BC Liberals expect defeat Thursday, but want to pass campaign finance law

Speaker Steve Thomson addresses the legislature. The well-respected MLA is likely to be B.C.'s shortest-serving Speaker

All across the province you could hear the heads of small-c conservative supporters who are a big part of the BC Liberal Party coalition exploding as they read Clark's throne speech Thursday.

Liberal house leader Mike de Jong sent a four-page letter to Speaker Steve Thomson on Tuesday hoping for clarification on voting issues for the legislature's 87 members to consider before the confidence vote, which is expected on Thursday.

De Jong said the proposed law - which the Liberals opposed in last month's election campaign but supported in last week's throne speech - can be passed in the legislature in the coming days.

The NDP and Greens combined to reject legislation from the minority Liberal government that would have reformed political party financing and given the Greens official party status in the legislature.

The uniquely close result of the May election leaves the NDP-Green alliance without the ability to pass legislation under the normal rules of the legislature, B.C. Liberal house leader Mike de Jong says.


"Let's be clear: If the concerns around the speaker can not be resolved, it will be because the BC Liberals have once again chosen to put their own political self-interest ahead of the interests of British Columbians".

The legislation would ban union and corporate donations, impose donation limits comparable to other Canadian jurisdictions, and ban donations from foreigners or from other political parties outside of British Columbia.

"This is a parliamentary democracy, and if at the end of the day there is to be a transition, if the two opposition parties, as they have and appear resolved to do, wish to govern and the lieutenant-governor agrees that it is in the best interest of the province, that's fine. Let's have a confidence motion and let's put in place a government that focuses on the challenges people are facing right across B.C". When that happens, Premier Christy Clark will be forced to offer her resignation to Lt. -Gov. The message, a lovely parting gift if you will, that Christy Clark and her team want to leave voters with is that the NDP and Greens are more interested in power than policy.

Then it was time for a debate on the throne speech. After all, the Liberals can only dodge an actual confidence vote for another day or two.

Of course, the Liberals shut down those six NDP motions to ban corporate and union donations, only to have a sudden change of heart on the matter after an election that leaves them on the brink of defeat. "And if we are destined to play that role again as an opposition, I think we would be an effective opposition, and take that role seriously". Weaver has said his power-sharing deal with the NDP doesn't preclude him from supporting good legislation by other parties. "The road to stability and the road to being able to make sure that government, working together in this legislature, can get on with the business in this house, is to support the throne speech and ensure we can keep the business of government going on".

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