ELECTION 2015: Large pool of candidates to chose from in Penticton

City of Penticton: History of large number of candidates running in municipal elections continues.

City of Penticton has three mayoral candidates and 25 council candidates for the upcoming municipal election.

City of Penticton has three mayoral candidates and 25 council candidates for the upcoming municipal election.

Penticton has a history of having large numbers of candidates running in municipal elections, but this year seems like it might be setting a new record.

Wolf Depner, a political scientist at University of British Columbia Okanagan, said having 28 people filing nomination papers for council and mayor could be good or bad.

“It depends on the quality of the challenger and of the incumbents,” said Depner. “The high number of candidates is both an opportunity and a threat.”

When the nomination period closed on Oct. 10, 25 people had filed nomination papers for council, along with three mayoral contenders. According to Western News archives, that trumps the last three municipal elections, though not by a large margin. Though a total of 28 candidates seems like a large amount, it’s only four more than ran in 2005 and 2011.

In 2011, 19 people put themselves forward for councillor and five for mayor, for a total of 24 candidates. In 2008, the total dropped to 20 candidates — four for mayor and 16 for council. And in 2005, there was also 24 candidates, three for mayor and 21 for council.

Having a large field is an opportunity, Depner explained, because with the vote spread over more candidates, it lowers the threshold needed to gain a seat on council. But especially for incumbents, it can be a threat.

“Even if you lose a little bit of your built-in support and it goes elsewhere, you might find yourself on the way out,” said Depner.

Depner said he gets the sense that voters in this year’s municipal election are open to different possibilities, but while the number of candidates suggests a high interest in municipal politics, it will come down to voter turnout on election day.

If turnout remains low, he said, that suggests interest is limited to a small segment of population. But if turnout increases — Penticton saw 29 per cent turnout in the 2011 election — that suggest a broader interest in issues.

“It just might indicate that whatever interest is out there is getting more and more fractured. There might be just one or two issues that are causing people to get involved, without necessarily having a broad interest in municipal politics.”

Depner cautions, however, about the election campaign becoming more about personalities than issues.

“I think people should vote on the issues rather than on the individuals. If the election campaign was strictly about individuals, one might argue that was pretty superficial. If it is about issues, that suggests a more substantive debate,” said Depner, who adds that Penticton’s mayoral race should be interesting.

John Vassilaki and Andrew Jakubeit, both incumbent councillors, declared their intention to seek the mayor’s chair in September. They were joined by a third candidate, Jukka Laurio on Friday. Laurio ran in 2011, but dropped out of the race when previous convictions for drug trafficking and a sex offence were discovered by the Western News. Depner said both Vassilaki and Jakubeit are strong candidates.

“You have people that have been involved in the community for a long time, people that have been on council for a long time. Jakubeit and Vassilaki are the frontrunners in that race, so I would say that really bodes well,” said Depner. “It would have been more interesting if there was a strong third candidate, who has a track record of being in the community, who has had a long history of community affairs but hasn’t necessarily been at council.”

To view the full list of candidates and their bios visit www.pentictonwesternnews.com/municipalelection.


 

 

 

Just Posted

(Facebook)
New trial date set in Penticton for Thomas Kruger-Allen’s triple assault charges

May trial was delayed after Crown witnesses failed to show up

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

Scales of Justice
Acquittal in Okanagan crash that killed vacationing dentist

Daerio Romeo, 29, was charged with dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm

Renderings of what the skating rink could look like beside City Hall between Martin and Main in downtown Penticton. (Activate Penticton image)
Penticton to get outdoor ice rink this winter

It’s hoped the rink will be ready to host 2022 BCHL’s 60th year celebration

The fate of Skaha Marina and its operations will be decided Saturday, June 19 on general election day. (File photo)
Penticton city hosted last forum before voters decide on fate of Skaha Marina

Residents share concerns about length of operations agreement, parking and control of park

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Vernon-Monashee NDP MLA Harwinder Sandhu supported a motion in the B.C. legislature for Canada to create a national Indigenous History month Monday, June 13, 2021. (Contributed)
Canada needs a national Indigenous History Month, Vernon MLA agrees

Harwinder Sandhu supports motion to recognize June as month to advance reconciliation efforts with First Nations

Orange ribbons are tied to the fence outside Vernon’s Gateway Homeless Shelter on 33rd Street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
POLL: Low-key Canada Day in the works for Vernon

Councillor calling for Indigenous recognition for 2022

A conceptual design of Vernon’s new Active Living Centre, which will go to referendum Oct. 15, 2022. (Rendering)
Active living centre 2022 referendum planned in Vernon

City hoping to get Coldstream and Areas B and C back on board

Closure of the 2900 block of 30th Avenue will allow restaurants and other businesses to extend their patios onto the street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Green light given to downtown Vernon road closure

Single block of 30th Avenue to close over summer months to boost business

Graduating Grade 12 student Savannah Lamb has been awarded an approximate $40,000 scholarship from the Beedie Luminaries foundation. (Contributed)
Dedicated Salmon Arm student earns scholarship to pursue post-secondary education

Savannah Lamb is graduating from Salmon Arm Secondary with a $40,000 scholarship

A provided photo of the suspect. (Kelowna RCMP/Contributed)
Kelowna RCMP investigating after business robbed

An undisclosed amount of money and merchandise were taken from the business

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

Most Read