Stephen Hill says he accepts that the knives will likely be out for him during Tuesday’s federal all-candidates forum in Nelson.
“I guarantee Nelson will be my most hostile crowd,” the BC Southern Interior Conservative candidate told the Star.
However, he doesn’t plan to change his approach, and isn’t thinking of pulling out.
“I just smile, answer the questions and people are entitled to their opinion. Let’s face it: these forums are not about people making up their minds as to which candidate to choose, they’re about trying to slag the opponent and make the other guy look bad.”
Hill cites a poll that suggests 83 per cent of voters have already decided who they will support. “The forums are kind of silly because such a small number of people are actually still making up their minds,” he says.
He notes last week’s forum in Castlegar conflicted with a Canucks playoff game (as will the session in Nelson), while a sparsely attended all-candidates meeting in Midway coincided with a packed dance in Rock Creek.
“It really tells you what people’s interests are,” Hill says. “I don’t know how big the hockey fans are in Nelson, but I have a feeling we’ll have a fairly decent crowd. I think they’re a little bit more passionate [about politics] in Nelson.”
The forum in the Hume Room of the Hume Hotel runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, and will include both public and media questions, plus one-on-one debates between individual candidates.