It’s been a pretty quiet Federal election campaign in the Podunk area, but just to the east of us there’s some serious dirt getting tossed along the old election trail.
Conservative Mike Scott and incumbent Nathan Cullen have been busy taking shots at each other in the Terrace area, as the trail to the January 23rd vote gets set to take a Christmas sabbatical.
The latest issue of note is Scott’s former attendance record when he was the Reform MP for the riding back in the 1990’s. Cullen had questioned his dedication to the job back then, suggesting that Mr. Scott was absent from the House of Commons more than 50% of the time during his years in Ottawa.
Scott countered that claim by stating that he was a hard working MP, given to having 14-16 hour days at a time and spending a good portion of his days traveling the nation in his positions of Fisheries and Indian and Northern affairs critic. He also suggested it would be hard for Cullen to know anything of his work back then, as the NDP candidate was busy sitting on a beach in Costa Rica or something. The statement was a reference to the land of Cullen’s previous employment, prior to moving to Smithers.
Scott also put forward the idea that the NDP incumbent did not really have a good feeling for his riding, being a late arrival to the area. Scott feels that Cullen has no concept as to what the people of Skeena-Bulkley Valley do for a living or how they live their lives. Scott played up the concept that Cullen is but a Johnny come lately to the area, not aware of the ridings past history or the issues of the area.
The nasty bit of acrimony has played itself out in the pages of the Terrace Standard as voters there prepare for their all candidates meeting of January 11th, when the two candidates will once again renew acquaintances and one liners for a live audience.
And while our friends in Terrace are treated to some live theatre, we in Podunk would hardly know there is an election underway. Precious few lawn or street signs dot the landscapes and spotting a candidate in the area is an ever rarer occurrence. One thing seems certain though, it truly is but a two man race in Skeena-Bulkley Valley, the remainder of the candidates have such a low profile as to be invisible and apparently mute.
Lets hope these two more talkative Sunshine Boys bring the road show to town before Election Day, the locals could use a little entertainment.