Criminologist and media columnist John Martin announced his bid Tuesday for the BC Conservative nomination in the Chilliwack-Hope byelection.
Martin said he has no fear of splitting the conservative vote to allow an NDP victory in the riding.
He said the BC Liberals “might have been” the conservative choice in their first term, but since then have swung to the left in policies and leadership.
“Christy Clark is a diehard federal Liberal – that’s not a conservative party,” he said.
The BC Liberals are “beholden to big business,” he said, while the NDP is “beholden to big unions.”
The BC Conservative Party is the “right-of-centre, common-sense, mainstream option” to those two parties, he said. “We’re the only option that’s not beholden to someone.”
Martin also said he doesn’t think voters will be reluctant to cast a ballot for a relatively unknown party like the BC Conservatives.
“We’re a re-emerging political party,” he agreed, but party leader John Cummins has “enormous credibility” in the province, which even his fiercest political opponents would acknowledge.
“Only a BC Conservative government will get spending under control, reduce taxes and put the interests of British Columbians first,” he said.
“The 90s under the NDP were an economic disaster,” he said. “Nobody is looking forward to that kind of economic carnage.”
Martin has been teaching criminology at UFV campuses in Chilliwack and Abbotsford for 25 years, as well as courses for RCMP members at the Pacific Regional Training Centre.
He has written opinion columns in several newspapers, including The Province and The Chilliwack Times and appeared as a guest on talk radio shows.
He lives in Chilliwack with Margaret, his wife of 20 years.
“This is home, and I’m looking forward to getting out and meeting more people in Chilliwack-Hope,” he said.