Waters: Get this election campaign back on track

There have been too many distractions from all the parties in this provincial election campaign.

Two weeks into the provincial election campaign and there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of news stories—but few seem to about political positions and platforms.

Instead, many have been about extra curricular activities by candidates, with the B.C. Conservatives leading the way. That party has fired three candidates for inappropriate comments—both past and present—and has seen another one quit because he’s the subject of a drinking driving investigation. One of the fired candidates was Boundary Similkameen’s Misha Popoff, who was shown the door after comments deemed derogatory to single mothers and complaints about the Missing Women’s Inquiry came to light.

But the Conservatives were not the only ones to dump a candidate. The NDP started the campaign by firing its Kelowna-Mission candidate, Dayleen Van Ryswyk, for four-year-old comments she made about aboriginal people and French Canadians. Van Ryswyk is now running as an independent.

While the Liberals have not had to fire any candidates, they have had their share of faux pas moments, with one Lower Mainland candidate’s website linking to hardcore porn, Premier Christy Clark admitting she ran a red light with her 11-year-old son in the car and locally, Kelowna-Lake Country candidate Norm Letnick’s campaign using a volunteer who also happens to be a local radio news reporter.

AM1150 says it pulled Wendy McLeod off the air after discovering she was volunteering by writing news releases for Letnick’s campaign.

Astonishingly, the station’s general manger said he knew McLeod was volunteering for the campaign and that was OK. It was only when he discovered her volunteer role was in communications that it was deemed inappropriate.

Say what? Reporters covering elections should not be volunteers for candidates at all. In fact, reporters should not work for politicians at any time while they are reporters.

Having said that, Letnick’s B.C. Conservative opponent Graeme James overreacted a tad with the hyperbole in a news release on the issue. Titled: I Just Spent $65 Million in Advertising And All I Got Was This Lousy Radio Anchor, James accused Letnick of poor judgement in accepting McLeod as a volunteer and tried to link the B.C. Liberals spending $65 million in advertising—a move he called “trying to buy the media”—to the McLeod issue.

Seems like a bit of a stretch.

So, with two weeks to go in the campaign, let’s hope we can get back to what this is supposed to be about—comparing political differences—not who did a lousier job vetting candidates.

Alistair Waters is the Capital News’ assistant editor.


Just Posted

Okanagan can learn from Washington’s wine industry growth

Winery owner cites importance of industry collaboration

Okanagan wineries shine in global chardonnay competition

Recognition for Kalala and Liquidity wineries at 2018 Chardonnay du Monde competition

Kelowna’s South Perimeter Road project to go ahead

Project to extend Gordon Drive doesn’t get enough signatures to keep it from moving ahead

Fleeing driver leaves behind severely damaged car

West Kelowna crash occurred at Highway 97 South junction

Dozens of impaired Kelowna drivers ticketed on St. Patrick’s Day

Kelowna RCMP stopped many vehicles for impaired driving during a one day blitz

Rainy week ahead for Okanagan and Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecast rain for the next three days, starting Tuesday afternoon

Attempted gun smuggler across the Osoyoos border sentenced

Alex Louie, who prefers the name Senk’lip, was sentenced to the mandatory minimum

Pro-Trump protest sign with F-word is OK, court rules

Judges say Ontario man can protest publicly, even using vulgar language

VIDEO: Police officer looking for distracted drivers gets hit by truck

Road safety investigator clipped by trailer while patrolling busy intersection

YVR wants you to help name three new puppies

Say hello to the Vancouver Airport’s new assistance pups

Search and rescue help injured sledders off Owlhead

Volunteer searchers also locate two hikers near Little Shuswap Lake

Suspect who attacked autistic man in Ontario could be from B.C.’s south coast: police

29-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries

Privacy watchdog to explore Facebook leak

Canadian expert says his analytics company helped Trump campaign capitalize on private Facebook info

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Most Read