Yesterday, reporters were treated to another Andrew Weaver news conference in which he refused to say whom he would support for premier.
The B.C. Greens will hold the balance of power in the B.C. legislature and it caught the attention of some that this Green "caucus" event was missing one MLA-elect: Sonia Furstenau.
Weaver explained that she wanted to spend time with her family and her absence was quickly forgotten.
Furstenau captured the Cowichan Valley seat for the Greens. Many of the constituency's residents were militantly opposed to the B.C. Liberals for promoting a contaminated-waste facility that locals saw as a threat to their water supply.
Eventually, the province was beaten back in a successful court challenge.
During this controversy, Weaver made all the right noises, calling for the resignation of Environment Minister Mary Polak.
But now, he's talking up the importance of a "stable minority government", leaving some to wonder if he's preparing to back the B.C. Liberals.
That's because the B.C. Liberals with the Greens would have a 46-41 lead in the legislature. That's far more stable than a 44-43 lead that the Greens and NDP would have over the B.C. Liberals.
Others, like former Gordon Campbell chief of staff Martyn Brown, think Weaver is laying a foundation for backing the NDP's John Horgan as premier.
And still others, like former Globe and Mail journalist Rod Mickleburgh, are getting tired of Weaver making media pronouncements that continue to leave people guessing about what's going to happen next week.
Here are my thoughts on this issue, for whatever they might be worth.
Saanich North and the Islands Green MLA Adam Olsen will go along with whatever Weaver and Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May prefer. Olsen's seat is in May's riding and she's the Queen Bee of the Green movement in Canada.
Olsen won his seat because he took enough votes from the B.C. Liberal-leaning seniors in Sidney, who were likely worried about the effect of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, and Green-minded environmentalists and anti-establishment types living on the Gulf Islands. North Saanich was B.C. Liberal turf for many years until the Greens became strong enough to siphon away sufficient votes to get New Democrat Gary Holman elected in 2013.
Fursteneau, on the other hand, knows that the moment she backs the B.C. Liberals, her political career is in serious jeopardy. She's in a traditional NDP area that loathes the B.C. Liberals for their environmental record.
Weaver was elected again in Oak Bay–Gordon Head, which is a wealthy constituency that only went NDP in a 1989 by-election and the 1991 general election when the greeenish Elizabeth Cull captured the seat. This year, the B.C. Liberal candidate came second behind Weaver in Oak Bay–Gordon Head.
So in essence, Weaver probably doesn't have to worry about being recalled if he keeps Christy Clark in power. Olsen might face a recall movement, but in the end he's not going to defy May or Weaver if they decide to support the B.C. Liberal government.
Furstenau, however, will probably have no option but to cross the floor and join the NDP caucus if her two caucus colleages decide to prop up Clark in the premier's office.
So the next question becomes: under what circumstances could Weaver justify keeping Clark in power?
Clark is going to give Weaver whatever he demands with regard to proportional representation and campaign finance reform. It's the only way she can stay premier. And she knows that once her party moves to the opposition benches, she'll likely be purged.
The two other big stumbling blocks are the Kinder Morgan pipeline and the Site C dam. Clark supports them and Weaver and the Greens are opposed. May, in particular, is a staunch and determined critic of the pipeline. And she's whipped up her constituents and much of Vancouver Island to see this as an existential threat to their tourism-based economy and way of life.
Yet at the same time, the NDP is the biggest obstacle to the federal Greens achieving a breakthrough on Vancouver Island. May sees the NDP as her biggest problem at the federal level now that the Conservatives have been vanquished.
Here's how Weaver, May, and Olsen could justify keeping the B.C. Liberals in power:
* Weaver has already been laying the groundwork by emphasizing the importance of a stable minority government to obtain proportional representation and campaign finance reform;
* Weaver could say that the Kinder Morgan pipeline project is already likely kaput because it will be stymied in the courts by legal challenges;
* failing that, Weaver could say that Kinder Morgan isn't going to meet its deadline to obtain financing for the project to go ahead;
* and moreover, he could claim that it's a federal issue and the province has little constitutional clout in this area.
That would deal with Kinder Morgan.
And what about the $8.8-billion Site C dam, which Weaver campaigned so vigorously against? Yesterday, he talked about the Greens not being able to get everything they want. And this could be the bargaining chip that the Greens are willing to give up in return for what they really want: proportional representation and campaign finance reform, which give them a shot at remaining a force in provincial politics for years to come.
Weaver could justify this by claiming that Site C is hydroelectric and not carbon-fuelled power. And Clark could promise to sell this electricity to Alberta to offset coal-fired power, thereby reducing greenhouse gases nationally and helping the Trudeau government justify the Kinder Morgan project.
I'm not saying that this is what's going to happen next week. But I also won't be surprised if things unfold this way.
If that's the case, then Furstenau will be the odd one out, and she's going to have some difficult choices to make in the weeks to come.