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To those who ran: thank you

Dene Moore raises a toast to the dedicated and frankly brave individuals who stepped up and put their names on the ballot.
At least some will be filled.

It was perhaps California state senate candidate Dick Tuck who best summed up democracy in his 1966 concession speech:

“The people have spoken, the bastards.”

It seems we bastards of British Columbia will have to wait a couple of weeks before we know for certain who to verbally abuse and accuse of all manner of conspiracies for the next four years, owing to the huge number of mail-in ballots that can’t be counted until polls close on Election Day.

In the meantime, I’d like to thank all of the 332 candidates who ran for provincial office – because the difference between democracy and autocracy is choice. And each person who took the time, effort, and money to put their name on the ballot ensured that choice exists.

Thank you Thomas Martin, the Green Party candidate in Kamloops-North Thompson, who is getting married on Election Day.

Thank you to the full slates of BC NDP and BC Liberal candidates, and the 74 people who ran under the banner of the BC Green Party.

Thank you Tyson Riel Strandlund, the Communist Party of BC candidate in Langford-Juan de Fuca, and the four other Communists confirmed as candidates. Спасибо.

Thank you Laura-Lynn Thompson in Abbotsford South and her four Christian Heritage Party of B.C. colleagues who ran. I truly hope you don’t get any votes but I appreciate that you put your names on a ballot.

Thank you Jeff Hammersmark, who ran in Chilliwack-Kent under the Green banner but encouraged voters to cast their ballots for Independent candidate Jason Lum to try and defeat former-Liberal-turned-Independent Laurie Throness.

Thank you even to Laurie Throness, whose comments on birth control I find knuckle-draggingly offensive, and whose defeat I will celebrate.

Thank you to Arlyn Grieg and Dorothy Sharon Smith of Wexit BC, who I’m guessing haven’t been following Alberta politics in the news.

Thank you to Scott Andrews, who carried the NDP banner in my own riding of Cariboo-Chilcotin – even though he lives in Victoria. Nobody in the riding stepped up but New Democrat supporters had a choice, because Mr. Andrews was willing.

Thank you also to Corbin Kelley, the BC Liberal candidate in Kootenay West, who did the same for that region’s Liberals and who, at 19, is one of the youngest candidates vying for votes.

Thank you to the three candidates of the upstart BC Vision party. Its platform is not lengthy, but very upbeat.

Thank you to BC Conservative Party leader Trevor Bolin and the party’s 18 other candidates. It has been 70 years since the Conservative party led a B.C. government and 40 since a Conservative MLA was elected to the legislature, but the beauty of a democracy is that if you don’t like what you see on the ballot, you can put yourself on it.

Thank you to Kate O’Connor, the BC Green candidate in Saanich South who turned 18 during the campaign, the youngest would-be MLA on the ballot.

And we can’t overlook the grassroots party people and Elections BC staff who have  worked so hard in the past month and more to make a provincial election happen in a safe, democratic manner during a massive public health crisis.

And finally, a thank you to BC Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau, BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, and BC NDP leader John Horgan.

With the U.S. presidential election unfolding south of the border, nothing could have stood in starker relief than the campaigns you have conducted. Thank you for acquitting yourselves with class; for not once calling upon neo-Nazis to “stand by;” for showing up and not being dangerously narcissistic robber barons.

Long live democracy.

Dene Moore is an award-winning journalist and writer. A news editor and reporter for The Canadian Press news agency for 16 years, Moore is now a freelance journalist living in the South Cariboo. Moore’s two decades in daily journalism took her as far afield as Kandahar as a war correspondent and the Innu communities of Labrador. She has worked in newsrooms in Vancouver, Montreal, Regina, Saskatoon, St. John’s and Edmonton. She has been published in the Globe and Mail, Maclean’s magazine, the New York Times and the Toronto Star, among others. She is a Habs fan and believes this is the year.