KAMLOOPS - While the two largest provincial parties want your votes, they aren’t willing to share how their own voting works.
Neither the B.C. Liberal Party nor the local NDP ridings will share with the public how votes turned out, or even how many people voted, when the handful of people voting in riding associations likely chose who will be MLA.
In a recent vote, Mayor Peter Milobar was elected as the B.C. Liberal Party’s candidate in the riding of Kamloops North Thompson. However, the results won’t be made public, party spokesperson Jill Stead says in emails, and neither will the size of the riding association.
One media source suggested just 800 members make up the riding association and 60 per cent of them voted, but Stead would not confirm the number and simply states any numbers would be "anecdotal."
“The Party has not disclosed numbers to any outlets, as per our longstanding practice across the province,” she says in an email.
The vote took place in Kamloops, Barriere and Clearwater on Nov. 19 between Milobar, Stephen Puhallo and Michael Grenier. While the public doesn’t get to know, Milobar says he was told the results, but can’t share them.
With 20 years of Liberal MLAs in the that riding it's likely those voting at the riding association level have chosen the representative for the whole riding. Boundaries have changed over the years, but the Liberals have held the general north Kamloops riding since 1996 over five elections. They’ve also held the south Kamloops riding since 2001.
The NDP also don't share riding association memberships. Michael Crawford, president of the NDP’s Kamloops North Thompson riding association estimates there are around 300 members in his riding but didn't share an exact figure, while Peter Northcott, the NDP’s Kamloops South Thompson riding association president would not provide any figures.
“We have substantial membership,” he says. “I’m not going to give you the exact membership count.”
He wouldn’t confirm any figures or a membership size similar to the NDP’s north Kamloops association. Northcott says the act of not releasing membership numbers is not “written in stone” but that it’s common practice and points to the Liberal party’s similar action.
Both NDP riding associations only had one candidate each vetted by the provincial party. Barbara Nederpel has been acclaimed in the north while Nancy Bepple has no challengers in the south and should be acclaimed Dec. 11, Northcott says. Liberal incumbent Todd Stone was acclaimed in the summer as the party's south Kamloops candidate.
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