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Candidates ratchet up the promises

Liberal leadership candidates are floating election-related proposals that could see an early election or more young voters, depending on who’s left standing at the helm once Liberals have cast their votes for a new leader.

Liberal leadership candidates are floating election-related proposals that could see an early election or more young voters, depending on who’s left standing at the helm once Liberals have cast their votes for a new leader.

Contender Christy Clark says she’ll move up the next provincial election, now set for May 2013, if she wins the February contest to succeed outgoing Premier Gordon Campbell.

She said two years to wait for an election under a newly elected Liberal leader is too long.

Clark doesn’t mention that a snap election may give the Liberals a political advantage over the opposition New Democrats, who also find themselves looking for a new leader after the resignation of Carole James.

Simon Fraser University marketing strategy professor Lindsay Meredith said yesterday that the early election call allows the Liberals to ambush the fractured New Democrats and could help the Liberals escape the pressure of several threatened MLA recall campaigns over the government’s hated harmonized sales tax.

“If you can get the NDP on short notice before they are organized enough to provide a good organized counterattack, maybe you stand a chance in the election,” he said.

Fellow leadership contender Mike de Jong said he would lower the voting age from 18 to 16 to encourage more young people to get interested in politics. De Jong said the move is designed to improve declining voter turnouts in B.C. elections.

 
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