Sunday, February 24, 2013

Is Anyone up to run a Liberal Challenge on the North Coast?

Saturday night Premier Christy Clark introduced a large number of BC Liberal contenders for riding's in the upcoming Spring election, but if there is a North Coast candidate for the BC Liberals to be revealed, it apparently is going to be a pretty well guarded secret for now.

The Premier held a pre-campaign kickoff in Vancouver on Saturday, with sixty candidates serving as the backdrop of what will be Team Christy heading into the May election, a collection of Liberals ready for what appears to be a tough electoral road ahead if the recent polls are any indication. Poll-- February 19, 2013
BC Election 2013 Poll-- January 30, 2013
Mustel Poll-- January 29, 2013
Robbins Research Poll-- January 26, 2013
Angus Reid Poll-- January 21, 2013

And while those of the high profile and the relative unknowns were assembled for the public unveiling on Saturday, residents on the North Coast still have no idea if anyone is ready to step into the spotlight and offer up a challenge to the recently nominated Jennifer Rice for the NDP.

While it's perhaps understandable that the BC Liberals may be having a problem finding a candidate to take on the challenge of one of the safest of NDP seats in the Legislature, there is perhaps a window of opportunity for the right candidate, should someone be inclined to take the risk.

With development of resources and of the expansion of the port an important economic issue for the North Coast, many residents are still waiting for some kind of indication as to the plan from the NDP and the thoughts of the local candidate on those north coast development issues.

As things seem to stand at the moment, without a candidate for any other party, but in particular for the currently governing Liberals, the NDP in effect will be getting a free ride on the North Coast. Able to run a rather pedestrian campaign in the local riding, with no need to  explain where they sit on the many topics that may be of interest to North Coast voters.

So far, publicly anyways, the riding appears to be but a one woman show, with Ms. Rice, who is currently holding down the position of city councillor in Prince Rupert, the only declared candidate set for the upcoming election.

The BC Liberals and the BC Conservative party have both nominated candidates in the Terrace - Kitimat riding of Skeena to provide some competition for the NDP's Robin Austin, but just an hour and half west there has been nothing but silence from both parties.

Perhaps the local Liberals and Conservatives are just biding their time waiting until the election is closer, but to run an effective campaign, it would seem that the sooner your candidate is out there getting known, the better your chances on election day may be.

The task is perhaps daunting for the two other parties, however untested provincially as she is, one might think that Councillor Rice may not have as easy a task as the NDP might believe of claiming the riding that Gary Coons has held for the NDP since 2005.

A solid candidate for the BC Liberals could eat away at that margin of the last victory and depending on the campaign of Ms. Rice, could even possibly reclaim it for the Liberals.

Though considering the polls and the tired nature of the Liberal government, that is perhaps a long shot at best. Which may explain why, thus far, no one has found the prospect of a campaign something worthy of a run.

Which is too bad, it's one thing to earn your way to Victoria in a hard fought election campaign.

But to have the other side effectively run up a white flag on the whole concept, doesn't do much for the people that live in the riding, or for the electoral process either.

Some of the reviews of the BC Liberal pre-election kick off can be found below.

Vancouver Sun-- B. C. Premier Christy Clark unveils candidates, talks economy in run-up to May 14 election
Vancouver Province-- Clark kick-starts campaign, introduces B. C. Liberal Party candidates
Globe and Mail-- B. C. Liberals try to pump up candidates for 'close election' at boot camp
The Tyee-- At pre-election kick-off, Premier Clark pushes debt as key wedge issue
CBC-- Christy Clark kicks off pre-campaign

On Monday, CFTK offered up the following reviews of the nomination situation in the Northwest.

Northwest Ridings soon to have BC Liberal Candidates
NW Liberal Candidates (video)

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