One of the biggest wins in last week’s provincial election goes to the BC Green Party, en route to tripling its single-MLA count in the legislature.
Of even greater significance for the party is the virtual tie between the frontrunners. The closeness of the vote means that, almost overnight, the Greens went from being a marginal political player to the heady position of potentially holding the balance of power.
The party is to be congratulated on this dramatic change in its fortunes – but should also be aware that with greater power comes greater responsibility and, ultimately, greater public scrutiny.
While B.C.’s Greens have always been forthright in presenting campaign platforms, the fact remains the majority still know little about them. In its early years, the party was characterized by a youthful, environmentalist standpoint – and for alliances with civic NDP-affiliated parties. But leadership battles and mixed-message policies have made it hard to take the party’s political temperature in a field where partisan loyalties usually rule.
Adding to confusion, the party claims support from across the political spectrum. It’s certainly not the alt-left party that some voters may have supposed.
The Greens have an interesting path – or a tightrope walk – ahead. It will require sure-footedness to avoid a plethora of pitfalls, and voters would be wise to watch them every step of the way.