To say that things are interesting in the political world is an understatement.
Last week's UK election proved that campaigns do matter, seeing the ruling Conservatives going from a massive lead in public opinion to minority status.
Watching the circus in the U.S. has become as riveting as the OJ trial of two decades ago (has it been that long?).
Here at home, we have had the most dramatic and compelling couple of weeks politically than we have ever had. You couldn't script a tenser, more nervewracking outcome, coming down to one riding determining whether we have a minority or majority government. Political watchers rejoice! Next week, the Liberal government will recall the legislature, and it's anticipated will then lose a confidence vote. An agreement between the NDP and the Greens will likely mean an opportunity to form a government. How long that government lasts, with such a small majority, is another story.
I think this might be a good thing.
There were obviously issues that many voters felt needed addressing. On the surface, this should have been a cakewalk for the Liberals. We have the lowest unemployment in the country.
Another stat that didn't get mentioned, which is a more important measure of personal financial health, is the ability to pay one's bills, as measured by the 90-day delinquency rates on non-mortgage debt.
According to Equifax, one of Canada's leading credit bureaus, B.C. and Vancouver have the lowest rates in the country - by far. What that says, for the vast majority, is people are paying their bills and providing for their families. There are many other issues we deal with, but ultimately, isn't this the key thing we want our governments to do? Provide the framework for us to provide for our families? Regardless, people wanted change, and change is what we will see. Sometimes change is good, but it can also not be good. It all depends on the outcome. And that's why I think we are in a good place.
The NDP and Greens will have the opportunity to show what they have talked about for a long time. There were many promises made during the election which they will now have to either implement or walk away from. A $15 minimum wage, $10 a day daycare, fighting Kinder Morgan, potentially halting the Site C dam, eliminating tolls - these are big issues that will have long-lasting impacts on our province.
Whatever this coalition brings forward, it is not likely to last long. Most political observers have noted that we will likely be back at the poll in 12 to 18 months. But it is a chance for this coalition to show British Columbians what their vision of governing will look like, but won't likely be able to implement most of it before we have the chance to decide if it's the change we are looking for.
The last time the NDP was in government, the result was being voted out of office with only two MLAs remaining. Now we'll see if they truly were a government in waiting, or a speed bump on B.C.'s political history.
I'd bet the Americans wish they were in our shoes right now.
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.