Opinion Column

B.C. NDP, Greens like star-crossed lovers

By Steve Burgess

(From Left) B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark, Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver and NDP Leader John Horgan pose before the televised leaders debate on April 26, 2017. (B.C. Broadcast Consortium/Supplied)

(From Left) B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark, Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver and NDP Leader John Horgan pose before the televised leaders debate on April 26, 2017. (B.C. Broadcast Consortium/Supplied)

Ever since the photo finish to the B.C. election we have been reading the signs, trying to figure out the future of our provincial government. But perhaps we were looking for clues in the wrong places.

Instead of studying recent remarks made by political leaders, such as the complaints Andrew Weaver had been making about the NDP and nasty, old John Horgan, perhaps we should have remembered the lessons taught by countless romantic comedies. Any movie fan knows that just because a couple starts out hating on each other doesn't mean the pair won't end up canoodling in the final reel. The Greens and the NDP have had their differences, sure, but everybody in the popcorn-munching audience could see those two crazy kids were made for each other.

And there they were Monday, Green Leader Weaver and NDP Leader Horgan, talking about their mutual love of rugby, reminiscing about their rival high schools, shaking hands repeatedly like a bride and groom responding to the demands of the wedding guests for another smooch.

The prenup was negotiated and agreed upon over the weekend and, although the two parties are not entering into a formal alliance, they are pledging undying support, at least the legislative version — in sickness and in health, 'til four years do us part.

Weaver insisted yesterday that real negotiations were held with Christy Clark and the Liberal Party. But that relationship always looked like Kate Winslet and Billy Zane in Titanic. They just weren't made for each other. Weaver reiterated yesterday that he is a man of uncompromising principle, but people who run for office are politicians. And, as a politician, the Green leader surely knew the political price his party would pay for aligning with Clark and the Liberals.

For her part Clark, the hard-hat premier who has pushed mega-projects, such as Site C and LNG development, would have been unlikely to back away from those developments, or the Trans Mountain pipeline. A Liberal-Green partnership would have been a political jackalope — a marriage that would have made Donald and Melania Trump look like the ideal couple. For the Greens, lining up with the NDP simply made more political sense.

Of course, things did not work out so well in the end for Kate Winslet and Leo DiCaprio. Weaver and Horgan are starry-eyed lovers now, but a 44-43 seat margin is precarious. The shiny new NDP-Green Love Boat, now making its maiden voyage, could still end up at the bottom of the Georgia Strait.

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