Next month's provincial election could be the tightest race British Columbia has seen in more than a decade.
While the BC Liberals have a commanding lead in province-wide opinion polls over the NDP, the actual result in seats could end up being much closer: Liberal support is very heavy in areas like the Interior and the Fraser Valley, which could be skewing those polling numbers.
There are a dozen or so battleground ridings, mainly in Greater Vancouver, that could actually determine whether Gordon Campbell gains a third term or if Carole James can play David to his Goliath.
Sorry to those who like a close race, it's safe to say that West Vancouver-Sea to Sky is not one of those ridings.
If it were, the NDP might have, say, announced a candidate by now, and the Green Party would probably be making a fair bit more noise.
We suspect that both the NDP and the Greens are pretty much going through the motions in this riding and saving their strength for those battleground races - which in the Greens' case means leader Jane Sterk's Esquimault riding.
Even four years ago, when West Vancouverites were angered by the decision to blast the Sea to Sky Highway through Eagleridge Bluffs and the Greens had a high-profile candidate from the Eagleridge Bluffs Coalition campaign in Dennis Perry, they got barely half the votes of Joan McIntyre, who cruised to victory with more than 50 per cent of the vote, while the NDP placed a weak third with 20 per cent.
This time, with the Eagleridge fight essentially over and no NDP candidate in sight, it looks even easier for McIntyre.
Soanother boring election for Sea to Sky Country? It doesn't have to be.
The other part of the May 12 vote is a referendum on electoral reform - the Single Transferable Vote system that was proposed by the Citizen's Assembly on Electoral Reform that narrowly missed passing in the last provincial election is back on the table.
The possibility of changing the way we vote from the current first-past-the-post system to a new Single Transferable Vote (STV) ballot is really more important than the election itself, since if it's adopted it will permanently change the face of politics in B.C. - but it's a debate that tends to get overshadowed by the horse race coverage of the leaders.
We think the people of Sea to Sky Country have a unique opportunity during this election campaign to take a long, hard look at the STV vote.
To help that along, we're holding a special election forum on the referendum on Wednesday, April 29 (location to be announced next week). And starting next week in The Chief, watch for a special ballot to run our own test of the STV system.
We're not advocating for or against the change; what we want is for people to take a good, long look at it, and we think this is the perfect chance.