Alphonse critiques candidate choices

There may be an independent choice in the Cariboo Chilcotin in the next provincial election. That’s the thinking of Tsilqot’in National Government chair and Anaham chief Joe Alphonse.

There may be an independent choice in the Cariboo Chilcotin in the next provincial election. That’s the thinking of Tsilhqot’in National Government chair and Anaham chief Joe Alphonse.

The First Nations’ vote, says Alphonse, has traditionally gone to the New Democratic Party, but after seeing the field of leadership candidates at a recent debate, he’s not sure any of them have got what it takes to win the premier’s seat.

Alphonse says it’s not their policies but the candidates’ general lack of charisma; he says Christy Clark has that in spades over all of them and that could translate into another Liberal win.

That prospect worries him and other leaders in the First Nations community and has prompted them to consider the Green party or running an independent candidate.

Alphonse is cognizant that if the First Nations’ community votes as a block for the Green Party it may get neither the Green nor the NDP but rather help facilitate a Liberal win.

But Alphonse is concerned about the return of old NDP candidates.

“In the past it was always automatic NDP but they’ve been vacant here and to bring Charlie Wyse back and to run him in the next election it’s the same old,” he says.

“I think where I’m leaning towards if they’re (NDP) going to lose and we know they’re going to lose then we’re better off to identify a candidate from within our community and allow them to run Independent.”

He wouldn’t say who is being considered but ruled himself out.

“I think we’ve got a couple good candidates. I wouldn’t be the one and I don’t think it would be anyone currently elected to chief but you never know.”