Technically they can’t call an election as we have fixed election dates now …[/quote]
… actually they can call an election.
The Lieutenant-Governor can still dissolve the legislature at any time, just like before. All the fixed term (section 23 of the BC Constitution Act) changed is that, whatever else happens, an election must be held on the second Tuesday in May every four years (counting from 2005). So there could be an election anytime before 2013 if the governing Liberals lose a vote of confidence in the legislature. At the rate things are going, that may not be out of the realm of possibility.
When Bennett is expelled from the Liberal causus, which will happen imminently, they will be down to 47. The NDP stands at 34 (after James sacked Simpson) while the Independents will be at 4 (Huntington, Lekstrom, Simpson, soon to be joined by Bennett). Assuming that James isn’t stupid enough to kick anyone else out of her caucus, 5 more dismissals or defections from the Liberals and the Independents would hold the balance of power.
Bennett is a bit haywire no doubt, but the other three Independents are pretty sensible. When one considers levels of dissatisfaction with party politics generally and with Gordo and James in particular, there is something fitting about the emergence of a significant number of Independents.
As for James, she just doesn’t seem to know what to do. The strongest support she seems to be able to muster is that 16 prominent New Democrats, all of them former MLAs, have signed some pledge of support, as if that means anything. Sure the Liberals are in self-destruct, but James certainly isn’t profiting from the situation. Maybe the NDP are going through their own form of meltdown.