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Canada COMMENTARY: John Horgan’s risky snap provincial election in B.C. will be watched closely

18:41  22 september  2020
18:41  22 september  2020 Source:   globalnews.ca

Premier John Horgan meets Lt.-Gov. amid B.C. election speculation

  Premier John Horgan meets Lt.-Gov. amid B.C. election speculation VICTORIA — B.C. Premier John Horgan is meeting with Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin today amid speculation he will call a provincial election. Horgan has called an 11 a.m. news conference following the meeting with the lieutenant-governor. A statement from Horgan's press secretary says the premier "will address how British Columbians deserve a say in our economic recovery and will decide the future of our province." B.C. has a fixed election date set for October 2021, but Horgan has said recently he was considering his political options. The NDP formed a minority government in B.C. three years ago after signing a deal with the Green party.

British Columbia Premier John Horgan called a snap election , arguing Horgan ’ s NDP took office in 2017 through a power-sharing agreement with the provincial Green Party. Horgan was peppered with questions during his news conference about the wisdom of calling an election in the middle of a

John Horgan said the decision was not easy, but argued COVID-19 will be a fact of life for some time to come. After weeks of speculation, B . C . NDP leader John Horgan has made official the worst kept secret in the province : British Columbians are heading to the polls.

John Horgan wearing a suit and tie: B.C. Premier John Horgan provides the latest update on the COVID-19 response in the province during a press conference from the rose garden at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. Horgan says those who have offshore licence plates on their vehicles while driving in the province should take the bus or ride a bicycle if they're feeling harassed by the public. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito B.C. Premier John Horgan provides the latest update on the COVID-19 response in the province during a press conference from the rose garden at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. Horgan says those who have offshore licence plates on their vehicles while driving in the province should take the bus or ride a bicycle if they're feeling harassed by the public. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

If Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gets any bright ideas about triggering a snap election in Canada, maybe he should pay close attention to John Horgan's little power-play gambit, now underway in British Columbia.

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Speaking to reporters on Monday, Premier John Horgan announces he has spoken to Lt-Gov. Janet Austin to dissolve the Legislative assembly to hold a general election in October. Horgan explains when he ‘believes in his heart’ why an election should be held during the COVID-19 pandemic.

B . C . NDP Leader John Horgan has called a snap election for Oct. But Horgan ’ s strategy could backfire, alienating voters who could view the election a politically self-serving move during So there is a risk that it won’t play out.” As speculation around a provincial election grew, several voices

Like Trudeau, Horgan has won public plaudits for his management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also like his federal counterpart, Horgan is governing with a minority mandate in the B.C. legislature.

But while Trudeau has stated publicly that he's not interested in an election this fall, Horgan has been conspicuously evasive on the topic of an election in British Columbia.

Read more: British Columbians heading to the polls on Oct. 24 in fall election

But now the cat is out of the proverbial bag. Horgan this week called an election for Oct. 24, insisting he needs a fresh mandate from the people to steer the province through the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

You can bet Trudeau and his advisers — as well as every other political pundit and strategist in the country — will be watching Horgan's bold move closely.

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Premier John Horgan announced the Oct. 24 general election in a live news conference Monday after asking the lieutenant-governor to dissolve parliament. "I've struggled mightily with this decision and it did not come easily to me," Horgan said from outside his Langford home.

During Monday morning' s snap election call, Horgan said deputy premier Carole James will be taking the reins while he' s busy on the stump. This will be the first election in B . C . held during a state of emergency since the Second World War, and Horgan acknowledged that this election cycle is

Because even though Horgan's New Democrats may be riding high in the polls right now, there's a very good chance his snap-election gamble will backfire.

There are several major problems here for Horgan that make this election look like nothing but a naked power grab.

For one thing, he's breaking his governing agreement with the third-place B.C. Green Party.

The deal guaranteed support from the handful of Green MLAs in the minority parliament, giving Horgan enough votes to vault himself into the premier's office.

The three-year-old agreement says Horgan will not call an early election before October of 2021. Now he's ripping the agreement up and kicking the Greens to the curb.

October 2021 is when the next B.C. election is supposed to be held, enshrined in the province's fixed election law, which Horgan supported.

But he's tossing that aside, too, requesting and receiving an early election from the province's lieutenant governor.

COMMENTARY: John Horgan’s risky snap provincial election in B.C. will be watched closely

  COMMENTARY: John Horgan’s risky snap provincial election in B.C. will be watched closely The new MSN—your customizable collection of the best in news, sports, entertainment, money, weather, travel, health and lifestyle, combined with Outlook, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and more.

Horgan spoke with CTV News on Friday, fresh off of trips this week to the Yukon and Washington state, where he spoke with leaders about ending On Thursday, Horgan met with Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee, who supports moving the entire West Coast of North America to a permanent daylight time.

John Horgan . 36,645 likes · 8,097 talking about this. Premier of British Columbia, leader of the BC NDP and MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. Our Provincial Health Officer Dr. Henry is closely watching a number of factors as we slowly lift restrictions.

Read more: Why did B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan call an election during a pandemic?

Why is Horgan throwing his Green partners under the bus and flouting his own election law?

Because the NDP are so far ahead in the opinion polls, that's why.

Impressed with the government's management of the pandemic, voters have lifted the NDP to new heights of public support.

One recent poll put the New Democrats an astonishing 26 points ahead of the second-place Liberals.

With numbers like that, the New Democrats can practically taste a majority government.

Horgan knows it's a risky move.

But insiders tell me party strategists worry the B.C. economy could decline in the new year, damaging their re-election chances if he waits.

Others worry that the Site C dam — a hydroelectric megaproject — could go badly over budget in the new year, further hurting Horgan.

Meanwhile, the snap election call is designed to catch Horgan's opponents flat-footed.

Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson has low name recognition with voters. And the Greens have a brand-new leader in Sonia Furstenau, who has an even lower profile.

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John Horgan becomes premier and names his cabinet. Richard Zussman & Justin McElroy · CBC News · Posted: Jul 18 After a historic provincial election that took nearly two months to resolve, the B . C . NDP has officially taken power. WATCH : B . C .' s new NDP government is sworn into office.

John Horgan has selected the Cabinet of British Columbia' s official new NDP Cabinet. So, how does our executive branch look? This might be both my most boring video, and the video that most needs to be watched several times to fully grasp.

Put it all together and the New Democrats think they'll never get a better opportunity to seize majority power.

But there are huge risks for Horgan, too, including a continuing surge of new COVID-19 cases.

If the infection rate spikes during the campaign, angry voters could punish Horgan for calling a power-grab election during a public-health emergency.

It could look even worse for Horgan if there is a major COVID-19 outbreak in the school system.

It's a high-risk, high-reward strategy that will be watched closely elsewhere in Canada.

Read more: B.C. Premier John Horgan’s approval rating soars to record levels amid pandemic: poll

With Trudeau about to launch a new pandemic strategy with an ambitious throne speech, opposition parties wonder if his "no election" spin is as phony as Horgan's.

Political observers in Canada will now get a look at a bold political experiment in British Columbia.

If Horgan comes out of this with a majority mandate, he'll look like a genius and Trudeau might be tempted to copy him.

But if this blows up in Horgan's face, and voters punish him for calling an unnecessary election during a global pandemic, it could go down as a historic blunder.

Stay tuned.

Mike Smyth is host of ‘The Mike Smyth Show’ on Global News Radio 980 CKNW in Vancouver and a commentator for Global News. You can reach him at mike@cknw.com and follow him on Twitter at @MikeSmythNews​.

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