Knives out: War rooms throw pot shots and hope they land
With just days to go before voting day, the parties’ war rooms are still looking for a scandal that will stick.
Throughout the campaign reporters’ inboxes have been littered with party news releases accusing one another of real-estate schemes, kowtowing to donors and frivolous spending on the taxpayers’ dime.
Some of the accusations are already on the public record, dating back 15 years. Such is the case with the timeline the New Democrats crafted on Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson’s involvement in a failed 2005 deal with China-based Sun Wave Forest Products to reopen a shuttered pulp mill in Prince Rupert.
Others are harder to decipher, such as the Liberals’ accusation yesterday that the NDP is spearheading a real-estate shell game involving its union allies and the party’s $5.2-million head office.
NDP candidates are spending taxpayer money on beer and sushi (Nathan Cullen), don’t think religious people should be involved in politics (Selina Robinson) and are “kind of lacklustre and angry” (Ravi Kahlon), all according to the Liberals.
The NDP have maintained that British Columbians have much to fear from the Liberals’ roster of social conservative candidates.
Two of those candidate attacks made it into the headlines: Margaret Kunst for voting against a rainbow crosswalk and Laurie Throness’ comparison of contraception to eugenics, which got him booted from caucus. But the NDP also went after Lorraine Brett for expressing support for anti-trans comments from author JK Rowling.
Not to be outdone, the Liberals’ oppo research team attempted to make hay out of NDP candidates who supported the BDS movement, bashed capitalism, sympathized with Hamas and mourned the death of Hugo Chavéz.
Despite the leading parties’ best efforts, not much has moved the needle during the first three weeks of the campaign.
The Greens have kept their hands clean, thanks to Leader Sonia Fursteneau’s aversion to dirty politics. Her rival parties have also steered clear of publicly attacking Green candidates, many of whom have no prior experience in politics.