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A Proposed Red-Green Partnership

By Hempology | August 22, 2003

A political commentary by Robert Moore-Stewart

Lawyer, Cannabis Buyers’ Clubs of Canada

This alliance proposal for the B.C. NDP and the B.C. Green Party is designed to be simple, fair, strategic, and temporary. It might well be only for the next election, because the first agreement between the parties would be on a plan for proportional representation to be implemented shortly after this alliance forms the government. In any subsequent elections the vital necessity for this alliance may no longer exist, though the experience of working together might well result in greater future cooperation.

There would be an agreed formula for the number of ridings that each party would run the joint candidate in. The only ridings that would be guaranteed to either the Green Party or the NDP would be the ridings of each of their leaders, and the riding of any sitting MLA who is running for re-election, i.e. Jenny Kwan. In other ridings, which party ran the candidate would be decided by lot, but the number of overall ridings each party receives to run candidates in would be decided by a formula. One arbitrary but fair formula would be to give 40% of the weighting to the election results in the last provincial election. Then 60% of the weighting would be on polling results since the last election. Two or three polling companies, who have published recent statistics on relative party strength in B.C., could be agreed on as the source of polling data, and results over the whole period since the last election could be averaged.

It is of critical importance that the parties agree to a lottery for selecting which party is to run the candidate in each riding, with the exceptions noted. This is because otherwise there would run the candidate. These disputes are avoidable with an overall fair plan and some use of the laws of chance.

There would be very many other issues to work out in an ongoing relationship like collaborative government. There are ministries to be filled and policies to be decided upon. The first goal should be actually achieving power, and not just gaining a few seats in the legislature. Our situation is too desperate for that sort of minimal victory. Consider the consequences of leaving this government in power for another four years.

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