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Debate: Sterk plugs seven Green ridings

At the conclusion of a milquetoast broadcast that was stunningly free of debate, the leaders of B.C.'s three top political parties delivered closing statements that summed up their distinct appeals quite concisely.

B.C. Liberals Leader Gordon Campbell wants voters to focus on the economy, NDP Leader Carole James wants voters to consider government services, tax cuts and public resources, and Green Leader Jane Sterk is promoting seven ridings where Green Party candidates are running strong campaigns.

Each leader was given one minute to make a closing statement.

Gordon Campbell behaved like a front-runner, and made no mention of his opponents:

“This is a question about our economy and leadership. Who can lead us through these challenging times, so we can come out stronger on the other side? ...

“There are thousands of jobs at stake... It’s time for us to think long-term.”

Carole James re-framed the ballot-box question this way:

“I think you’ve seen two very clear choices. Gordon Campbell will make life tougher for families. He’ll increase your taxes. He’ll cut the vital services and programs that matter to you. And he’s giving away the resources that belong to all of us...

“I’m going to make sure that families come first. I’m going to make key investments in cutting your taxes, putting more money back in your pocket: $1.8 billion that will help stimulate the economy. I’m going to make sure that public resources stay in public hands for the public good."

Jane Sterk used her final moment to offer veiled plugs for the seven leading Green candidates:

“Actually, there are three choices in this election. The Green Party is a legitimate third choice.

“I want to talk to the 40 per cent of you who don’t vote. Because your vote could determine the outcome in this election. You could get some green MLAs into the legislature. And that could profoundly change the legislature for the good. ...

“In Peace River North, you could get a First Nations candidate into the legislature. In Cowichan Valley and [Vancouver]-False Creek and West Vancouver-[Sea to Sky] and Penticton and Vernon-[Monashee], you could get small businesspeople in the legislature. ...

“And in Esquimalt-Royal Roads, I’d like you to vote for me.”

Monte Paulsen reports for The

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