By Andrew Mitchell, Claire Piech and Jesse Ferreras
Less than one week from now the 2009 Provincial General Election will all be over but for the screaming, which never really stops anyway.
The voters of West Vancouver-Sea to Sky will have chosen their Member of the Legislative Assembly, and the people of B.C. will have chosen their Premier and whether to ditch the first-past-the-post electoral system in favour of proportional representation through the Single Transferable Vote referendum.
It's an historic election for a lot of reasons. In 2005 Premier Gordon Campbell became the first Premier since William (Bill) Richards Bennett in 1979 to be re-elected to office for a second full term. He is also the first Premier since Bennett to hold those two consecutive terms from start to finish, following a string of designations, resignations and the demise of the Social Credit party under Bennett's successor, Bill Vander Zalm. No Premier has served three consecutive terms, start to finish, since W.A.C. Bennett ruled supreme from 1952 to 1972.
It's been a feisty campaign from all sides, with both the Liberals and NDP running against each other's records. The B.C. Liberal Party is once again running against the NDP of 2001 with the motto "Keep B.C. Strong," suggesting that voting NDP would ultimately weaken the province.
The NDP is running against the Liberal Party of the last eight years with the slogan "Take Back Your B.C.," thereby suggesting all kinds of negative things about the Liberals.
The Green Party, which has never won a seat, is pushing its "A Better Plan for British Columbia" slogan, running against both parties while attempting to elevate itself above the fray.
It's a unique situation. No dominant issue has captured the voters, parties or even the media, as issues take a backseat to party politics. People are being asked to vote based on what the parties are rather than what they promise to do.
To help West Vancouver and Sea to Sky voters make the best decision on May 12, Pique interviewed all three candidates for the riding in a Q&A format, letting them tell you in their own words where they stand on the issues.
We also suggest visiting the party websites for yourself, to read the party platforms, to think about your decision carefully, and, most important, to get out and vote.
Party: B.C. Liberal Party
Occupation when not running for/serving in public office: Former principal of Mustel Research Group