Stop wasting time

Dick Harris, the Cariboo-Prince George riding Conservative candidate, didn’t begin campaigning until Sunday due, in part, to illness — a full seven days after Stephen Harper went to the Rideau Hall requesting that Governor General David Johnston dissolve parliament.

Dick Harris, the Cariboo-Prince George riding Conservative candidate, didn’t begin campaigning until Sunday due, in part, to illness — a full seven days after Stephen Harper went to the Rideau Hall requesting that Governor General David Johnston dissolve parliament.

The Liberal party was stalled for eight days before officially declaring their parachute candidate to this newspaper. And the NDP, well, it wasn’t until after the weekend after the election call that we heard officially they had a body with a name who was ready to go.

The only candidate prepared to hit the streets on the day the writ was dropped was Heidi Redl of the Green party.

At the Tribune, tracking down certain party representatives who could respond to queries about candidates or lack thereof, or when they might have a candidate was met with more resistance than it should have.

Most Canadians knew an election was a real possibility given the political rhetoric, accusations of contempt of parliament and the budget bally hoo a week in advance of the announcement. The parties therefore had ample notice to get their candidates ready. Here, at least, they didn’t and citizens in this riding could be forgiven for wondering how much they matter to federal or federal wannabe politicians.

Is it because CPG has been written off by the parties as Tory blue? Yes, Mr. Harris has held this riding, or a portion of it, undisputed since 1993 but nothing lasts forever.  Or maybe would-be candidates are reluctant to put their lives on hold for what some might see as a long-shot at winning.  If either of those scenarios represent the prevailing sentiment, it’s patently unfair to all voters, especially those who seek an alternative to the Conservative party.

Afterall, in the 2008 election, at least 45 per cent of the population in this riding chose someone other than Mr. Harris. Across the country, 62 per cent of the voting public supported a party that was not led by Mr. Harper.  The sheer vastness of the Cariboo-Prince George riding dictates that candidates utilize all of the campaigning days leading up to the May 2 vote to visit communities, share their platforms and understand the local issues so critical to representing this area in Ottawa.

Our advice to candidates once they are finally chosen to carry their party’s banner is to get busy; you’re wasting time.

— Robyn Chambers