Vote could be game changer

It may be 'only a byelection' but a vote in West Kelowna this weekend has the potential to change the political landscape of the province.

The seat vacated by former Liberal Party leader and Premier Christy Clark is up for grabs and should the Liberals lose the seat to the NDP, the NDP would have a majority government.

However, the Green Party will still play a pivotal role in BC politics no matter the result as they have three seats which could mean the difference in the Legislature depending on where they place their support.

Vernon-Monashee Liberal MLA Eric Foster said it would be “a terrible thing” for the Liberals should Ben Stewart not secure the riding.

Stewart held the riding before he vacated it for Clark who lost in her own riding in the 2013 election, but then won the Westside-Kelowna byelection.

Foster is confident his party will prevail.

“It's traditionally an area that is very strong for us,” said Foster. “Ben Stewart has done a great job on the campaign and I think he will do well. Ben coming back will make a big difference. They will be on their toes and the minute they are not we will be all over them.”

Foster said the challenge is having support for Stewart translate into people coming out and voting for him.

“People in a byelection tend to not be too excited, especially if it's not going to make a big difference, but this one is going to make a big difference,” he said. “This one is important. It's important for our supporters to know that they need to get out there and vote.”

As for Clark leaving the party and forcing the important byelection, Foster said Clark knew it was time to move on.

“It's like the milk in your fridge, it has a best-before date on it and good political leaders know when they have reached their best-before date,” said Foster. “Christy felt she had reached that point. I was very disappointed when she decided to step down, but she knew when it was time.”

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