Ben Stewart accepting a call from Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson. (Alistair Waters/Black Press)

Voter turnout very troubling

EDITORIAL: Results from West Kelowna by-election concerning

It wasn’t shocking on Wednesday night when B.C. Liberal Ben Stewart was elected in Kelowna West, the riding that everyone loves to say has been a stronghold for the Liberals and the Socreds since the beginning of time.

But with only 29 per cent of eligible voters showing up to cast a ballot, is it really a stronghold, or is the Liberal party just better at getting people out to vote?

Vernon’s Scott Anderson, interim leader of the BC Conservatives, has another theory.

“Voter turnout was exceptionally low in last night’s election,” said Anderson. “And I believe that’s indicative of an electorate tired of false promises by the tax-and-spend parties.”

It’s a shocking number but voter apathy is just that, and in West Kelowna and parts of downtown Kelowna, the turnout to vote in an important byelection was pathetic. It was the lowest voter turnout in recent history, with half the turnout traditionally seen in the riding.

In the 2017 general election for example, 26,661 voters turned out at the polls, compared to 13,624 in Wednesday’s 2018 by-election.

There are over 46,000 voters.

And from what we saw at the polls, it is the younger generation that is not voting.

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