Furstenau wins leadership race, calls idea of election ‘irresponsible’
It did not take long for newly minted BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau to address the prospect of a fall election during the pandemic.
“John Horgan, I say you have a responsibility to govern, not play politics,” Furstenau said in her acceptance speech.
She accused the premier of preparing to “leave the province leaderless” in a bid to consolidate his party’s power and urged him not to “succumb to the old ways of doing politics” after three years of collaborative governance with the Greens.
Furstenau touted the Green caucus’s record of working with the NDP on some issues — such as banning big money from provincial politics and reforming B.C.’s oversight of natural resource industries — while holding the NDP’s feet to the fire on other issues, including LNG development.
She emphasized her belief in collaborative politics over the traditional adversarial approach, offering shout-outs to Liberal house leader Mary Polak and Katrina Chen, the NDP minister of state for child care, for their willingness to work across party lines..
“This is not a common practice in the BC legislature — the political structures we have in place reinforce hyper partisanship, perpetuating the myth this is just how politics is done,” she said.
Furstenau promised Green voters will have a “slate of thoughtful, hard-working BC Green candidates” to choose from when the next election is called.
Just over 4,659 Green Party members and supporters cast ballots in the leadership race for a total turnout of 85 per cent. The successful candidate needed 2,318 votes to secure their win.
The first ranked ballot was indecisive — Kim Darwin received 521 votes, Cam Brewer got 1,916 and Furstenau secured 2,197.
With Darwin eliminated, Furstenau won the second ballot by over 300 votes, scoring 2,428 votes to Brewer’s 2,127.
Former Green Party leader turned Independent MLA Andrew Weaver was quick to offer his congratulations to his successor. Weaver served as an advisor on Brewer’s campaign.