With the federal election just five days away, candidates are courting undecided voters.
Liberal candidate David Merner believes the undecided vote may very well determine the outcome, not just in the Sooke-Esquimalt-Saanich riding, but the election at large as well.
“For the first time in living memory, B.C. is going to decide who forms the government, and the undecided votes will actually decide who becomes the next prime minister of Canada,” he said.
Merner knows where a good chunk of his audience too, decided or undecided, pointing towards the thousands of local folk who commute to and from Fort McMurray.
Depending on who gets elected, their future and the wellbeing of their families could be in a dangerous balance.
The undecided voter could work in favour of the Liberal party here, as Merner already said during the last candidate meeting that his party wouldn’t just shut down the oil sands without first providing an alternative for those who work there.
He added that anyone who is undecided should simply give him a ring, as being intertwined in the community is what could make the difference.
Merner isn’t alone in believing that adding a face to the voice (or vice-versa) can change the tide here – so do the other three.
Green Party candidate Frances Litman said a big part of making a difference with undecided voters is about finding the time to talk to them in the first place.
“I’m not just a five-minute appearance, I’m there, because people want a person who really cares,” she said.
“You don’t join the Green Party if it’s about money or power, because we have neither. It has to be from the heart.”
She added that her campaign’s social media approach will help reach a younger generation of voters, through online communication avenues such as Facebook and Twitter.
In retrospect, Conservative candidate Shari Lukens said that the only way undecided voters will swing either-or is if they are fundamentally given what they need in the first place.
“Yes, there are those undecided, but when I have that conversation with them about what’s important to them, they say it’s being able afford their families, to put food on their table and to drive to and from work. Fundamental things. That’s what it’s coming down to.”
NDP candidate MP Randall Garrison said the bigger focus for his party isn’t so much on talking to those who haven’t made up their minds, but more so identifying NDP supporters and getting them out to vote.
“You’re talking about the truly undecided, but there’s another group called ‘anybody but Harper’, that’s the group that we focused on most,” he said. “I can say to these people that I beat the Conservatives before, and I can do it again.”