Mike Simon made a political faux pas early in his election campaign.
He was honest.
“I am fresh to this level of politics and maybe a little naive,” said the Lake Laberge Liberal candidate.
“I thought honesty pays off.”
So, after a day of campaigning, on September 11, Simon posted an update on his Liberal Facebook page.
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Titled, The Liberal Party is Your Best Choice in Laberge, it read: “Something I heard a few times now: The NDP seems to be the stronger party and we may vote there to end the Yukon Party majority.
“I have travelled the riding and talked to people since I started the nomination process last December. Since then I received endorsement and promised votes from several conservative people. Those people will not vote NDP!
“If leaning Liberals or undecided votes go to the NDP, the chances of Mr. Cathers getting re-elected increase.
“If your goal is to send a message to the Yukon Party, in Laberge your best choice is to vote Liberal – Mike Simon for MLA.”
Since then, Simon has continued to update his Facebook page almost daily.
He wrote about issues that were coming up on the doorstep, everything from First Nation concerns to energy issues and housing prices; he talked about touring non-profits, like Blood Ties Four Directions, and he reminded constituents to get enumerated.
But this week, Simon’s September 11 post came back to haunt him.
An NDP flyer, being distributed in the Laberge riding, quotes a segment of Simon’s post.
It says: “Something I heard a few times now: The NDP seems to be the stronger party and we may vote there to end the Yukon Party majority. – Liberal candidate Mike Simon, September 11, 2011.”
The NDP “has taken my quote out of context,” said Simon.
“This is what I heard from some constituents on the doorstep early on,” he said.
“But the NDP is attributing this to me.
“I never said the NDP is the stronger party,” he added.
“I firmly believe the Liberals are the better party.”
The quote was not taken out of context, said NDP spokesperson Robin Steudel.
Steudel agreed that the “greater context” of Simon’s statement suggests “he wants people to vote Liberal.
“But it wasn’t taken out of context at all,” she said.
It’s surprising, after last night’s public debate, when NDP Leader Liz Hanson “said she wants to be more honest and civil and change the tone in the house, that she would do this,” said Simon on Thursday.
“It’s disappointing to me to have the quote taken out of context.”
Going door to door, Simon has been hearing “that people want change,” he said. “They’re tired of the Yukon Party.
“And the Liberals have a lot of support,” he said.
Contact Genesee Keevil at