Steve Powrie, who is the Liberal candidate for the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo (KTC) Riding, says he thinks his chances are good in the Oct. 19 federal election.
He was in 100 Mile House on Sept. 13 to put up election signs and meet with some ranchers and a group of local Liberal supporters.
Based on personal interactions with people in the riding, Powrie says the Liberals are getting a very positive response.
He notes the Globe and Mail published a story about 70 per cent of eligible voters are “tire kicking and are considering two or more parties, and we see that hugely in this riding.”
Powrie says there is a growing call for change, and people are looking at the Liberals, Greens or NDP and wondering which platform most connects with them.
Noting there was concern about the Liberal platform being thin in February and March, Powrie says it is now the most articulated platform of all the parties.
With pollsters saying the three main parties are neck-and-neck right now, the Thompson Rivers University educator says he believes the KTC seat could be a swing riding because “the West is going to play a huge role” in the outcome of the election.
“The Interior has been typically Conservative, and if people are looking around like we think they are, then this could be a bellwether riding…. It’s been Conservative for 12 years and people, including Conservatives, are looking to elsewhere.”
Powrie says the youth demographic is not being reflected in polls because cell phones are unlisted and people under 35 years mostly use them. He adds youth are very interested in this election and they are going to be casting ballots.
“One of my main tenets in this election is to restore advocacy, which translates to advocacy in a riding. The Liberals have said they’re going to introduce free votes in the House as opposed to whip vote, so if you’re looking for advocacy in a riding, that’s where you want to put your vote.”
Powrie says this is a cross-roads election and people have two extremely different paths they could take.
“One path will see the continuance of the last four years, which, in my view, has seen the deconstruction and compromising of our democracy. We have a government that has closed up, circled the wagons – where accessibility, accountability, transparency have been shuttered.
“We’ve seen the results in trials, dismissals and charges of misappropriation of funds. That path is well-worn and it’s not going anywhere else.
“If we continue down that path for another four years, that deconstruction will continue. I don’t see anything different happening with a Harper government; his mantra has been more of the same.”
He adds the other path leads to diversifying the economy and creating a country that celebrates its diversity under the Liberals.
Powrie says he will be an advocate for every single person in the riding regardless if they’re Liberal, Conservative, Green or NDP.
“After that election is done, your job is not as the Liberal. Your job is as the [MP] of that riding.
“The Liberals’ mantra is the MPs will bring the riding to Ottawa instead of taking Ottawa to the riding.”