The provincial election this spring has been the gift that keeps on giving from a media point of view.
Election night was dramatic.
In the Cowichan Valley Sonia Furstenau made a come-from-behind victory to be the area’s first ever Green Party MLA.
Provincially, the Green Party grabbed just enough seats to stymie both the NDP and Liberals’ hopes of a majority, to put themselves in an unprecedented position of power. All this for a group that didn’t even win enough seats to garner official party status in the legislature (though we fully expect that to change in the coming weeks).
All eyes were on Green Party leader Andrew Weaver following the vote as he declared his party would be willing to work with the Liberals or the NDP if agreements could be reached on key issues.
The courtship period ended with an NDP-Green alliance that certainly has Cowichan Valley residents, who now have both their MLAs essentially in government, eagerly awaiting what comes next.
But first we were treated to political theatre at its finest as Christy Clark attempted to keep the Liberals in minority government power, or, at the very least, make the other parties lose face with voters as they were forced to oppose planks from their own platforms (including that official party status for the Greens) to oust her.
I still can’t decide if Clark thought her throne speech would sway voters in the other two parties, presuming that said voters couldn’t see the bigger strategic picture, if she truly believed the lieutenant governor would call another election rather than offer the reins to John Horgan, or if she just thinks the new minority government won’t last long and she’s got her ducks in a row for a new campaign.
As the editor of a newspaper the whole thing has been riveting, and excellent fodder for our news pages. Often the day-to-day internal cut and thrust of government is boring to the average reader, but this has been a watercooler bonanza.
I’ve been accused by readers of being a lefty, a right-winger, and everything in between. I always take that to mean we’re doing a pretty good job.
Of course I have my own political opinions, but we always try to give everyone a fair shake in our news stories. In opinion pieces we can let it fly. That’s the difference between opinion and news. As an editor, I’m happy to print letters from people of all political stripes. If they get some cut and thrust of their own going, all the better.
I predict interesting times ahead. Stay tuned.