The political choices in West Vancouver-Garibaldi are becoming clearer, with the NDP and Green Party finalizing candidates for the May 17 provincial election.
Lyle Fenton will be the NDP candidate, although it wont become official until April 17 when the constituency association holds its nomination meeting in Squamish. Fenton was the only candidate by the nomination deadline.
The 53-year-old Squamish resident is a welder and steel fabricator and the NDP Constituency Association president. He believes this riding is a lot more open to change than it was in the 2001 election.
"The Liberals are less popular here than they have been for a long time and I dont think its fair to say that Greens are a good alternative," said Fenton.
The Green Party is hoping to present an alternative with West Vancouver-Garibaldi candidate Dennis Perry, who was appointed deputy party leader after securing the party nomination on March 29.
Perry is the former leader of the Coalition to Save Eagleridge Bluffs in West Vancouver, a group opposed to the Ministry of Transportations plans for an overland highway route at Horseshoe Bay and in favour of a tunnel as an alternative.
Perry won the West Vancouver-Garibaldi nomination from Lee White and Silvaine Zimmerman. White said afterwards that he would support Perry.
"He strikes me as a Green Preston Manning, a Green conservative," said White. "And Dennis is going to win; he has to, to get some sensibility back into provincial politics."
White said he was confident Perry could make an impact because of his background, which includes conservation and a long career in banking and investment.
"Hes already brought a level of sophistication to the Green Partys economic platform," said White.
Fenton and Perry will be challenging Liberal candidate Joan McIntyre. McIntyre won the Liberal nomination last fall when she out-polled Tim Duholke 286-81.
Incumbent Liberal MLA Ted Nebbeling is not seeking re-election.
Perry was supported this week by Australias renowned Green Party leader and Tasmanian senator, Bob Brown, who spoke at a fundraiser for Perry and the Green party on Sunday.
Brown said he was in Canada to support the "yes" side in the referendum on the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system and to help with the election campaign, "because the B.C. Greens have a real chance of winning."
Brown is a huge supporter of proportional representation electoral systems, like STV. The first version of STV was created in Tasmania in the late 1940s when it called the Hare-Clark system.
A proportional voting system is generally considered a benefit to emerging parties, such as the Green Party, in getting candidates elected.
Brown said the signs for Green Partys around the world were good.
"Theres just been a poll in Australia that shows the Australian people are more worried about global warming than they are about terrorism," he said. "And in Germany, where they have some tough recycling laws, theyre starting to get some business spin-offs with their environmental technology theyre proving that being green is good for the economy."