Pumpkin pie, strategic voting and naked constituents

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Reporter Jen St. Denis on the news that caught her eye this week.

Like 3.6 million of my fellow Canadians, I voted in advance polls as the Thanskgiving long weekend drew to a close. My motivation? It was Monday evening, we needed to walk off some pumpkin pie, the kids were getting antsy. To the polls!

Perhaps the 71% increase in advanced voting Elections Canada recorded is an indication that Canadians want to clean political house. Or maybe we’re just tired of this long (for Canadians) election and want it to be over already.

My riding is Vancouver Centre, where constituents like to answer the door in the nude

On this last Friday before the big day, the Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun, Ottawa Citizen and National Post have all endorsed the Conservatives, although the Globe and Mail’s endorsement — for the Conservatives but not for Harper — has raised some eyebrows.

Acknowledging that the Conservatives made some people mad with their handling of the Syrian refugee crisis and focus on banning the niqab during citizenship ceremonies, the Vancouver Sun’s editorial board nevertheless drew the conclusion that for British Columbians, it’s all about the economy:

“As election day draws closer, voters tend to focus on pocketbook issues — income taxes, jobs and their standard of living. And on managing those matters of the greatest importance to them, Stephen Harper’s Conservative party is their best bet.”

In the waning days of the campaign the race continues to be incredibly close between the Conservatives and Liberals, leading Liberal leader Justin Trudeau to even muse about forming a majority government. That may leave you wondering, oh economy-focused reader: How would economic policy change under Trudeau

Trudeau was also dealing with a rather inconveniently timed scandal involving his former campaign co-chair.

While newspaper endorsements emphasized economic stability as a reason to keep the Conservatives in power, one Vancouver businessman disagrees. Tech entrepreneur Frederick Ghahramani has donated $1 million to fight the controversial anti-terror bill C-51, which the Conservatives introduced and the Liberals voted for. Ghahramani thinks the bill is a threat to Canadian businesses because of the heightened surveillance powers it allows government to use.

In local election scandal news, strategic voting organization Lead Now was in hot water over its endorsement of NDP candidate Mira Oreck in the new riding of Vancouver-Granville, although polling shows the Liberals either leading or neck-and-neck with the NDP.

Speaking of strategic voting, BIV’s sister newspaper, the Burnaby Now, has a few words of warning on the practice.

My advice? Don’t rely on newspaper endorsements or organizations preaching strategic voting. Read up on the party platforms. Think about what’s important to you and your community. And on Monday, vote.