Could B.C. see first minority government in 65 years?


WATCH: A close race heading into election day could lead to a minority government. April Lawrence takes a look at what that would mean.

It’s up to voters to decide who will fill the seats in B.C.’s legislature, but with the race so close heading into election day, there’s a chance no party will win the 44 seats needed for a majority.

A minority government hasn’t been seen in B.C. in nearly 65 years.

If it happens, the leader of the party with the most seats has to convince Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon they have the confidence of the House.

And that would likely require the support of Andrew Weaver and the BC Greens, if they win more than one or two seats.

“He’s clearly got a list that he would expect to be meeting some of those demands to keep a party in power,” said Michael Prince, a UVic political science professor.

“Whether it’s carbon tax, reinvesting in education, electoral reform which is a favourite for the Greens,” he said.

But on Monday Weaver was refusing to say if he would support one party over the other in the event of a minority.

“We will work with anyone, I have not picked one or the other, that would be reckless to do that,” said Weaver, speaking to reporters in Vancouver.

Prince says just because there has been bad blood between the NDP and Greens this election, doesn’t mean they couldn’t make a deal to form government.

“I think if they were going to work together they’d almost have to have a mediator or a counselor to work out and have a signed agreement,” said Prince.

Prince points to Stephen Harper’s two federal minority governments as proof they can last and he says history shows they can actually be productive.

“You might get a sense of a broader cross section of voters have some say in determining the direction of public policy, tax policy, legislation, and budget,” he said.

It will all come down to the numbers Tuesday night, with all parties hoping to snag more than 44 seats, and extend B.C.’s 65 year streak without a minority government.

April LawrenceApril Lawrence

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