Perhaps Monday’s election results in New Brunswick will embolden Premier John Horgan as he continues to play his cat and mouse game with reporters on the issue of an election this fall.
In that Maritime province, Premier Blaine Higgs’ Progressive Conservatives won a majority after sitting with a minority prior to calling a snap election, the first held in Canada during the pandemic.
The next election in B.C. is scheduled to be held in October 2021, but voters can go to the polls sooner if Horgan’s minority government falls in a confidence vote or if Horgan himself decides to call an election. Will he? The premier refuses to answer that simple question and new B.C. Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau, elected on Monday, included this issue in her first speech, arguing against “a completely unnecessary, irresponsible election.”
The NDP and Greens remain in the 2017 Confidence and Supply Agreement, which is in place until the Oct. 6, 2021 election and which states that the Greens (who hold the balance of power) will not defeat the governing New Democrats in a confidence motion. Doing so would trigger an election.
But there has been plenty of speculation that Horgan and his party — still popular among the masses for how they have governed since the spring 2017 election and how they have responded to the pandemic — will ignore that agreement and send voters to the polls in a bid to secure a four-year majority.
Doing so would reek of opportunism during crises and the $40 million or so it would cost to hold an election would be money better spent where it is desperately needed, be it in social services, education, health care or elsewhere.
As premier, Horgan has a right to do what he wishes, but he would gain credibility if he would stop playing games and answer questions honestly.