October 10, 2008 Features & Images » Feature Story

Meet the Sea to Sky candidates 

Make your mark in the 2008 federal election

click to enlarge 1541feature.jpg

Just 44 days will pass from the time Prime Minister Stephen Harper called this federal election to the General Election on Tuesday, Oct. 14.

Traditionally, snap election calls like this have been defined by wedge issues and political expediency. The 2006 election was about the Liberal sponsorship scandal as well as the resurgence of a united Conservative Party. The 2008 election represents the Conservative Party�s call for a new mandate heading into challenging economic times, as well as an opportunity to win a majority in the House of Commons.

But for an election that many Canadians don�t think should have been called, and that goes against the Conservative Party�s own law that fixed election dates, it has become an election about some very serious issues.

Concerns about the economy have taken centre stage. Consumer protection laws, spurred by a listeriosis outbreak and the tainted baby formula scandal in China, have also made headlines, as have issues like the Canadian mission to Afghanistan, funding for the arts, urban crime, and our national approach to environmental issues like climate change. Health care, usually a core issue in Canadian politics, has barely caused a ripple this time around.

It�s been an interesting campaign. We�ve had candidates from all parties making serious gaffes, while Internet searches revealed far more about our candidates and their pasts than many of them would have liked.

The Green Party, which achieved official party status after the 2006 election, finally earned a place in the national leaders debates with some help from Whistler�s Member of Parliament, Blair Wilson, who was sitting as an independent before joining the Greens on the eve of the election.

Stephen Harper�s Conservative Party will need 155 seats to form a majority in the 308 seat House of Commons. If not, Canada will likely have its third straight minority government since 2004.

Deciding who to vote for is always a personal decision, but judging by the polls this year, and past swings, a large number of Canadians are ready to change their minds.

The West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country riding has bucked national trends in the past, electing Conservative John Reynolds when the rest of the country was electing a Liberal majority. Then, when the Conservative Party was making sweeping gains at the expense of the Liberal Party in 2006, the riding again bucked the trend and embraced Liberal candidate Wilson (albeit by a narrow margin � 23,867 votes to Conservative candidate John Weston�s 22,881 votes). It was Weston�s first kick at the federal can, while Wilson lost the 2004 election to Reynolds by a scant 687 votes.

Readers also liked…

  • Getting Lost On A Bike

    Mountain biking? Nay. Touring? Not quite. Hiking? Heck no! Welcome to the world of bikepacking
    • Aug 12, 2018
  • In the home of the bear

    In Alaska's McNeil River Sanctuary, bears and humans have learned to share the landscape
    • May 27, 2018

Latest in Feature Story

  • What we need to do to cut 45% by 2030

    Cutting greenhouse gas emissions by nearly one-half is achievable—but likely not in the 10-year timespan climate-change panel advocates, experts say
    • Dec 13, 2019
  • Smashing particles—and physics stereotypes

    Skiing, boarding, biking—Whistler is a hotbed of all things physical, but places like TRIUMF and CERN are even hotter for some of the coolest physics on Earth
    • Dec 8, 2019
  • Guardians of the Mountains

    For many of Whistler's first responders, saving lives is a family affair
    • Nov 29, 2019
  • More »

More by Andrew Mitchell

© 1994-2019 Pique Publishing Inc., Glacier Community Media

- Website powered by Foundation