The provincial election is now over, and although the results (at least locally) were not a huge surprise, I must say I was pleasantly surprised during the campaign.
There is a common conception in many ridings in this province that there are only two legitimate options.
A vote for the Conservative or Green candidate is a wasted vote, and in the end will only benefit the party that you don’t want to win.
The Columbia River Revelstoke riding proved that idea wrong. There were four strong candidates who expressed their views, and also acknowledged the financial realities the provincial government is in.
Earl Olsen (BC Conservatives) and Laurel Ralston (Green Party) threw their hats into a tight race between incumbent Norm Macdonald (NDP) and Doug Clovechok (BC Liberal), who had ample time to prepare his campaign.
I had assumed the two relative newcomers would be completely overshadowed by Macdonald and Clovechok.
I was wrong.
The crux of the campaign, for me, was the All Candidates Forum hosted in Golden a week before the vote.
I expected the evening to be a battle between two political heavyweights, with two rookies either struggling to keep up, or fumbling with nerves.
Olsen and Ralston not only held their own, in some cases they completely stole the show.
They both spoke clearly and passionately about what they believed in, were well educated about provincial issues, as well as their party platforms, and were also personable and approachable in a community that neither of them live in.
The Conservative and Green Parties struggled at the voting booths both locally and provincially. But I am very impressed with the campaign that was run locally.
I would like to congratulate all four candidates for a hard fought battle. But in particular, I would like to thank Olsen and Ralston for showing the community that we have more than two options.