Meet the surprise fifth contender for Kamloops-South Thompson

By James Peters
April 20, 2017 - 7:48am

KAMLOOPS — There has been a surprise fifth entrant into the race to represent Kamloops-South Thompson after the May 9 election.

Jessica Bradshaw's name will be on the ballot, representing the Libertarian Party.

Bradshaw is a longtime Kamloops resident who is employed as a residential care worker in a group home for the disabled.

She says she chose to run for the Libertarian Party because she was frustrated with the choices presented by the major parties.

"It takes away from one sector to give to another sector, and it seems like somebody's always getting screwed over in the deal at some point in time. It's either the seniors or the students or the people in between. Not everybody benefits from this system, so it kind of becomes a Russian roulette of who you're going to choose. I just kind of gave up because I didn't want to choose anymore."

"(The Libertarian platform is based) on people's free will; more freedom and less government - having people make more of their own choices again. That's what kind of interested me about the party because I feel that's exactly what people need. I know there's a need for it because I go out there and speak to people in the community and I see a need for it."

Bradshaw says the Libertarian Party isn't afraid to borrow policies that have proven successful in other jurisdictions.

She notes an example is the decriminalization of drugs, which has driven down addiction and crime rates in Portugal.

"If they've been tried somewhere else and they've been successful, the Libertarian Party doesn't see a reason why they should not be tried here. There are certain regulations that end up stepping on people's toes more than giving them a freedom to do something. I think it needs to be more in the hands of the people making these decisions than a few making the decisions for the many."

Bradshaw admits she's new to campaigning, and has a limited budget, but doesn't want to base her campaign simply on door-knocking.

"I basically try to be available to the public; I try to get out there and discuss with people. I feel that's a little bit better than going to their door and harrassing them when they're busy. At the same time, it's very important for me to get my name out there, so I try to take every opportunity I can to do that."

"I try to be realistic about this election. I realize that I'm a new party. I realize that the majority of the public has not heard about the Libertarian Party. It's basically just getting our views out there and we have to take another stab at it in four years, we're more than happy to do that. This is something we're in for the long run."

Kamloops-South Thompson will also have BC Liberal, NDP, Green and Communist options on the ballot.

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