Cowichan has candidates now from all of the major political parties.
The Conservatives took their sweet time in choosing someone to represent the riding, putting candidate Martin Barker several months behind on the campaign trail, but we expect he will now be making his presence felt alongside Alistair MacGregor of the NDP, Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi of the Green Party and Maria Manna of the Liberals.
Campaign signs have started to appear on lawns and at intersections.
Candidates have been walking in parades and attending community fall fairs, trying to shake hands with as many of their potential constituents as possible.
Our sense is that many in the general public seem to be waiting until at least after Labour Day to dive in and decide who to back, and there’s been plenty of grumbling about the long election run-up.
But as for big issues, we think those are still being defined as the days go forward.
Fortunately, here in Canada they debate and dialogue hasn’t veered into the ridiculous the way it has in the United States.
To the south we hear news of Donald Trump being, well, Donald Trump.
Then there’s his rival Scott Walker who thinks building a wall between Canada and the U.S. actually deserves serious consideration.
We guess he didn’t want to feel left out after Trump suggested a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
But back home we have plenty of issues of real import to talk about.
There’s the economy, which is now officially in recession, though we’d argue that is has never been as good as advertised since 2008. We’d rather talk about jobs than the “economy” monolith anyway.
Then there’s the environment, which is inextricably linked to the economy, whether some like to acknowledge that or not.
Between pipelines, gutting of government departments and enforcement, conservation and new technologies there’s plenty to get the blood pumping.
There’s also national security versus privacy and civil rights and the controversial legislation that’s put a pointy end on those discussions of late.
There’s health care and the federal government’s role in it.
Childcare programs are concerning Canadians and First Nations issues including missing and murdered aboriginal women remain topics of great interest.
Then there’s the continuing ire over the totally unsuccessful scrapping of the long-form census and the ever popular discussions on “balancing the budget”, which usually doesn’t mean what most people think it does.
What are your key issues? Write us a letter.