B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan. (Black Press Media files)

Commen-Terry: Early election campaign tactics are tactless

How about showing us a little faith in yourself, instead of attacking others?

It took no time at all for the darts to start flying in this snap provincial election campaign.

Just hours after NDP leader John Horgan declared the election, the BC NDP and BC Liberal communications teams were in full “attack” mode.

Here’s a smattering of the NDP emails I’ve received.

“BC Liberals contradict public health officials on election safety” (Sept. 21)

“Andrew Wilkinson’s record: tax breaks for the rich” (Sept. 23)

“Andrew Wilkinson’s 30% homelessness spike” (Sept. 25)

“Wilkinson’s plan to eliminate the employer health tax would mean cuts to healthcare or bringing back MSP” (Sept. 26)

“People can’t trust Wilkinson on employer health tax” (Sept. 26)

“Wilkinson’s ‘wacky’ housing policies will drive up housing costs” (Sept. 26)

RELATED: Horgan blasts B.C. Greens for refusing youth overdose detention

RELATED: NDP solution to homelessness is to ‘warehouse’ people: BC Liberal leader

RELATED: Furstenau accuses Horgan of politicizing new Cowichan hospital

And here’s what the Liberals have been sending out:

“What happens when John Horgan calls a snap election, he starts with a lie and keeps them coming” (Sept. 27)

“NDP star candidate will fight to kill LNG” (Sept. 28)

“John Horgan left economy in the lurch while he focused on his re-election” (Sept. 28)

“Is Horgan running a ‘no ideas’ campaign or a ‘hidden ideas’ campaign?” (Sept. 29)

See a trend?

It’s somewhat disturbing that, so far, the NDP’s platform consists almost entirely of telling us why the Liberals’ platform is so bad, and vice versa. (FYI, I’ve yet to receive any emails from the BC Greens since the election was called.)

When I was in sales, I followed one ‘Golden Rule’ faithfully: If you have confidence in your own product, there’s no need to bash the competition.

Apparently, that rule is not in the B.C. politics playbook.

It makes me wonder exactly what the parties are planning on doing to win my vote, because so far, they haven’t told me much about what they plan to do – other than some promised additional MRIs from the NDP, and a promise from the Liberals to cancel the provincial sales tax for a year.

I guess the most pressing issue for all parties is to simply fill the ballots.

It’s understandable for the Liberals and Greens to be scrambling. This wasn’t their call – and their leaders have made their opinions regarding the necessity of this election abundantly clear.

But even the NDP were not completely prepared for this election.

They announced the election without even having candidates in many of the ridings. By the end of the day Sept. 21, they had still yet to name candidates in 40 electoral districts. As of Monday, Sept. 28, the BC NDP still only had candidates declared in 74 of the 87 ridings. Certainly better than the BC Greens, who list 30 candidates, or the BC Liberals – who only show nine candidates on the party’s home page.

But one week in, I remain in the dark as to exactly what the purpose of this election is, other than the opportunistic action taken by John Horgan, knowing the other parties are not fully armed.

Terry Farrell is the editor at the Comox Valley Record.For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

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