Primarily, the British Columbia politics encompasses not only the administration of British Columbia, Canada, as well as different political factions which have chosen or held legislative power. It also involves multiple attempts or experiments at electoral and political reform.
British Columbia’s History of Politics
Before the year 1903, British Columbia doesn’t have any political parties. The initial Premier of British Columbia, Sir Richard McBride, was the very first one to assert a party affiliation, which is Conservative Party. He was also the first one to institute caucus politics or also referred to as conventional party.
From the time party politics were established in British Columbia, several political parties, which controlled the government for over 10 years, emerged, and that includes the 20th century’s Conservative government, Liberal government of the interwar, Social Credit or Socred government of post-war (governed by W.A.C Bennett), followed by a brief reign of NDP or New Democratic Party, and then governance under Social Credit which was led by W.A.C Bennett’s son, Bill Bennett.
By 1990s, the NDP government ruled and by the year 2000, the BC Liberal Party Government governed by Gordon Campbell, followed. In the 1940s, the government of British Columbia was ruled by an alliance of the Conservatives and the Liberals. Neither of the mentioned parties had the electoral power to establish a majority, so an alliance was utilized as a method to avoid the British Columbia Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (NDP’s forerunner) from reigning.
From the year 1972 up to 1975, the New Democratic Party which was then led by Dave Barrett won power; however, he was defeated after he engaged in a showdown with formed labor. Because of this event, Social Credit party regained the power, which was ruled by a new leader, Bill Bennett, the son of the past premier. Bill Bennett had been enlisted by an old guard of the party, but Bill introduced a fresh style of politics.
By the year 1986, Bill Bennett opted to retire from politics. Bill Vander Zalm became his successor. Unlike the other former leaders and parties, Mr. Zalm and his party wasn’t that popular that time. During the realm of several scandals and increasing unpopularity, the party was conquered by the New Democratic Party. Since that time, NDP led the province of British Columbia for over 10 years.
Recall Election and Initiative Legislation
In Canada, BC is the only province that practices recall election and initiative legislation. Both of these political features were showcased after the 1991 referendum. Since the time these actions were introduced, there was only a single successful recall petition, and that is when MLA Paul Reitsma was compelled to give up his position, hours prior to his removal from the office.
British Columbia on Fixed Election Dates
British Columbia is also the first Canadian province to edict Fixed Election Dates. Before, the BC elections were quite similar with majority of parliamentary jurisdictions, whereby it only needs an election within a certain span of time- 5 years in all Canadian jurisdictions.
Listed below are some of the current active political parties in the province of British Columbia. This may serve as a guide in making a sound decision during elections.
1. BC Libertarian Party
This BC political party is guided by the libertarian non-aggression principle, which is: no person or organization should utilize fraud or force against any other. Fraud or force should also not be used to attain social or political goals. BC Libertarian Party advocates the civil liberties, as well as the private property right, which includes ceasing the control of government on the economic activity, drug legalization, as well as ceasing of the coercive taxation.
2. British Columbia Liberal Party
This is the political party that Christy Clark belongs to. Several residents of British Columbia advocate the platform of this political party, which include freeing the province from debt, to secure the economy of the province, and building a stronger and much better society for the younger generation.
3. British Columbia Social Credit Party
This party consider themselves as a grassroots party that is accountable to the British Columbia residents. The members of this British Columbia political party believe that the province needs a responsible open government and that there is no special treatment for anyone. British Columbia Social Credit Party also believes that there should be equal opportunities for everyone.
4. Western Canada Concept Part of BC
The leader of this political party is Dough Christie, who aims to employ the Western Block Party’s foundational strategy in order to secure independence for Western Canadians. Just like other political parties, this party aims to free British Columbia from corruption.
5. British Columbia Marijuana Party
It is a minor political party that strongly supports the cannabis legislation.
Suffice to say, British Columbia has quite an intricate political system. Nevertheless, the residents of this exemplary Canadian province are active partakers in the governance, to ensure that they’ll be ruled by the right people.
As of today, British Columbia is under the governance of Christy Clark from the British Columbia Liberal Party. In the western part of Canada, aside from Alberta, usually, politics showcased NDP or CCF on the left side, while some other political party on the left side. The current epitome of the BC Liberal Party accomplishes this role in British Columbia. This British Columbia political party is neutral federally and it acquires its associates from the center going to the center right.
From the time it was taken over by Premier Gordon Campbell’s supporters, after Gordon Wilson’s ouster, several people consider this party as an efficient rebirth of the obsolete BC Social Credit Party.