OLIVER - For a bare-bones campaign that got off to a late start, Oliver physician Peter Entwistle’s one-issue campaign did pretty well following the ballot count in the Boundary Similkameen riding in Tuesday’s provincial election.
“I was very grateful for how many people came out and supported me. Getting 3,000 votes says a lot for an independent candidate starting late, with no real resources,” he says.
Entwistle received 3,028 votes in the May 9 ballot finishing third behind incumbent Liberal Linda Larson with 9,174 votes and NDP candidate Colleen Ross with 6,941 votes. The B.C. Green Party's Vonnie Lavers finished fourth with 2,145 votes.
Entwistle doesn’t believe throwing his hat into the ring resulted in vote splitting.
“Did my presence on the ballot affect other’s chances? I would say no, for a variety of reasons my candidacy wasn’t vote splitting,” he says. "No one has accused the Green Party of vote splitting."
“In our system, people vote for the best candidate in the riding, but a lot of people simply vote for the party, regardless of who the candidate is, which I think makes a mockery of the system."
Entwistle says the election opened his eyes to the way the electoral system works, saying he believes there is room for reform in the way we vote and the way political parties are funded.
He says it became very apparent to him how “outgunned” he was financially, compared to other parties.
“But looking back, I’m glad I did it. I’ve had a lot of positive support,” he says.
Entwistle vows to carry on his support of a health care agenda as he tries to develop better health care for people in rural areas.
"Is politics the best way for me to go about doing this, or should I be working with the present MLA and government? It’s difficult to say,” he says.
He says he’s been disappointed by what he sees as a lack of adequate response to what has been declared a public health crisis for more than a year, that being the fentanyl issue.
“Apart from collecting data a little better, very little on the ground is making that much difference. It’s a problem that’s killing three British Columbians each day,” he says.
“I’m not a politician, but I am concerned about getting the best care for all our communities,” Entwistle says.
He says he was also made aware of other issues in the community he’d be willing to help with as much as he can.
“I want a better outcome for people in our community, I don’t think we’re getting a good deal,” he says.
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