Challenging the old guard

Election Day was only a week ago, and it’s not even really decided, yet it seems to be fading away into the background already.

That’s not surprising, considering the flooding disaster dominating the news in this Okanagan Valley and beyond. But it’s also indicative of the lack of excitement that characterized the election campaign.

Looked at from one direction the results of the May 9 provincial election bring some major changes — The NDP gained seats, the Liberals lost the majority they’ve held for the last 16 years and perhaps most surprisingly, the Green Party increased their seats in legislature to three.

That’s a positive sign, whether or not you’re a Green supporter. If the Greens end up holding the balance of power, as it appears they might, it will spur conversation about what the people of B.C. really envision for the future of this province. Or, we could be seeing another provincial election in the next 18 months or so. Clark has resumed her leadership, but the situation is evolving as we wait on counting of the absentee ballots and recounts in the Vancouver-False Creek and Courtenay-Comox ridings.

Perhaps this is just the shakeup B.C. politics needs. The province is heading into political territory it hasn’t experienced since the 1950s, when the then powerful Liberal and Conservative parties were brought down by the Social Credit under W.A.C. Bennett. For decades, the only choice was between Socred and NDP (CCF).

There are many issues facing B.C.: housing, jobs, the overdose crisis and a range of environmental issues, from pipelines to LNG, fracking and more.

It’s time we had a fresh outlook on these problems. Perhaps the precariousness of their hold on power will encourage the Liberals to look for real solutions to some of these problems.

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