08 May 2009

Candidate Endorses Other Candidate

Bill Routley, NDP candidate for Cowichan Valley, at the end of an All Candidates Meeting: 

"Simon is so well researched and articulate.... He should be running for the NDP!" (Instead of you, Mr. Routley?)

Simon Lindley, running for the Green Party, was the candidate who consistently got the most and loudest applause during the 90-minute debate, which was attended by over 300 people.

It was the most revealing and entertaining ACM of the many I've attended. Five candidates were present: Jason Murray (Conservative), Simon Lindley (Green), Cathy Baskin (Liberal), Michial Moore (Refed) and Bill Routley (NDP).

Murray and Moore admitted to being out of their depth, so the night really came down to the Green, Liberal and NDP candidates.

A couple of highlights:

On a question about endangered species legislation, first to answer was Lindley. He said that BC was the last jurisdiction in the world NOT to have such legislation already in place and that YES, the Greens would correct this. All candidates but one reiterated a similar position.

Baskin was the single naysayer. Looking grim, she answered with a blunt "No." For several moments, it appeared that she was going to leave it at that as the audience sat stunned. 

I heard a Liberal supporter behind me muttering, "well, SAY something." Then came a sigh, followed by, "she's losing this."

Baskin did eventually say more, something about support for hunting rights.

A number of paramedics were in attendance. In the midst of tense negotiations for improved pay and better working conditions they, together with many laid-off forestry workers, helped drive home the interrelation among many of the issues that came up. Highlighting these relationships is just one of the areas where Lindley outshone the other candidates.

Another highlight...

At the podium Baskin was beginning her closing statement by explaining that she was running "to be part of a party that values cooperation, compromise and" conciliation? concensus? - can't remember. At which point someone yelled out: "Then yer in the wrong party!"

The audience broke out laughing. Took us awhile to settle down before Baskin could proceed.

Lindley surprised right from the opening statements. It was clear he impressed not just me. I'd never heard him speak at this kind of event, having met him only once in person at his campaign start-up celebration. At the ACM, he came across as personable and friendly. Over the course of the evening, a buzz could be heard as it became obvious to all but the most diehard partisans that Lindley was the most knowledgeable candidate of the five: about the issues in this community, about who we are, about where we are hurting and what our strengths are, and about issues which go beyond but yet affect this community.

Expect Lindley's May 12th numbers to surprise, if the reactions at this ACM are any indication. While few people bother going to ACMs, those who do talk to those who don't. Word will get out. Certainly Lindley will achieve more than the nine percent Green vote which the federal Greens got last time - their best yet for this area, federally or provincially. There's no question that he deserves to win the vote, since he would so clearly champion local interests; but this is NDP territory and the lock that party has here, thanks to the first-past-the-post system, is virtually impossible to break.

Speaking of which... (See my next post, on reaction at the ACM to BC-STV.)

Recommend this post