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Four good candidates to choose from in Cariboo-Prince George

Election Day is tomorrow. Do you know who you’re going to vote for?

The polls close at 7 p.m. Monday so, no worries, lots of time to make up your mind. It’s kind of like Christmas shopping.

Voters in Cariboo-Prince George can be forgiven if they’re taking a bit of time to make up their mind as the four main political parties have all put forward credible candidates.

Incumbent Conservative Todd Doherty kept his nose clean during his first term and has been a hard working MP … almost working himself to death, literally, last year.

Liberal Tracy Calogheros is back to challenge for the spot. She is well-respected in the community and came within five points of taking the seat away from the Conservatives in 2015. New Democrat Heather Sapergia is also well-respected in the community and is a solid candidate. Green Party candidate Mackenzie Kerr has brought a breath of fresh air to the campaign. Passionate, articulate, and driven, she is a force to be reckoned with.

Cariboo-Prince George would be well served by electing any of those four candidates.

So who will emerge victorious?

According to Canada338.com, which aggregates polls for (hopefully) a more accurate reading, Doherty is ahead of the pack with 38.7 per cent of the vote.

The interesting race in Cariboo-Prince George is for second spot. Much like Calogheros rode the Justin Trudeau Wave to within striking distance of wrestling the seat away from the Conservatives, Sapergia is riding the Singh Tsunami and hoping for more.

According to Canada338.com, the NDP have moved past the Liberals in the riding are now polling second. The site puts NDP support at 25.4 per cent, up from a low of 17.1 per cent on October 10. Liberal support now sits at 22.4 per cent, down from a high of 27.2 per cent on October 8.

Interestingly, the Singh Tsunami seems to have drawn support from across the board. Conservative support, now at 38.7 per cent, is down from a high of 43 per cent on October 6. Green Party support sits at 9.9 per cent, down from a high of 12.8 per cent on October 3. The People’s Party of Canada, however, seems un affected as support remains steady at 3.1 per cent.

Last week Calogheros correctly pointed out this riding is not staunchly Conservative, given that almost two-thirds of voters last time cast their ballot for a ‘progressive’ candidate.

But then she angered a lot of those other ‘progressive’ voters by suggesting they abandon their parties and vote for her.

“I’m going to speak directly and bluntly to those considering voting NDP or Green this around,” she said in a video ad. “… The choice facing voters in this riding is whether to send a Liberal or a Conservative to represent us.”

She’s right in pointing out that if the ‘progressive’ voters in the riding coalesced behind one candidate they would win. However, it’s extremely presumptuous, and a little bit arrogant, for her to lay claim to the mantle of being the chosen one, especially now that the Liberals are polling in third place in the riding. Doesn’t Sapergia now have a better claim to be the chosen one, should centre-left candidates decide to vote strategically?

And there is an irony in all of this. Halfway through the 2015 campaign we were trying to get our head around the thought of an NDP majority government in this country, which is what the polls were indicating. The debates came, Trudeau shone, NDP leader Tom Mulcair stumbled and voters headed over to the Liberals.

In 2019, it was Singh’s turn to shine, Trudeau (and Conservative leader Andrew Scheer for that matter) have been uninspiring, to say the least, and voters are heading over the NDP.

Karma’s a, well, you know.

But when it comes down to it, getting out and voting is the most important thing. In the scheme of things, it doesn’t matter who you vote for … what matters is that you vote.

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