Black Press Media files

How is Langley feeling now that nominations have closed for B.C. provincial election candidates?

TWU professor in political studies Paul Rowe talks voting by mail and political disillusionment

As of Friday, Oct. 2, at 1 p.m. – candidate nominations closed and all hopefuls had to have been submitted to Elections BC.

The snap provincial election, called on Sept. 21 by Premier John Horgan, can now stand on somewhat sturdier ground seeing as how the names on ballots are finalized.

Paul Rowe, a professor in political studies at Trinity Western University (TWU), told the Aldergrove Star that the rushed election amid a global crisis is not unprecedented.

“The First World War comes to mind,” Rowe said. “What the government did, however, was get together with the opposition and actually postponed the election. It’s supposed to happen every four years, but they all felt there were bigger things at play.”

In more modern examples, Rowe recalled the 1990 provincial election in Ontario, where the Peterson Liberals called an early election because they felt that they would do well.

“They came across as looking arrogant, and while they had done well in the polls, they lost badly,” he said.

Overall, Rowe said the feelings of annoyance and that this particular election is unnecessary, seems to be a shared belief; but what many may not see is some positive changes to how people vote.

READ MORE: New faces bring renewal, political opportunity after B.C.’s Oct. 24 election

The increase in mail voting this election is something Rowe feels will become normalized in the coming years.

“I fully expect that we will be moving online at some point; we’re not there yet, but right now we’re getting our education online and our healthcare online, so I can see us voting online as well,” Rowe explained.

And while some voters in B.C. are busy picking and choosing their premier, another election seems to be stealing all of the thunder.

“The U.S. election is overshadowing the provincial election,” Rowe said. “People are quite vexed about what’s going on in the states.”

The professor believes this has a negative effect on the provincial election, no matter the outcome.

“All we can do is wring our hands about the results down there, but here, where we can actually have a say, I think it says something about how disillusioned people are feeling about their own politics,” Rowe said.

In the end, it will all be down to the voters to decide.

Rowe thinks the rushed nature of the election could help the NDP based on name recognition.

“A lot of parties scrambled to find candidates, so it’s going to be a very distilled election,” he said.

Advanced voting will take place from Friday, Oct. 16 to Wednesday, Oct. 21, with election day concluding on Oct. 24.

Voters will have the option to vote at yet-to-be-named polling stations or by mail-in ballot.

To request a ballot, people can visit https://elections.bc.ca/voting/how-to-vote-by-mail or call 1-800-661-8683.

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Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@aldergrovestar.com

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