As election speculation continues to rage in BC, a prominent political adviser has some advice for the provincial lieutenant governor: If Prime Minister John Horgan comes looking for an election, she “should send him to think about it”.
Norman Spector’s letter to Janet Austin appeared on the front page of the Colonist Victoria Times on Wednesday as the Prime Minister continued to avoid questions about whether he would send voters to the polls amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
It has generally been agreed that the lieutenant governor is constitutionally required to accept and act on the advice of the head of government, Spector wrote, but she also has the right to advise, encourage and warn him.
Prime Minister John Horgan avoids questions about the fall BC elections
“If Prime Minister Horgan insists on a dissolution of the Legislature at this stage of the mandate, you will have no choice but to accept the request,” he said.
“In light of the current situation in the province, however, you will be fully entitled not to accept such a request on the spot.”
Spector was on the BC Green Party negotiating team that eventually led to the party supporting the BC NDP in the 2017 election, allowing Horgan to form the government.
He suggested that Austin remind the Prime Minister of the next election date, October 16, 2021, and that if he calls for elections before this time, he would break part of the negotiated agreement with the Greens that allowed him to take power three years ago.
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Horgan has repeatedly failed to deny that he is planning for an early election this fall. His party has announced a flood of new candidates in recent days, while some current MLAs have said they will not run for re-election.
Spector also suggested that Austin encourage the Prime Minister to maintain the non-partisanship that Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial officer Dr. Bonnie Henry have incited during the pandemic.
“This non-partisanship will be dispersed and the effectiveness of pandemic management will be compromised if the Prime Minister chooses elections for one reason and only one reason; that is, his priority in public opinion polls.”
Preparing for possible fall provincial elections
At an offline press conference, Dix was asked several times if he supports a choice as the number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital has doubled over the past week.
“We will deal with it [the pandemic] beyond October 2021, ”he said.
“At some point in time, there will be a general election. “And I think it’s possible, of course, to do it safely.”
The Prime Minister’s Office did not respond to a request for comment on Spector’s letter.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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