Prepare to be wooed as would-be federal politicians try to earn your vote in the May 2 election.
Dick Harris, the Conservative incumbent for Cariboo-Prince George, said he’ll campaign on his record locally, and his efforts will be “complemented” by broader policy announcements from party leader Stephen Harper.
“It’s sort of like a package deal,” Harris said.
First elected in 1993, Harris said he will still knock on “thousands and thousands” of doors.
“I’ve always, always campaigned since the very first election like I’m one vote behind,” Harris said. “And if you don’t do that, I don’t think you deserve to win.”
Taking on Harris will be the Green Party’s Heidi Redl, and as-yet unnamed challengers for the Liberals and NDP.
Redl’s campaign will be more modest than Harris’.
“They spent (almost) $84,000 last election to win this riding, and my budget is $40,” said Redl, a Williams Lake-area rancher.
“Word of mouth is going to be huge for me,” said Redl. “And being that the advertising budget is so small, I’m hoping that people will come forward to buy a lawn sign.”
The election was triggered Friday when the Conservatives were toppled by a no-confidence motion. The Liberals put forward the motion after a committee found the Tories in contempt of Parliament for failing to reveal the true cost of planned tough-on-crime legislation and the purchase of new fighter jets. The contempt finding was the first in Canadian history.
The 36-day campaign is the shortest period allowed by law. The deadline for candidates to file nomination papers, backed by at least 100 signatures, is April 11 at 2 p.m.
Elections Canada will be hiring workers to staff the polls, and more information is available at www.elections.ca.
British Columbians will also be voting this year in the June 24 mail-in referendum on the HST and in November municipal elections.
In addition, Premier Christy Clark has also mused publicly about the possibility of a provincial election before the end of 2011.