Editorial: Victoria centre of political map

Victoria has gone strongly NDP in the past two elections, with popular former city councillor Denise Savoie on the ballot.

Victoria, one of three federal ridings contesting a byelection on Nov. 26, has gone strongly NDP in the past two elections, with popular former city councillor Denise Savoie on the ballot.

But Savoie took early retirement for health reasons and the race to replace her appears wide open, with a collection of relative political neophytes up for election.

The NDP is no doubt anxious to maintain its grip on opposition status, so it’s no surprise that federal leader Thomas Mulcair dropped by this week to lend his support to candidate Murray Rankin.

Not to be outdone, the Liberals sent interim leader Bob Rae to Victoria to help candidate Paul Summerville, while the Conservatives had Treasury Board president and former Conservative health minister Tony Clement knock on doors with candidate Dale Gann.

Green Party candidate Donald Galloway had his federal leader, Saanich and the Islands MP Elizabeth May, close at hand for a series of announcements and appearances as well, but she had far less distance to travel than her fellow members of parliament, who hail from Ontario or Quebec.

Does the appearance of all this star power really make a difference in voters’ minds? Candidates and other party faithful get fired up when their leaders come to town, but they’re already converted.

The big question is, does the leaders’ presence interest the disinterested?

Unlike a general election, the future direction of the country does not hinge on the results of this byelection and those in Calgary and Durham, Ont. With that in mind, last year’s voter turnout of 68 per cent in Victoria – seven points higher than the national mark – will be difficult to beat.

Then again, the appearance of the party leaders, and the media circus surrounding them, may be an indication that something important is happening. And that curiosity may be enough to encourage people who wouldn’t otherwise pay attention to find out more about their candidates and maybe even cast a ballot.

Let’s hope.

Just Posted

First woman appointed rector at Esquimalt Anglican church since 1866 consecration

Gail Rodger is the 32nd rector at St. Peter and St. Paul Anglican parish

Saanich Recreation needs volunteers at Commonwealth Place

Welcome Ambassadors needed at Saanich Commonwealth Place to engage with, direct, and inform visitors

Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce honours former Sidney mayor Marie Rosko

Rosko received lifetime achievement award during 2019 Crystal Awards

Man seriously injured after fall from Johnson Street Bridge

Police say incident stands as public safety reminder

Sooke School District names new Royal Bay Secondary principal

Former vice-principal Mike Huck promoted to principal, effective Nov. 4

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Camera licker, wind gusts and rare bird make headlines this weekend

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

Most Read