Few voters, provincially or federally, have ever expected the Greens to actually win an election and take power.
They can’t win this time either … but Green supporters can wield more power than ever before … determining the outcome!
I have voted Green … both federally (before they became wildly extreme) and provincially … partly as a protest vote, partly to encourage their environmentally positive ideas, and partly to give them a financial boost under public-funding incentives. (However, over the years, as an independent voter, I have also voted for every other major party as well.)
But let’s keep it real: almost no one believed the Greens would ever actually win or that the Green vote was large enough to materially affect the election results, under our first-past-the-post electoral system.
Not so this time.
In the 2013 BC election, the Greens captured 8.15% of the popular vote … compared to 44.13% for the Liberals, and 39.72% for the NDP.
Of course, it would have been POSSIBLE for the NDP to win over enough Green votes to propel themselves past the Liberals into power …but it would have required a major proportional shift in Green numbers.
Not this time.
Green voters could ultimately decide whether the Liberals will win another four years in power or if the NDP take over.
In a recent Mainstreet/PostMedia poll, the Greens drew 15% support province-wide and 38% on Vancouver Island. The NDP scored 32% support province-wide, while the Liberals came in at 30%.
Province-wide, that’s DOUBLE the Greens’ accomplishment in the last BC election … still nowhere close to achieving office … but substantially more than last election … large enough numbers that if enough were exercised strategically to defeat the Liberals and went over to the NDP, Green power could end the Liberal reign.
The NDP believe they can do that on their own … but they’re also no doubt very aware how help from Green supporters could almost guarantee it.
And Green supporters would no doubt influence an NDP government’s policies more than they now affect the Liberals.
Of course, I realize there are dedicated Green activists/voters who could never be swayed, and their belief in the long term message/ideology of the party should not be underestimated.
BUT what about those who are Green “light” …. they like some of what they have heard and/or they just want to protest?
How THEY end up casting their ballots could have a major impact in the May 9 election result.
Which makes what the two Opposition leaders’ say Wednesday night in their TV debate more intriguing than ever.
(Reminder: You can get First Alerts of all new postings on this BC blog by following @harveyoberfeld on Twitter. No spam. just blog alerts. And you can hear h.o. talk about the election on ww.howestreet.com: http://www.howestreet.com/2017/04/21/bc-election-15-20-undecided/ )