Election 2019: One-fifth of North Okanagan Shuswap voters have already cast a ballot | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Election 2019: One-fifth of North Okanagan Shuswap voters have already cast a ballot

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October 18, 2019 - 5:29 PM

As campaigning in the 2019 federal election draws to a close, candidates in the North Okanagan-Shuswap will no doubt be ramping up their political messages hoping to convince those who still haven't made up their minds.

While many people may have decided at least 20 per cent of eligible voters have confirmed that they know who they would like to represent them in Ottawa and have gone out and voted for them.

Of the 106,601 eligible voters in the riding, 20,243 have voted in the advance polls.

Of the six ridings in the Interior the North Okanagan-Shuswap had the third-highest turnout in the advanced polls at 19 per cent of all eligible voters already casting a ballet. The Central Okanagan came in the highest with a 21.4 per cent turnout, with the Kelowna Lake Country riding having the least amount of advanced voters with 17.8 per cent.

The popularity of advanced voting in the Interior is also following a nationwide trend.

"It’s a very substantial increase, and it’s following the pattern of what’s happening across Canada, which saw a 29 per cent increase," Elections Canada spokesperson Andrea Morantz said.

Preliminary figures indicate some 4,700,000 electors voted at the advance polls over four days in Canada compared to 3,657,415 electors who voted in advance in the 2015 general election.

“It’s helped that there were 12 hours a day that the advanced polls are open,” Morantz said. "We got the message loud and clear from Canadians, that they like the greater options for voting."

However, it's difficult to know exactly what high advance turnout means.

UBC-Okanagan Political Science Assistant Professor Maxime Héroux-Legault said on one side, it can be a reflection of the interest in the election and motivation on the part of the voters. If this is correct, then this may suggest a high turnout on Monday.

On the other hand, it may also be a sign that Elections Canada has been more effective in promoting advance voting and that Canadians are more willing to use this means to vote. In this case, it might not indicate increased enthusiasm or a surge of participation come election day.

If you took advantage of the advanced polling you can sit back with your fingers crossed and wait until the results come in next Monday.

If you haven't yet voted, and haven't yet decided who to vote for, we have one last question for our North Okanagan-Shuswap candidates which may help you make up your mind.


Name one thing you wish your party was offering that another party offers and explain why? If there is a minority government, would you be willing to work with other parties?

Liberal Party candidate Cindy Derkaz

"Lower the voting age to 16, giving young people more say in their future and instilling habits of civic participation." Green Party platform p.76

Over the last five years, I have had the opportunity to listen to many young people. They are smart, educated and engaged. Team Derkaz has been very lucky to have had young people volunteer in the 2015 and the 2019 campaigns. We only need to look around this riding to see the impact students are having on Climate Action. I have attended the Earth Strikes and the two large Climate Strikes in Salmon Arm and Vernon that have been organized and led by students: they are demanding better of us and are making history by taking charge of the future.

The research shows that if you vote the first time you are eligible, there is a good chance that you will be a lifelong voter.

By engaging youth in elections, while they are still in school, and have the benefit of classroom education, we will be enhancing participation in our electoral system.

Yes, I would be prepared to work with MPs across party lines. It is the way I have conducted my professional and personal life: listening, learning and finding common ground.

Conservative Party incumbent Mel Arnold

Every party is presenting their election platform as the campaign progresses, but I hesitate in embracing proposals from other parties because I am unsure if their promises have been fully costed or what methods they have used to do the costing.

Campaign promises ought to be fully costed and attached to a broader plan that balances government spending and revenue with the sort of fiscal prudence that everyday Canadians exercise in managing their household finances.

If Canadians can live within their means, pay down debt and invest for the future, it is reasonable to expect the government to do the same. The danger of promises that have not been fully costed or that are simply unrealistic is that they eventually create a negative effect such as higher taxes or cuts to other services or benefits.

Considering that Conservative Party policy proposals are being announced almost daily, I believe that once our platform has been completely rolled-out, it will contain actions that will support and improve the lives of every Canadian.

As for the government that is determined by the upcoming election, my Conservative colleagues and I are focused on winning the confidence and trust of Canadians who will make that decision on October 21st.

Whatever the outcome of the election is, I will continue to focus on the needs and priorities of our region and recommit myself to working with all levels of government and across partisan lines to continue to achieve results for the people of the North Okanagan- Shuswap.

NDP candidate Harwinder Sandhu

I have read the NDP’s platform many times and compared it with the other parties, I am happy to say that, our new Deal for People platform has addressed every issue for all Canadians and our platform has people in the right, left and centre as the priority. Honestly, I cannot think of anything that, other parties are realistically offering that the NDP platform is not. As a regular voter, health care professional and average Canadian, I also have hard time trusting some of the parties with their promises around election time as I am still reflecting on their track record. I believe that it's better to make fewer or realistic promises and to fulfill them rather than making money and not fulfilling those promises as it takes electoral trust away.

People's Party candidate Kyle Delfing

The PPC does not offer or pander with taxpayer money to buy votes, we have a policy that offers freedom, fairness, respect and personal responsibility to all Canadians.

If a minority government were to form, the PPC would look to see that our plan to form a balanced budget is seriously taken into consideration. We would not support a minority government which proceeds to continue running high deficits, the deficits of today are the taxes of tomorrow.

Green Party candidate Marc Reinarz

This question put me some digging into policy and I can only find some good points in other parties that The Green Party of Canada has in its own platform as well.

With the Green Party of Canada in Parliament, there certainly will be recognized for any proposal that improves the lives of Canadians, no matter whether the idea comes from the Greens or from another party. A good proposal is a good proposal. There is no Green Party whip.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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