If it feels like there has been little spark in the Nelson-Creston race for MLA, you are right. One of the most important election campaigns in this province’s history is wrapping up, but locally you can hear the crickets chirping.
It’s somewhat concerning, but not completely unexpected.
It’s not that the three candidates hoping to be sent to Victoria on Tuesday have not been working hard. The Green Party’s Sjeng Derkx, the Liberals’ Greg Garbula and NDP’s Michelle Mungall have all been pounding pavement for support. They’ve done what is expected of a candidate in a campaign, but ultimately little fuel has been poured on the competitive political fire.
One indicator of a close or heated election race in a rural British Columbia riding is when party leaders roll into town with their busses and fanfare. In 2009 both NDP leader Carole James and Liberal leader Gordon Campbell paid a visit to Nelson during the campaign. Both parties obviously felt Mungall and then-Liberal candidate Josh Smienk could use the boost. That extra excitement caused by the visit can make a difference in a close race.
It would appear that none of the local candidates in this year’s race can be found in the campaign war rooms of Vancouver. No leaders have come and we’ve been told that none plan last minute visits. Regardless of how the Nelson-Creston race turns out, that’s disturbing in its own right.
This election has been hardest fought in the Lower Mainland, where the political heart of the province is located. And though that is somewhat disheartening, it’s not an excuse for not caring.
We’re not going to predict, prompt or pretend to know how the Nelson-Creston race will end up Tuesday night. What we will do is encourage you to vote. Even though the local race has been somewhat invisible, you still have a opportunity to make a difference. See you at the polls.