I was concussed and lost count early in this war, at about the 27th-email mark of the election campaign battle as attacks from the B.C. Liberals and B.C. NDP pounded my inbox, much like the remnants of one too many bottles of affordable red wine hammering away on my cranium the morning after.
It was too much to take — and we were only six days into a 34-day fight for candidates’ right to secure four taxpayer bucks for every dollar they contribute to their luxurious pension plan (oh, and also serve, with extreme selflessness, the people of British Columbia).
Did you know that the NDP’s approach to the overdose crisis has led to more deaths? Did you realize a B.C. Liberal government would result in skyrocketing housing prices?
Were you aware that B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson is responsible for a serious spike in homelessness numbers? Did you know that NDP Leader John Horgan is responsible for a widening gender gap between working parents?
And that big promise by the B.C. Liberals to eliminate the PST for a year? It will help the richest or poorest among us, depending on which party to believe.
And on and on and on it goes, email after email — many penned by former reporters now working as political spin doctors — with the New Democrats slamming the Liberals and the Liberals slamming the New Democrats.
A few more just arrived in the inbox. I only glanced at them, but I think the Liberals allege Horgan was involved in Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance, while the NDP is adamant Andrew Wilkinson is, in fact, D.B. Cooper.
Of course, this happens during every provincial and federal election campaign, all those bits and bytes sacrificed as accusations zip along email threads.
The B.C. Greens engage in this war in a less bombastic fashion, sending out far fewer emails, but ones that include multiple subject lines, offering criticism of opponents while at the same time boosting leader Sonia Furstenau with information about her.
Based on the first week of campaign emails that arrived in my inbox, the Liberals and NDP resemble partisan nightly talk shows on Fox News and CNN, while the Greens come across as a bit more PBS.
I have yet to receive an email from the B.C. Conservatives, but since they did not run candidates in Kamloops in the 2017 election that can’t be surprising.
Consider them the fireplace channel in this television spectrum comparison — you know they are there somewhere, but really only stumble upon them accidentally now and then.
A DIFFERENT CAMPAIGN
This election campaign will be unlike any in our lifetimes.
Due to the pandemic, there will be much less (if any) door-to-door knocking, no shoulder-to-shoulder rallies and nary a politician’s lips upon a baby’s forehead.
There will be no election debates before hundreds of people, while press conferences will resemble those elementary school lunchtime sock hops of yesteryear, with the participants far away from each other.
Lessons from New Brunswick will be learned.
That province held an election last month, the first vote in Canada in the pandemic era.
The New Brunswick Greens had to remember to sanitize signs for the next crew of volunteers waving at passing vehicles.
A Liberal candidate did go door to door, pressing the doorbell with a pen and standing about 10 feet back, speaking through a mask to the voter.
There will, however, be just as much news coverage, though email and social media will be used extensively in lieu of face-to-face interviews.
And remember the phone, that ancient form of communication considered passé by some?
It became crucial during the New Brunswick and will be just as important here, not only with reporters, but with candidates who need to reach out and ask for your vote.