The Green Party of B.C. is sending its first member to the B.C. Legislature, following the election of University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver.
The deputy leader of the B.C. Green party will represent the riding of Oak Bay–Gordon Head in what Weaver notes is the first time a Green party politician has been elected to a provincial legislature in Canada.
“I think from that perspective it’s broken an important barrier,” he said in a phone interview. “Elizabeth May broke the federal barrier, and we’ve now broken the provincial barrier as well.”
Weaver noted that the B.C. Greens hope to follow the example set by May, the leader of the federal Green party, in Ottawa.
“I would argue strongly that her impact as one individual is more powerful than 100 Tory backbenchers,” he stated. “She has had way more influence on Canadian politics, because what you can do is you can raise issues in a manner that is not hyper-partisan, and one where you haven’t stuck your finger up to the wind and seen which way the public opinion has blown.”
The professor said he hopes to be able to demonstrate how politics can be done differently.
“Frankly, I think if we get beyond these hyper-partisan politics, we’d move a lot further ahead in British Columbia, and we wouldn’t be viewed from afar across Canada as kind of a place where politics is a bit of a circus,” he said. “It doesn’t need to be that way.”
In Weaver’s view, his win in the riding of former B.C. Liberal cabinet minister Ida Chong is a sign of public support for that kind of change.
“If you run a strong campaign…and you have a candidate who’s got deep roots within the community, Green party people can win in British Columbia because people want change, and they want to see politics done differently,” he said.