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Undecided voter panel discusses intergovernmental relations

Jayne Craig, who works in education administration at Capilano University, poses for a photo on the campus grounds March 7, 2013. Craig is still undecided as to whom she will vote for in the coming provincial election.

Jeff Vinnick/The Globe and Mail

This week, our panel of undecided voters has been discussing how the province's next government can be expected to get along with other levels of government, especially in light of the dispute with Ottawa over the closing of the Kitsilano Coast Guard station. What follows are edited excerpts from that online conversation.

The closure of the Kits base shows that the federal government is going to do what it wants, regardless how much opposition it runs into at the provincial or local level. To be successful with them, the provincial government will need to have the ear of the federal government and be able to head off items like this before they go public; once an announcement has been made, Mr. Harper will not back down or change his mind. To effect change, the premier will need to be in that inner circle. Regardless of who is elected, I think that is unlikely. – Don Rinald, Nanaimo

As anyone who has been in business negotiations [knows], they can get quite nasty if both parties don't share common values and priorities. But they can also go well if the two parties can agree on a common goal and vision. My initial perception of a BC NDP-federal Conservative relationship would be a bit of both: an agreement on pertinent issues, but a large disconnect in how to go about solving them. – Blair Mirau, Prince Rupert

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If we had a different method of electing our MLAs (single transferrable vote?) and got away from the traditional method of sticking to the party platform, the provincial government would function differently: Each individual MLA would better represent their constituents. Then if that MLA had a good relationship with the federal counterpart … and the federal government allowed MPs to be more active and take a larger role in governing, perhaps the provinces would be better off. Too many decisions are made by cabinets alone and the backbenchers are, well, really backbenchers. The goal is for all levels of government to work together in harmony for the benefit of us taxpayers. – Larry Law, Powell River

I feel there is a large disconnect [between the] federal government and what we are trying to do out here. So my leader/party would have to be able to take a stand for B.C. – Chris Pond, Summerland

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