Some things just need to be said...

Monday, May 30, 2005

Cariboo showdown today!

Recounts begin today, final results from the provincial election should be finalized by the end of the day in most cases.

In the Cariboo the two seats will be subject to recounts. Cariboo South is the tightest race. In that election, the NDP candidate, Charlie Wyse won by 26 votes. Today they will be looking at all the ballots along with rejected ballots and the absentee ballots.

Cariboo South had 933 absentee ballots so it could be a long day for two candidates, Charlie Wyse and BC Liberal candidate and incumbent Walt Cobb.

Cariboo North shows the NDP's Bob Simpson ahead with 199 ballots. I am unaware of the exact number of absentee ballots, likely around 900. The 199 vote lead will be hard to turn around and elect Steve Wallace, the BC Liberal.

This race was likely the second most heated in the province. Steve Wallace told the Quesnel Cariboo Observer yesterday that Elections BC declared him the winner then corrected their mistake.

"Given that Elections BC did make the mistake, it's just due process," said Wallace of his request. The candidate doesn't expect the riding will swing his way. "Unless there's some sort of transposing mistake, I don't know if it's going to change," said Wallace. "(The recount) is for my own peace of mind and proper diligence." - Quesnel Observer, May 29, 2005

Wallace is known for his confrontational and direct approach. He was often the centre of heated debates in Quesnel while Mayor of the City. Some of those heated battles surrounded the "Ernest Building". The City was very divided on the project.

Wallace never retreated as Mayor, often tackling then Cariboo South MLA, David Zirnhelt at regional district meetings. Of interest, Zirnhelt may well have been the last MLA to have an open door and to be willing to face his critics. This left him open to the often unresearched attacks, often partisan in nature from Wallace. The difference between Zirnhelt and the past group of Liberal MLAs, was David did meet with everyone, and took the heat as well as the praise. As Mayor, Wallace was never shy of throwing his support behind the Liberal and previous Social Credit parties.

Wallace's take on election night "winner" was intended to create some doubt, suggesting Elections BC made a mistake. That is typical Wallace. Elections BC has responded in the Quesnel Observer saying ...

Elections BC communications manager Jennifer Miller confirmed that Elections BC has not admitted any counting error in Cariboo North. And she says Elections BC didn't declare Wallace the winner. "We never declare any successful candidate until the conclusion of the final count," said Miller. "We always make sure that people understand that these are preliminary numbers." - Quesnel Observer, May 29, 2005

One good thing, with 199 vote lead, Bob Simpson is in good shape. Approximately 900 absentee ballots are still to be added to the count, a shift of 200 is extremely remote. The province will have a much better chance of developing a more civil course in the Legislature without Steve Wallace.

Me of course, I do have a little bigger grin than normal. I worked for David Zirnhelt in the 90's and was on the other end of some of Wallace's off the cuff remarks and unconstructive comments and shenanigans. I do take the partisan pleasure in seeing him lose this one, to Bob Simpson, a former BC Liberal.

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