'N' might give you keys, but you still must pass the test

When I turned 16, there was nothing I wanted more than my driver's licence.

On my 16th birthday, I took the test for the learner's permit, a month later I took my driver's test and had my full class 5 in my hands. A terror on the streets was unleashed! While I wanted to get my hands on the wheel as fast as I could, I think the new system with the "L" and "N" is a good idea. You'll get your partial licence, but there will be a lot of eyes on you for a while, until you prove yourself to be responsible.

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Ironically, that seems to be the same for our new provincial government.

After several weeks, and a lot of political theatre, we finally have an outcome from our May 9 election.

John Horgan will lead an NDP government, with the support of the Greens. Once a new speaker is put in place from the now governing party, it's an even split on either side of the aisle.

If being in opposition is like having an "L," the new government, with the house as it sits, is a little like passing the test for an "N."

An "N" gives you the keys, but only so much control. Not too many friends in the car, don't stay out too late. Drive too fast, get caught with a phone in your hand or even a whiff of alcohol on your breath and you lose the privilege, and start over. Oddly similar to the situation in Victoria.

The "N" is a chance to prove yourself - you can be responsible on the road, make good decisions and be worthy of being in charge.

Now imagine you are trying to do everything right, but the car has a different idea. Despite your best efforts, sometimes it may have a mind of its own. Any one of 42 things can go wrong on you at any time that can derail your pursuit of graduating to the full licence.

Every government has a few people who have things go wrong. free government, and being new, There has never been a scandal-with lots of MLAs who have just been elected for the first time, is ripe for challenges. Pile on top of that a reliance on another party to stay in power, and you've got a very tall order facing you.

It won't take much for this house of cards to come down. One person misses a flight or a ferry, sleeps in or gets stuck in traffic, and there's an imbalance in the legislature.

Much like the Liberals took a few pages from the Green and NDP playbooks for the Throne Speech, the NDP should be looking for ways to calm the nerves of Liberal supporters. That will be difficult given all the promises made during the campaign.

In six months, if people are feeling "things aren't as bad as I thought it would be," perhaps this new government will survive for a while.

Just remember that everyone is still seeing that "N" hanging in the rear window.

Brad Sherwin, MBA has over 25 years'experience in marketing, public relations and business strategy. He is currently the director of marketing for a national non-profit organization.

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