B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan. (Black Press Media files)

Commen-Terry: Early election campaign tactics are tactless

It took no time at all for the darts to start flying in this snap provincial election campaign.

Just hours after NDP leader John Horgan declared the election, the BC NDP and BC Liberal communications teams were in full “attack” mode.

Here’s a smattering of the NDP emails I’ve received.

“BC Liberals contradict public health officials on election safety” (Sept. 21)

“Andrew Wilkinson’s record: tax breaks for the rich” (Sept. 23)

“Andrew Wilkinson’s 30% homelessness spike” (Sept. 25)

“Wilkinson’s plan to eliminate the employer health tax would mean cuts to healthcare or bringing back MSP” (Sept. 26)

“People can’t trust Wilkinson on employer health tax” (Sept. 26)

“Wilkinson’s ‘wacky’ housing policies will drive up housing costs” (Sept. 26)

And here’s what the Liberals have been sending out:

“What happens when John Horgan calls a snap election, he starts with a lie and keeps them coming” (Sept. 27)

“NDP star candidate will fight to kill LNG” (Sept. 28)

“John Horgan left economy in the lurch while he focused on his re-election” (Sept. 28)

“Is Horgan running a ‘no ideas’ campaign or a ‘hidden ideas’ campaign?” (Sept. 29)

See a trend?

It’s somewhat disturbing that, so far, the NDP’s platform consists almost entirely of telling us why the Liberals’ platform is so bad, and vice versa.

(FYI, I’ve yet to receive any emails from the BC Greens since the election was called.)

When I was in sales, I followed one ‘Golden Rule’ faithfully: If you have confidence in your own product, there’s no need to bash the competition.

Apparently, that rule is not in the B.C. politics playbook.

It makes me wonder exactly what the parties are planning on doing to win my vote, because so far, they haven’t told me much about what they plan to do – other than some promised additional MRIs from the NDP, and a promise from the Liberals to cancel the provincial sales tax for a year.

I guess the most pressing issue for all parties is to simply fill the ballots.

It’s understandable for the Liberals and Greens to be scrambling. This wasn’t their call – and their leaders have made their opinions regarding the necessity of this election abundantly clear.

But even the NDP were not completely prepared for this election.

They announced the election without even having candidates in many of the ridings. By the end of the day Sept. 21, they had still yet to name candidates in 40 electoral districts. As of Monday, Sept. 28, the BC NDP still only have candidates declared in 74 of the 87 ridings. Certainly better than the BC Greens, who list 30 candidates, or the BC Liberals – who only show nine candidates on the party’s home page.

(The official list, at elections.bc.ca is even more grim, with only 27 candidates registered as of Monday, Sept. 28 – 14 NDP; 10 Liberals; two Greens and one from the Christian Heritage Party of B.C.)

At this point, we have to be satisfied that we even have a choice in our ridings. Many voters do not. Indeed, that should change by Oct. 2 – the deadline for registering as a candidate.

But one week in, I remain in the dark as to exactly what the purpose of this election is, other than the opportunistic action taken by John Horgan, knowing the other parties are not fully armed.

Terry Farrell is the editor at the Comox Valley Record

***

All-Candidates forum

The Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a virtual All Candidates meeting on Oct. 8, at 6 p.m. for the Courtenay-Comox riding. At press time, the riding had two candidates: NDP candidate Ronna-Rae Leonard, who is seeking a second term as our MLA, and Liberal Brennan Day.

Community members are invited to watch this live-stream event to learn about candidates’ ideas and platforms for the Courtenay-Comox riding. More information for this virtual event can be found at www.comoxvalleychamber.com

If you have a question for the candidates or a candidate, please email questions@comoxvalleychamber.com prior to Oct. 2.

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