver activist, who made an impressive debut once elected in a by-election last year.

The NDP lost one of their three Northwest seats with the success of Ellis Ross in Skeena and according to Mr. Shaw, the natural choice for a voice of the North in cabinet is most likely to go to Doug Donaldson from Stikine.

Should the political prognostication of the Vancouver Sun's columnist prove correct, it all might be leaving Ms. Rice on the fringes of power. Destined perhaps for some form of Assistant's position to one of the cabinet ministers, but just a bit out of reach of the cabinet table and the ability to direct attention to some of the key issues of North Coast region.

It all of course is the stuff of a political science fantasy draft at the moment, the outcome still to be determined as to whether Mr. Horgan will even be offered the opportunity to take the reins of power and build his cabinet, or if Ms. Clark somehow finds a way to continue on as Premier.

To follow some of the post election themes while we await a final announcement as to which party and leader will move into the Government side of the Legislature see our political portal D'Arcy McGee.

Our notes on the local North Coast seat in the Legislature can be found here.

Update: Mid afternoon Monday, Green Party leader Andrew Weaver announced that he and the two members of his party would be providing their support to the NDP and leader John Horgan to provide for a stable minority government over the four year term.

It is unknown to this point, if Christy Clark will seek to form a minority government and face a non-confidence motion in short order, or if the NDP/Green arrangement will be the one that moves forward in the days to come.

More details on the path the province will follow will become clearer as the process moves ahead.

Some notes on today's developments can be found below:

Greens to support NDP in four year-government deal
B.C. Green Party agrees to support NDP in the legislature
NDP and Greens reach deal for 'stable' four-year minority government
B.C. Green party leader Andrew Weaver agrees to support John Horgan's NDP

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