Carved out of five ridings, Vancouver Granville is seen as a fairly safe Conservative territory.
But for a 22-year-old UBC law student, anything can happen in this new riding that goes east to west from Main Street to Arbutus Street, and north to south from Fairview to Marpole.
“There really is no certainty,” Rob Mason told the Straight in a phone interview regarding his bid to win the NDP nomination.
So far, there is only one official candidate in the riding: Jody Wilson-Raybould, the regional chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations who was acclaimed by federal Liberals last year.
Conservatives have yet to choose their candidate. The NDP has not set a nomination date.
Since it’s a new riding, Mason believes that the outcome in this year’s election will depend in part on how hard the candidates campaign.
According to Mason, things will also hinge on “how things go nationally”.
By that, the first-year law student was likely referring to how leaders of the major parties perform, especially during the campaign period.
Mason certainly didn’t shy away from making references to Liberal leader Justin Trudeau in a February 1 open letter he addressed to Liberal candidate Wilson-Raybould.
“I have a lot of respect for your professional accomplishments, so I was disappointed when you decided to tie your political future to the least qualified leader in your party’s history,” Mason wrote in the letter that he posted on social media.
In the same letter and on the subject of climate change, Mason noted that experts “almost universally acknowledge that putting a price on carbon is the most effective solution”.
Going for two by throwing in the incumbent Conservative prime minister, Mason wrote: “Trudeau’s solution is to abdicate federal leadership on this responsibility to the provinces, just as Stephen Harper has been doing all along. Do you stand with Trudeau in opposing a federal carbon market?”
Regarding electoral reform, and specifically proportional voting, an alternative to the current first-past-the-post system, Mason asked Wilson-Raybould: “Do you support switching to a system of proportional representation? If so, how will you persuade your leader to change his vote?”