Candidates Downplay Talk Of Aboriginal Vote Split

Friday, December 02, 2005 at 14:31



The man apparently destined to represent the Liberals in northern Saskatchewan in the federal election campaign says vote-splitting is not an issue he’s worried about.


Some feel Conservative MP Jeremy Harrison benefitted from the fact Aboriginal voters had a choice of three Aboriginal candidates in the last campaign in the Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River constituency.


But Liberal candidate Gary Merasty says he will work hard at getting his party’s message out to the public, and he believes that will separate his campaign from the NDP’s.


Merasty says the Liberal Party has distinct differences from the NDP, and Paul Martin’s vision of governance is significantly different from Jack Layton’s.


He also says Martin has made the issues of First Nations and Metis peoples a priority for his government, and the recent First Ministers Meeting on Aboriginal Issues proves that.


Meanwhile, the NDP candidate in Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River says she, too, isn’t worried about a two-way split between herself and Merasty for the Aboriginal vote.


Anita Jackson says her party has distinct advantages than her Liberal counterparts, and that will separate them in a big way.


She believes the biggest advantage is the federal NDP’s potential to get things done with the provincial NDP government.


Jackson adds Layton is also more widely known this time around than he was in the last campaign.