Byelection burnout? - Metro US

Byelection burnout?

Voters in New Westminster-Coquitlam are returning to the ballot box this November in what will be the riding’s fourth federal election in just more than five years.

The byelection was one of four called yesterday for Nov. 9 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Combined with civic and provincial contests, it means that voters in the riding will have cast ballots eight times in four years.

“I really hope folks come out and vote,” said Fin Donnelly, a three-term Coquitlam city councillor who is running in the riding for the New Democrats.

“(Voter burnout) is always a concern,” he added. “We’ve had a number of elections, provincially and federally in the past couple of years, and even locally — where I’m used to — the turnout has been very low.”

Former Port Moody city councillor Diana Dilworth is running for the Conservatives. The Liberal candidate is environmental engineer Ken Beck Lee. Rebecca Helps is the Green party candidate.

“The general consensus is that people are getting tired of too many elections,” Lee said. “There is election fatigue.”

Lee said he brings an excellent work ethic and said the main issues affecting residents are the economy, the pending HST and addressing the root causes of crime.

Donnelly, who twice swam the length of the Fraser River (1,400 kilometres), said he has a strong track record. He said the issues facing voters in the riding include opposition to “Harper’s Sales Tax;” cleaning up the air and water; and the economy.

Neither Helps, nor Dilworth, returned calls before press time.

Federal ridings

• The riding was previously held by NDP MP Dawn Black, who resigned in April to run for office in May’s provincial election.

• Other byelections will be in Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley (N.S.), Hochelaga and Montmagny-L’Islet-Kamouraska-Riviere-du-Loup (both in Quebec).

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