There will be a changing of the guard in the local MP’s office as Conservative member of Parliament Cathy McLeod has announced she will not seek re-election.
When the next election is held is anyone’s guess, but with a Liberal minority government, political pundits have been eyeing a vote sooner than later, theorizing that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will try to emulate the actions of B.C. Premier John Horgan, who withstood criticism and called an election amid the pandemic last year.
The gamble paid off as Horgan’s NDP went from a minority government to commanding a decisive majority.
When the next federal election is held, will the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding stay blue or swing to another party? A more pertinent question: Will voters cast a ballot for a party or a person?
McLeod served four terms and enjoyed her largest margin of victory in the 2019 election.
She has been an effective MP — based on her work with constituents and her labour in bringing federal money to the region while a government MP. McLeod has also avoided being caught in the occasional spotlight of Conservative controversies and, to her credit, has not been shy to express her opinions opposing some of her fellow Conservative MPs’ viewpoints.
McLeod and her predecessor, Betty Hinton, combined for a two-decade run of Conservative/Canadian Alliance MPs locally. The voters’ switch to the right in 2000 was significant as the previous 20 years saw New Democrat Nelson Riis control the MP’s office.
Riis was elected in 1980, defeating Conservative Don Cameron, who had defeated Liberal Len Marchand.
Will voters decide to ride another political swing or will their loyalties lie more in which candidate is likely to be part of government, something that has happened locally for only nine of the past 31 years?
The political intrigue is only beginning.