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980 CKNW: Listeners and analysts weigh in on first week of B.C. election

Click to play video 'Week one on the election campaign trail' Week one on the election campaign trail
Hamish Telford, political science professor at the University of the Fraser Valley, offers analysis on how the campaign is playing out so far. – Sep 26, 2020

There has been a lot of chatter on the radio airwaves as candidates in B.C.’s upcoming provincial election wrap up their first seven days on the campaign trail.

“It’s been an interesting week, to say the least,” Global BC’s online reporter Richard Zussman told host Simi Sara on 980 CKNW.

The BC Liberals and BC NDP began facing off in battleground regions, such as Maple Ridge-Mission, while declaring a handful of candidates in ridings across the province.

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“Both parties are not organized and ready for a full election, and because we’re in the midst of a pandemic, [that] makes it even more challenging,” said Zussman.

Read more: B.C. Election: Horgan to talk housing in Coquitlam Friday as Liberals focus on public safety

Meanwhile, BC NDP Leader John Horgan continued to face criticism for his decision to call a snap election.

“I think they took a big risk,” said Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer on 980 CKNW’s Mornings With Simi.

“I think we’re seeing in the first few days how risky it was.”

A recent survey conducted by Insights West found that 58% of respondents disapproved of the BC NDP leader’s decision to send British Columbians to the polls.

Read more: ANALYSIS: Why Surrey could hold the key to B.C. election outcome

Not all CKNW listeners felt the criticism has been warranted.

“To criticize the government for calling a snap election is like criticizing clouds for causing rain,” wrote CKNW listener James Cable in an email. “All parties in government will go to the polls whenever they dream it politically expedient.”

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BC Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau spent most of the week campaigning on Vancouver Island.

“The New Democrats figured the Greens were going to disappear when they called the election,” said Palmer.

Polling this week suggests that hasn’t been the case, as the BC Green Party raked in 16 per cent support from respondents. In the last provincial election under Andrew Weaver, they captured 17 per cent of the popular vote.

“I think Sonia Furstenau had a pretty good first week,” said Palmer. “Right now, expect a typical B.C. election, a close election.”

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