Short ballot greets voters

Okanagan-Shuswap voters will experience the shortest ballot in years when they go to the polls May 2.

As of the close of nominations Monday, there were four candidates running in the federal election — Greig Crockett with the Greens, Liberal Janna Francis, Nikki Inouye with the NDP and Conservative Colin Mayes.

“That’s all the candidates there are,” said Susan Friend, Elections Canada media relations officer.

In the 2008 election, there were six candidates on the ballot in Okanagan-Shuswap, while there were seven in 2006, eight in 2004, seven in 2000 and seven in 1997.

Former MP Darrel Stinson is surprised by the lack of candidates but he says fatigue may be to blame.

“This is the fourth election in seven years,” he said. “People are wound down by all of these elections.”

Stinson also suggests there is financial pressure on would-be candidates.

“The cost for people to run as an independent is expensive and money is tight these days,” he said.

Stinson doesn’t believe it matters to most voters if there are four candidates or eight on the ballot.

“In Canada, the reality is it breaks down to three parties (Conservatives, Liberals and NDP), and other than getting your message out as a smaller party or independent, you are going up against the big three,” he said.

“The odds of being elected are limited.”

All candidate forums are scheduled across Okanagan-Shuswap leading up to May 2.

The first one will be hosted by the Vernon Clergy Fellowship at All Saints Anglican Church Thursday at 7 p.m.

Advance polls will be held in communities throughout the riding April 22, 23 and 25.

“Information about the advance poll locations is on their voter information cards,” said Sharon Morrison, returning officer.

 

If you did not receive a voter information card in the mail, call Elections Canada at 1-866-545-0624.