Zeni Maartman may have gone down to defeat the last time she took on James Lunney for the MP position in Nanaimo-Alberni, but she says she’s ready and raring for round two — whenever it’s called.
Maartman, the NDP’s nominated candidate in the riding, said people expecting a repeat of Lunney’s romp to victory are in for a surprise.
“What is different this time is that I’m much more comfortable with the issues,” she said. “My confidence level is much higher. We are also much more organized.”
One other aspect she said has evolved since the last election is her use of social media.
“I am working with social media and young people,” she said. “My Facebook page has over 2,100 friends.”
Maartman said she has been preparing for the next federal election almost since the last poll results were counted in the 2008 vote, and that, she said, also gives her an edge.
“I have been very involved in all the grassroots organizations throughout this riding,” she said. “I work about 30 to 40 hours a week outside of my day job. I want it. I want to serve the people. That’s why I’m here.”
When an election is called, Maartman said she plans to run on a platform of making life more affordable for Canadians, with an emphasis on providing jobs for families.
“The stress will be on jobs and the economy,” she said. “Life has become harder for the average Canadian family and we have been championing, for instance, removing the GST from home heating fuel, protection of pensions for workers and an increase in the Canada Pension Plan.”
The bottom line, she said, is that she and her team are ready, regardless of when the writ is dropped.
“However it goes, we are ready,” she said. “We’ve got volunteers lined up and our team is incredibly well prepared.”