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October 28, 2017 3:30 am

More candidates the merrier

Thursday, July 9, 2015 @ 3:45 AM

By Bill Phillips 

We thought it was tough last fall when there were more than 20 people running for city council.

That’s nothing.

The Moricetown Band, just west of Smithers, is holding elections for chief and council on July 16. There are 17 people running for chief and 81 people running for five councillor seats.

Now that’s choice. The band has about 1,600 members with about 800 living on-reserve and 800 off. That’s about six per cent of the total population running for office. Whether interest in running, which usually means people want a change, translates into a high turnout at the ballot box remains to be see.

I suspect that the Moricetown elections should get at least a six per cent voter turnout.

While there certainly is lots of buzz about the upcoming federal election, it isn’t translating into a plethora of candidates yet.

The Conservatives have had their candidates in place for quite some time. In Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies incumbent Bob Zimmer is seeking re-election, so the only surprise there would have been if he wasn’t running. But he is and, so far, none of the other parties have named a candidate (running scared?).

The NDP have stated they have some possible candidates, but no one has stepped forward yet. The same goes for the Liberals and Greens. It’s likely they will field candidates, but time’s a-wastin’ if anyone wants to mount a serious challenge in the Conservative stronghold.

ThreeHundredEight.com, a website that offering election predictions based on an amalgamation of all polls (rather than the one-offs), suggests the Conservatives have a 71 per cent chance of winning the riding. The numbers is down from 88 per cent about a month ago, but still pretty solid Conservative territory.

It would take either Zimmer making a major faux pas or Jack Layton rising from the grave to wrest the riding out of the Conservatives’ hands.

In Cariboo-Prince George it’s a bit of a different story, even though the Conservatives have beaten everyone to the punch in getting a candidate in place.

Todd Doherty won the nomination last fall and has been stomping the hustings ever since.

The NDP, for some reason, still hasn’t had its candidate selection meeting, which was slated for late June, pushed to early July, and has now been pushed to late July. It’s understandable to push the nomination meeting back when you don’t have candidates, but Trent Derrick, Debora Munoz, and Laura Zimmerman all announced back in May they will seeking the nomination.

I’m not sure why the NDP are hesitating on getting their candidate picked because, as mentioned, time’s a-wastin’. It’s also interesting to note that the local media has paid very little attention to the NDP nomination race, but it slathered over every nuance of Conservative one (although I will admit the Conservative race had plenty of drama).

As for the Liberals and Greens in Cariboo-Prince George … still nothing.

And the riding race could get interesting. ThreeHundredEight.com gives the New Democrats a 67 per cent chance of winning the seat. That is a complete reversal of a month ago when it gave the Conservatives a 63 per cent chance of winning.

Is the Orange Tide creeping in? It’s a good showing for the NDP, even without a candidate in place. However, the good showing may be because they don’t have a candidate in place.

Then there’s out west where New Democrat finance critic Nathan Cullen is seeking another term. So what does ThreeHundredEight.com say about the Skeena-Bulkley Valley riding? It gives the New Democrats a 98 per cent chance of winning. Out there, it’s the Conservatives who are having trouble drumming up someone willing to take a drubbing.

We don’t need to follow the Moricetown example, but I’ve always supported choice at the ballot box … and more choices are better.

Bill Phillips is a freelance columnist living in Prince George. He was the winner of the 2009 Best Editorial award at the British Columbia/Yukon Community Newspaper Association’s Ma Murray awards, in 2007 he won the association’s Best Columnist award. In 2004, he placed third in the Canadian Community Newspaper best columnist category and, in 2003, placed second. He can be reached at billphillips1@mac.com





If I were part of the news media, and I am not, I would look at the way that things have played out so far. You can equate the Conservative nomination race to a combination of an episode of Cutthroat kitchen and House of Cards. The knives were out right from the start and it all began with a palace coup. You had dippers selling conservative memberships and dippers buying them up like they were tickets to a Shania Twain concert. The candidate who was touted to win wasn’t allowed to run. The ballot box traveled to each of the 3 major surrounding communities and they had to rent the curling club to hold the vote. Almost 2,000 “members” voted.

Contrast that with the dipper nomination race. Let’s summarize the news so far. Three candidates, or more, are running. Three time municipal losing candidate lowers sights and runs for seat on the Chamber Board. Well that was disappointing he loses again. Munoz is the name of a real person. Williams Lake candidate spotted pulling small red wagon in stampede parade.

The Federal Liberal Party is listed on the internet so they must exist.

So as we ponder why the news coverage has been like it is here is my slathering scale. 5 equals – holy crap can’t wait to see what happens next and 1 meaning move on nothing to see here. I would rank the Cons as a 5 and the dippers as a 1.

Global just recently published a story showing most government spending was happening in Conservative ridings they are at risk of losing. Perhaps if we didn’t keep voting so predictably and would consider another party, our ridings could benefit from some spending.

You are correct pgjohn, but most of the conservative voters are too arrogant to realize this fact,or maybe just not as smart as they think they are.

so we should vote for a nobody to sit on the back bench and do nothing on the off chance that next election those in power will throw some money at our area? Pretty sound reasoning there…

Here is what is going to happen in accordance with Conservative – Reform style politics; a rock or a stick gets nominated, rock or stick wins the election. Rock or stick rents a cheap one bedroom apartment in PG as a primary place of residency, rock or stick immediately moves to the Okanagan Valley. Rock or stick sits as a quiet and obedient backbencher for the next 4 years. Next election rinse and repeat.

Wow, Sophie, whoever you vote for must be really pathetic if they can’t even beat out a rock or a stick to win an election!

Perhaps if you nominated something other than a turd….

Its a shame we don’t have some better choice. I had considered running, but I’m not qualified to run a winning campaign because of a past bankruptcy. Best I can offer is some meme ideas that others might pick up on.

It would be nice to have a candidate to get behind though. I like Sheldon Clare so far in the Cariboo riding. I will most likely vote for an independent at this point.

I think Mulclair would make the best Prime Minister of the three contenders, but there is no way I could vote for their current slate of local candidates.

I use to like Trudeau as a possibility, but he blew it big time when he kicked out of the party anyone that was pro life… and I think the issue is far from settled when it comes to many issues related to the pro life cause. Banning a core ideological belief from discussion is a sign of future totalitarianism that is a slippery slope defined by the dear leader and the whims of his changing mind on issues that will never be on the ballot.

Eagleone states; “… but there is no way I could vote for their current (NDP) slate of local candidates.”

Yet you would vote for two backbenchers who never achieved anything substantial for their ridings, one of which doesn’t even live in the riding? Wow… o_O

Eagleone goes on to state; “I use to like Trudeau as a possibility, but he blew it big time when he kicked out of the party anyone that was pro-life (sic)…”

You do realize that Trudeau was standing up for Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms don’t you Eagleone? Any woman living in Canada has the Supreme Court of Canada sanctioned, and supported, “right” to choose” whether or not they want to have an abortion. Even so, there are medical expert defined limits as to how close to full term, the fetus is, before it cannot be aborted. These limits and safeguards I, and a majority of Canadians, support and find practical and reasonable.

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