Recent election poll numbers show the gap between the NDP and the B.C. Liberals is narrowing and that the NDP is no longer expected to win by a landslide.
It was therefore interesting to go the all-candidates meeting in Parksville to see how the local election campaign was being played out on a local level.
I was happy to see that the meeting was well attended and that on this occasion Michelle Stilwell, together with her computer, was able to be present.
In my opinion, the clear winner of the debate was Dr. David Coupland. I will now be supporting him with my vote. Coupland has definitely done his homework and shows a very good grasp of the issues important to this area.
The other two candidates parrot the party lines of the NDP and B.C. Liberals. Stilwell appeared to be the only person at the meeting who believed the present government had balanced the budget.
Barry Avis, ever the politician, was somewhat effective and is obviously hoping the NDP will provide him with an opportunity to be ‘promoted’ from municipal politics.
It has been suggested by some people that the B.C. Conservatives have no chance to form the government and a vote for Coupland is a vote in effect for an independent. I think that B.C. politics need people of Coupland’s calibre and I feel he would be an excellent advocate for this riding, particularly in the important area of health care and deserves our support.
I was very impressed with the way the meeting was run by NEWS editor John Harding and how at the conclusion of the meeting the audience gave a standing ovation to all three candidates. Congratulations to all concerned.