Like it or not, we are going to the polls.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is betting that voters won’t punish him for calling an election during a pandemic as wildfires ravage this province — and he is probably right.
Will the gamble give him the majority government that eluded him in 2019? The Liberal Party garnered 157 seats then, 13 short of the tally needed for a majority.
The gamble worked for the NDP in B.C. John Horgan wasn’t penalized at the polls for calling the snap provincial election when B.C. was — er — mask-deep in the pandemic.
Indeed, the NDP’s minority government was returned with a large majority.
It will be telling to see what the federal voter turnout is this time around; judging by the interest on our website, folks don’t care a whole heck of a lot about this trip to the polls.
Whenever we post stories related to the election, we know the reader count will be low. A few familiar characters will comment, and the rest will scroll on by.
Maybe that will change now that the election is for real?
We aren’t holding our breath.
You can’t blame folks who are pandemic weary, choking on wildfire smoke and news and nervous about their paycheque or business future for checking out, but of course, everyone who lives here should care about this election.
A lot is at stake, as it always is — the country’s relationship with Indigenous peoples, the economy, our global standing, healthcare, childcare and so on.
The environmental advocacy organization, 350.org, has some intriguing West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country polling results from Mainstreet Research.
Surveys were conducted by phone and online between July 26 to Aug. 5, in the federal electoral districts of West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, Burnaby North-Seymour, Kitchener Centre, Toronto Centre, Parkdale-High Park and Malpeque.
Results show our riding has the highest potential swing to vote for a strong climate candidate anywhere in the country.
When those surveyed were asked if they would be willing to switch their vote to another candidate or party in order to elect a climate champion in their riding, 43% of all voters in the Sea to Sky would switch, and nearly 48% of Liberal voters would switch.
Polling found there’s strong support for climate action across the riding and across party supporters.
“These findings clearly show that climate change is a very important issue for voters no matter who they plan to vote for,” said Joseph Angolano, vice president of Mainstreet Research in a news release. “Candidates in these key ridings must offer voters a clear vision to tackle climate change if they want to be competitive in the next election.”
Even if Sea to Sky MP candidates make good use of their time to shine, will any of this mean change at the polls?
Or will it be like how so many of us carry around reusable coffee mugs and cloth grocery bags, but at home are failing to recycle our plastics and glass properly, to the point our landfill is full of both?
Only the ballot count will tell.
Election Day is Sept. 20.