EDITORIAL: Parties of record

Voters have had two years to decide whether they share Conservatives’ criticisms of the Liberal government

After nearly seven decades of coming up short with South Surrey-White Rock voters, the Liberal Party of Canada is certainly treating next week’s federal byelection like uncharted territory.

So much so, that if the Conservative Party of Canada doesn’t decisively hand the Liberals yet another defeat here, members of the incumbent party will no doubt be looking for someone to blame: likely media coverage, a selfie-loving prime minister, a hyper-popular opponent and a fickle electorate that would prefer a popularity contest over actual issues.

Solely based on historical voting records, this would send shockwaves to Ottawa.

But if change is indeed in the air – and the Liberals eke out a victory in a riding whose voters have not been remotely kind to the party since the 1949 general election, when it was a portion of the massive New Westminster constituency – the Conservatives, to be truly constructive, would have to look within. Campaigners would have to ask themselves how they effectively took control of the narrative throughout this brief month-long byelection period, made possible only by the actions of one of their own, former MP Dianne Watts.

Certainly the Conservatives have tried to paint the Liberals – specifically their publicity-magnet prime minister – as bad for our country. Instead, they should try harder to paint themselves as good for it.

After all, the Conservatives have a long record to campaign on, a virtually uninterrupted one that began here with career-long backbencher Benno Friesen capturing the Progressive Conservative vote in the early-’70s, followed by Reformer/Canadian Alliance/Conservative Val Meredith in the early-’90s, then four-term Conservative Russ Hiebert in the early-’00s, right up to 2015, when the so-called “Harper Government” proved so popular with this riding that voters eschewed the Liberals’ near-sweep in Surrey and selected eventual half-termer Watts to the role of MP.

Now, under new leadership, the Conservatives have decided to go with a former Delta-Richmond MP and federal cabinet minister who was selected from among “at least” seven presumably credible candidates.

As for the Tories’ take on Trudeau’s Liberals, voters have had two years to decide whether they share their criticisms and feel they’re worse off than when the Conservatives were in power. Or not.

If they don’t – and the Conservatives don’t win handily in this riding Dec. 11 – the party simply must look beyond the public being enthralled by a photobombing prime minister. They should look at their own image.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP boss Brian Edwards on moving forward, and what keeps him awake at night

Edwards spoke with Now-Leader reporter Tom Zytaruk about what he’s learning and hopes to accomplish as Surrey’s top cop

‘Focus on Surrey investments’ hoped for when Horgan speaks here in March

Luncheon at golf course planned by Surrey Board of Trade

White Rock woman says blocking ‘service dog’ from transit a denial of human rights

White Rock’s Lisa Arlin says guide-dog certification is voluntary

PHOTOS: White Rock’s Coldest Night event raises $106K

Although the event is over, competition is starting to heat up

Surge in Fraser Health home-care complaints concerns seniors advocate

Number of people complaining about home care has risen substantially over the last four years

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Burglar swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Two scout leaders missing near Sooke after swollen creek traps troop

Third leader and scouts located, while search continues for two leaders who’d gone for help

Snowfall warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway

An unstable airmass is producing heavy flurries over parts of the southern highway passes

Fraser Health warns some schools of possible COVID-19 exposure

A sixth COVID-19 patient is a woman in her 30s in the Fraser Health region who recently returned from Iran

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sex crimes in landmark #MeToo trial

The cases against the Hollywood mogul started the #MeToo movement

Most Read

l -->