May 17, 2017

Election nail biter: what’s next for BC politics?

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A week after British Columbians went to the polls, we’re still waiting to learn the final seat count. And when we do (hopefully next week), it’s unlikely we’ll know precisely what our new government will look like.

Whatever the outcome, we know things are going to be different. And one thing seems clear: there is a solid progressive majority in our province’s political culture.

This election showed that the public appetite for change in BC is very strong. British Columbians are looking for action on key challenges facing our province: action to reduce inequality and poverty, to deal with the affordability crisis in housing and child care, to create good jobs in all regions, and to tackle climate change. Not to mention electoral reform and an end to big money in politics.

There is a solid progressive majority in our province’s political culture.

Whatever form it takes, BC’s next government will have to respond to the public appetite for change. And that’s great news.

In recent months, the CCPA-BC has provided the public with vital analysis and hopeful policy alternatives on job creation, poverty reduction, housing, child care, forestry, health care, corporate influence, climate action, tax fairness and much more. We’ve helped to put these issues at the top of BC’s political agenda, and defined what effective solutions could look like.

Notably, after repeating for years that progressive parties need to be bolder, it is our view that both the NDP and Green party platforms were markedly more ambitious than in previous election campaigns. We were also pleased to see many CCPA policy recommendations in both party platforms.

If history teaches us anything, however, it’s that the struggle for social change doesn’t end on election night. That’s only the beginning.

We need political leaders to cooperate in order to achieve positive change in BC. And of course none of us does this alone; we need social movements, community leaders and concerned citizens to continue organizing and voicing the need for such change.

The struggle for social change doesn’t end on election night.

Here at the CCPA, we will be taking stock of the BC election results. We’re also making sense of the broader political shifts happening in our world, not least the disturbing rise of extreme right-wing populism. And, we’ll be trying to figure out what these new realities mean for our research and engagement work.

Regardless the outcome of this election, what we wrote after the provincial election four years ago remains true today: “Ideas matter. Facts matter. Hope matters. The work the CCPA does holding governments to account and documenting the impact of their policy choices remains essential. Most importantly, the thoughtful development of an alternative policy agenda remains vital – one based on more equality, economic security, and a planet that is livable for our children and grandchildren.”

 

 

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