Comment on election of NDP-Green Party alliance in BC, Canada?

In the provincial election of May 9 2017, the ruling BC Liberal Party won 43 seats, with the NDP winning 41 and the BC Green Party 3 seats. The NDP and Green Party recently signed and ratified an agreement to cooperate as a coalition government with combined seats of 44 (a 1 seat majority in the BC Legislature of 87 seats). The NDP-Green coalition has agreed to work together on electoral reform (move to a system of proportional representation), kick big money out of government, and increase the carbon tax. Both NDP and Green are opposed to the massive Kinder-Morgan pipeline projects and the "Site C" hydroelectric dam project, which would saddle BC rate payers with enormous debt for amost 90 years and provide cheap electricity for private, foreign-funded LNG projects (exporting fracked natural gas to Asia). For progressives in BC and Canada, this is a great day. The ruling BC Liberal party has been called the most scandal ridden political party in recent Canadian history, raking in millions of dollars in unregulated political contributions. The BC Liberals are a right-wing conservative party with strong connections to the federal Conservative Party of Canada, enacting numerous neoliberal policies through their 16 year period of governing.

Official response from submitted

Well, looking at these developments in BC from the US, the first thought is to congratulate you on the democratic voting system of proportional representation. We do not have that for our elections (except in certain states' primaries). Thus the majority NDP-Green coalition can govern and make the sorts of changes you indicate. I am envious because if we enabled small parties to contest with proportional representation, more interest in elections would be generated, more eligible voters would bother voting, and small parties cold make big differences in so far as they could, together, comprise majorities. That's how electoral democracy ought to work. Instead, in the US, we have two major parties - both financed by and deeply embedded with the corporate elites - and thus no major differences on the multiple issues of capitalism as the system and on most foreign policy matters. 

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  • Richard Wolff
    responded with submitted 2017-05-30 21:40:54 -0400
  • Edgar Nelson
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2017-05-30 19:17:42 -0400