Veteran Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite said this month’s election has been like no other – punctuated by masked conversations with voters, a mad scramble at the start after the NDP’s sudden election call and a slimmed down campaign that had to hit the ground running.
The snap election call caught the Liberals off guard in the beginning, said Thornthwaite.
“We were frantically pulling out old signs that I happened to have in my basement, that were left over from the previous campaign,” she said while waiting for results on Saturday.
Thornthwaite said while any group events were off limits during this campaign, she did still door-knock to get her message out.
“I had a mask. I would knock on the door then step back at least six feet away,” she said.
Most of the voters she met were fine with that kind of interaction, she said.
Thornthwaite, who was first elected in 2009, is defending her seat this time from NDP candidate Susie Chant, a registered nurse, and Green Party challenger Harrison Johnston.
Partway through this campaign, Thornthwaite was forced to apologize after sexist remarks she made about NDP MLA Bowinn Ma at a virtual roast became public. Thornthwaite says candidly she doesn’t know if the scandal made an impact on the campaign. “I guess we’ll know when the results come in,” she said.
But she said she’s hoping voters were guided more by her record in the riding – pointing to her advocacy on local issues like transportation, transit and mental health.
One wild card in the North Vancouver-Seymour electoral district is the potential number of mail-in ballots. Over 26 per cent of voters in the riding requested mail-in ballots, although it won’t be known how many finally opted to vote by mail for several days, and those votes won’t be counted for two more weeks.
“There are so many people I talked to who said they did the mail-in ballot,” said Thornthwaite.