Friday, April 12, 2013

And then there were three..

With the writ to the 2013 Provincial election set to be dropped on Tuesday, North Coast voters now have three names for consideration for their May 14th date with the democratic process.

Friday brought word that the Green Party had officially entered the race for the North Coast seat at the Legislature, as North West Community College instructor Hondo Arendt, once again has stepped forward for the Greens to contest the election.

Mr. Arendt last campaigned as a provincial candidate for the Greens in the  election campaign of 2005 receiving 5.72 per cent of the vote, Lisa Girbav carried the Green flag into the election campaign for 2009, attracting 7.67 per cent of the vote.

He joins NDP candidate and City Councillor Jennifer Rice and Liberal candidate Judy Fraser, in the quest to represent the voters of the North Coast at the Legislature in Victoria.

Such are the recent developments in the North Coast Political race, that the Green Party had yet to update their own provincial election portal with the news, as Mr. Arendt, has yet to take his place in the gallery of Green candidates for the May election.

His arrival to the campaign might be a final sign that the draft Joanna Larson campaign has run its course. There was a move in late February, to encourage Ms. Larson's entry into the race as an Independent candidate. However, in the subsequent weeks the topic has seemingly remained on a very low boil among the would be followers.

The Green Party has previously outlined that it does not intend to contest in four key riding's which feature Independent candidates. A decision which leaves one to wonder whether their inclinations would have carried over onto the North Coast, should we have had a declared Independent.

With that in mind, you have to ponder the thought, that perhaps the Greens have received a heads up from the Larson camp that she intends to sit this one out and thus, the entry of Mr. Arendt for his party.

With time running short towards the launch of the actual campaign period, North Coast voters will be awaiting some kind of official word from the Draft Joanna collective, as to whether she will join the contest and really stir up the local political scene.

As for Mr. Arendt's campaign, he brings to the riding some ready made talking points courtesy of his party, which has been very vocal over the last while as to where they see British Columbia and where they would like to take it.

The Green Party so far is actually the only party that has outlined a complete policy review for the public, providing  background on each and every item that they have on their agenda and leaving little in the way of ambiguity on the issues.

For instance, on the topic of LNG development in British Columbia the Greens have been quite upfront about their thoughts on the process of fracking and the associated development of LNG

The Liberals, as we have discovered are on the full speed ahead train, while the NDP has left the topic in a fuzzy kind of limbo, with no real tangible delivery of policy on the topic thus far.

For those that find the prospect of LNG development a concern, it would seem that the Greens could siphon  off a good share of the NDP vote, should that party not provide a policy to merge with voters thoughts on the topic.

Another area where Mr. Arendt and his party may find some common ground in the riding is with their fishery policy, which we reviewed earlier this month.

A concept which would seem to be one that would find favour with many NDP supporters on the North Coast, a fair number of whom may feel that not enough is being done on that file

There are other areas where the Green Party offers up policy that is very different from both the Liberals and NDP, some of which may find a receptive audience along the North Coast, others that will have their opponents anxious to get their own message across.

All of which makes the entry of Mr. Arendt into the now three way race, a very interesting addition to the discussion.

You can follow the election campaign in the Northwest from our Election Desk portal, which features items of note on all of the candidates on their way to Election Day.

Media reviews of Mr. Arendt's entry to the race can be found below.

Northern View-- Third candidate enters provincial election race on the North Coast

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