B.C. Ridings to Watch

By Royce Koop on Sep 15, 2008

The Georgia Straight has a "Five Ridings to Watch" column. I have to grudgingly concede that Vancouver Centre has turned into one of the most interesting local races in the province, if not the country. Hedy Fry has been around for a long time and has cultivated good relationships with most groups in the riding. But Lorne Mayencourt has been a local MLA since 2001 and has worked with the same constituents as Fry. Mayencourt has to be considered a star candidate for the Tories. Fry should hold on to this riding, but she may be battered by a weak national Liberal campaign. Fry pulled off a shocker in this riding in 1993 when she defeated Kim Campbell; Mayencourt may pull off just such a surprise victory this time around.

Michael Byers, a UBC political scientist and author, was touted by the NDP as a star candidate, but I'm not sure that he's made much of a dent in this race. Adrienne Carr, former leader of the BC Greens, is running for the Green Party. What I can't understand is why Carr, probably the strongest Green candidate in the province, chose this riding to run in. Wouln't she have stood a better chance running on the Sunshine Coast or in a Vancouver Island riding?

The Straight has also identified my riding, Vancouver Quadra, as an interesting race. There was a by-election campaign in Quadra just a few months ago and the Liberal candidate, Joyce Murray, defeated the Conservative by only 151 votes (!). The Conservative candidate, Deborah Meredith, was re-appointed by the party to challenge Murray in this campaign. This has traditionally been a solid Liberal riding, and Murray's tiny margin of victory in the by-election was a shocker.

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