Editorial: Listen, look, ponder, vote

British Columbia’s election campaign finally begins today for real. After months of waiting and looking at every pronouncement as a barely disguised election ploy, voters will see the political animal in its natural habitat: the doorsteps of the province.
Local candidates will knock on your door, parties will flood the province with ads and leaders will roll into communities large and small on their buses.
Every election is important, but this one promises to be memorable. Either the prevailing wisdom is correct and Adrian Dix’s New Democratic Party will form the next government, or Christy Clark’s B.C. Liberals will prove the pundits wrong and hold onto power.
Many British Columbians have already made up their minds, but polls suggest as many as 20 per cent are still undecided. For undecided and decided voters alike, the campaign period is the last chance to weigh the choices — the last chance to confirm your earlier intention or change your mind.
Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, spend the next four weeks reading and listening to what the parties and candidates say. Look at their records over the past years.
 The Liberals released their platform Monday. Although the NDP has not released all of its platform, it has announced some of its planks; more will follow in coming days. B.C. Conservatives came out with both a pre-election platform and fiscal framework. The Green party’s Green Book 2013 is updated periodically with new policies.
A blizzard of information is on its way, and it’s up to voters to dig through it over the coming month. It will be hard work, but don’t leave it to someone else. It’s your vote.

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