Vancouver, BC, May 5, 1997
A sticky stumble
ROUND one is over in the much-anticipated match-up between incumbent Reform MP Ted White and Liberal newcomer Warren Kinsella.
No knockout punches were landed, but Kinsella definitely stumbled in the first week of his bid to become North Vancouver's representative in Ottawa.
The Liberal contender has made much noise about getting away from 'politics-as-usual,' yet his performance last Tuesday at a Capilano College photo-op with Prime Minister Jean Chretien displayed some familiar tactics from elections past.
Kinsella and his supporters bused in over 100 high school students for what he called a lesson in the political process.
They got a lesson all right: politics is a manipulative and cynical game. Just the thing our next generation of voters needs.
To identify the students involved in the field trip, the Liberals adorned each student with a sticker. You'd think a Canadian flag or Vote '97 sticker would do the trick.
Instead, they were forced to wear 'Youth for Kinsella' and 'Youth for Peck' (a Port Moody-Coquitlam Liberal contender) stickers on their clothes. No sticker, no bus ride home.
Had this group of students been Young Liberals, no problem. But in using impressionable teenagers to further his political ambitions under the guise of an educational field trip, Kinsella displayed the cynical nature of politics the voting public longs to put behind it.
Round one to Reform, and White didn't even have to throw a punch.