Alternative BC election candidates face up-hill battle for votes

Alternative BC election candidates face up-hill battle for votes
WatchFrom the Communist Party to the BC Conservatives and independents, there are 11 candidates running on Vancouver Island outside the three main parties but their chances of winning are low. So why are they running? Tess van Straaten takes a look.

Campaigning in Cook Street Village, Jordan Reichert knows he has an uphill battle for votes.

“I think it’s really important we have a diversity of voices in the legislature and also to hold the NDP, Greens and Liberals accountable,” the independent candidate in Victoria-Beacon Hill says.

There are only a handful of independent candidates on Vancouver Island this election and 11 total that don’t belong to the three main parties.

Tyson Riel Strandlund — who’s running in the premier’s riding of Langford-Juan de Fuca — is one of three Communist Party of Canada candidates on the Island.

“The other parties, they’re all relatively the same,” the Langford-Juan de Fuca candidate says. “They’re capitalist parties and we think there’s a lot of serious crisis that have come as result of capitalism.”

Strandlund ran in the last provincial election and the last two federal elections and says getting people to vote communist is a challenge.

“We’re a working-class party, we don’t have the support of big business and corporations and the rich who lend their financial support to other parties,” Strandlund says.

The BC Conservatives — which haven’t had an MLA elected since 1975 — only have 19 candidates province-wide and just two on the Island. But they’re still hoping to woo right-wing voters.

“The Liberals need about two terms in the woodshed for a good licking and then they’d come back with a better attitude,” says Parksville-Qualicum B.C. Conservative candidate Don Purdey.

And while they all admit they don’t stand a chance, it’s not about that for Reichert — who’s run five times in the last five years for all three levels of government.

“Certainly people say, ‘well what’s the point of running?'” Reichert says. “But I’m not necessarily running to get the most votes. I’m running to make a difference in our politics.”

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