An ArmchairMayor editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
AS WEEK TWO of the provincial election campaign draws to a close, what have we learned?
We’ve learned that NDP leader John Horgan isn’t going to follow the path taken by Adrian Dix in 2013. He will not play Mr. Nice Guy, and proved that in the radio leaders’ debate — maybe to a fault.
He emphasized that point in what’s being called a touching moment in the debate, when Christy Clark of the Liberals momentarily touched his arm.
Will Horgan calm down for the televised debated on Wednesday night (6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.)? My bet is that he will. His strategy will be to remain forceful, and to rebut Clark whenever possible, but to cut down on the interruptions that the media focused so much on after the first debate last Thursday.
That will allow him to contrast his platform — one that several experts and several media have characterized as affordable — with the record of the Liberals under Clark.
It’s still no easy path to victory for Horgan, who must hold on to the seats he’s got, and gain as many as another dozen.
Andrew Weaver of the Greens still has a chance to lead his party to a couple of more seats, but needs to be more assertive. His platform announcements have, for the most part, been snoozers, and he has to show more personal aggressiveness.
Will attack advertising play a role? So far, it’s been a trade-off, with the Liberal and NDP negative ads cancelling each other out. In the absence of any major missteps by Clark or Horgan — and Horgan’s performance in the first debate doesn’t count as a game changer — nasty TV commercials aren’t likely to make a big difference.
And what about the Kamloops campaigns? Little excitement there, except for a municipal story that surfaced last week. The disappointing end to the search for a good use for the Kamloops Daily News building is, no doubt, embarrassing for Kamloops-North Thompson Liberal candidate Peter Milobar, under whose watch it played out.
Indeed, the election in that riding could prove to be a referendum on Milobar’s performance as mayor, as much as it is a vote on what kind of a job he would do as an MLA. However, the KDN-PAC-parking lot story isn’t likely to be a game changer, either.
Tomorrow night, Tuesday, April 25, voters in both the Kamloops North and Kamloops South ridings will have an opportunity to listen to the candidates from all parties in the same room, and to ask them questions.
It’s my guess that forum (at the TRU Grand Hall, 7 p.m.) will have its moments of excitement, too.