B.C. Election: Andrew Weaver says ‘neither Liberals nor NDP can be trusted with majority government’
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story said Green Leader Andrew Weaver would rather work with BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark over BC NDP Leader John Horgan. Weaver refused to say which leader he’d prefer to work with. The story has been updated to reflect the correction. Watch the full interview in its entirety above.
A former climate scientist, who got into politics because he felt the B.C. democratic system was broken, says he is sure his party can make history again in the May 9 provincial election, but neither of his major rivals can be trusted with a majority government.
In fact, he’s confident his party will better its historic achievement four years ago when he became the first Green Party MLA in British Columbia’s history.
“But it is up to the voter, obviously,” Weaver told Global News. “We have to provide information to the voters that gives them the confidence that we can govern. Our platform is second to none. It’s well costed. We have great candidates. And we are in the hands of the voters. I recognize that the easiest path to the Legislature is not being a BC Green, because we have an entrenched two-party system. But we are seeing the momentum all across the province.”
READ MORE: A list of BC Green Party promises
He says his party support is growing in regions that have been traditionally Liberal or NDP.
“People are fed up with voting against something. This fear-based voting is so uninspiring. We know that we are offering people something to vote for, not against.”
As to where the majority of the Green vote will come from, Weaver says his party is pulling in votes from both the Liberals and NDP across the province.
“Particularly in those ridings that are the so-called ‘safe seats’ – like New Westminster, which has been an NDP stronghold forever. Liberals can barely find candidates to run there. People recognize that they really don’t want the status quo. They want change.”
READ MORE: One-on-one with BC NDP leader John Horgan
Weaver refused to say which party leader he’d be more comfortable working with. However, Weaver said if he was going to work with NDP Leader John Horgan, Horgan would have to “control his temper.”
“[John Horgan] has exploded on me multiple times. I want to work with him, I really do, and I’ve tried and I’ve continued to try but he’s got to control his temper… he doesn’t bring people to want to work with him,” Weaver explained in a one-on-one interview with Global BC’s Legislative Bureau Chief Keith Baldrey.
“Whereas the premier [Christy Clark], you can have a respectful disagreement in a one-on-one conversation and it’s not personal.”
Asked whether his main foe are the Liberals or NDP, Weaver says he thinks neither of the parties can be trusted with a majority government.
“We know there is a fundamental desire for change. But [people] look at the NDP and say, I am not sure that’s the change I want. And our tag line is – we are offering what we believe is the change you can count on.”
As to what will constitute success for his party, Weaver says he has high standards.
“Success to me would be — being in a position to influence the outcome of this election in a way that actually ensures that our policy or platform is implemented in some way.”
FULL COVERAGE: B.C. election 2017
But if it ends up that he is the only Green MLA come May 10, Weaver says he will be done with the party leadership.
“I stepped aside from a very successful career, because I felt our democracy was broken. And I stand by it — it is broken. The BC NDP are no better than the BC Liberals in terms of actually putting people ahead of political calculations. But we know we are doing very well in a large number of ridings.”
—With files from Keith Baldrey
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