Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates working to sway undecided voters

NANAIMO – A recent poll suggests 28 per cent of voters in Nanaimo-Ladysmith are undecided.

A recent Insights West poll suggests 28 per cent of Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding’s voters are undecided about which box to tick on ballots Monday (Oct. 19).

With so many votes potentially up for grabs, local candidates are working to sway those votes into their camps.

Mark MacDonald, Conservative Party candidate, said his strategy is simply showing up for all-candidates’ meetings and do as much one-on-one contact with voters as possible.

“This is my first time through and they say that the number of still-undecideds is really quite high, so you know, it’s just meeting people, answering questions and making sure I’m out there,” MacDonald said.

He is also counting on the fact he was in campaign mode since long before the writ was dropped.

“I’ve put my miles in,” MacDonald said. “I’m on my fourth pair of running shoes. Seriously.”

Polls really don’t count until the people make a decision, said Tim Tessier, Liberal. His campaign is stressing leadership as it enters the campaign’s final week.

“We’ve taken some hard stands some people don’t like on things we’ve done in the past, but we’re being honest and we’ve got a sincere and succinct plan based on what Canadians told us,” Tessier said. “That’s what we’re doing in these final weeks and it’s pumping the energy up amongst my team. We didn’t have that two or three months ago, but we’re certainly getting it now.”

Sheila Malcolmson, New Democratic Party, said Thanksgiving weekend campaigning was intertwined with Island rallies featuring party leader Tom Mulcair to shore up party faithful and draw in people who wouldn’t traditionally vote NDP, followed up with a telephone and door-to-door campaign focusing on seniors, child care and a value-added forest industry.

“People say that it’s the last two weeks of the campaign that gets everybody onboard – I’ve been so impressed with how engaged people have been all the way through – but the pace is picking up and people are homing in on their choice,” Malcolmson said.

Paul Manly, Green Party, said his campaign is scouring the riding and knocking on every door to capitalize on the undecided vote with the message that Green seats are needed in Parliament to hold major party members to promises made during the campaign, such as working toward government by proportional representation.

“No majority government is going to give us proportional representation … If you can get absolute rule with 40 per cent of the vote, why not carry on doing that?” Manly said.