The North Island said goodbye to John Duncan some months ago when he decided to stand for election in the newly-created riding of Courtenay-Alberni which was carved off of the Vancouver Island North riding he held since 1993 with one interruption.
But on Monday night, North Island voters said a final goodbye as the voters of Courtenay-Alberni rejected him along with a score of other Conservative candidates caught up in the anything-but-Harper movement that swept the Liberal Party to a majority government.
Since 1993, Duncan’s name has been on the ballot in the North Island, coming to the fore as part of the initial Reform Party wave. He morphed with the rest of the Reform movement into the Conservative Party when Reform and Progressive Conservatives merged into the vehicle for political right of the spectrum.
Regardless of his politics, Duncan deserves thanks for his two decades of service. It is a significant political accomplishment to have held onto a seat for so long. Many would offer the opinion that he didn’t do enough to earn the seat but his support was obviously strong enough to get him re-elected time and again.
Politicians are viewed with a jaundiced eye by the public these days but most of them are well-meaning individuals who seek to serve their communities. Duncan was one of those types of politicians. He never seemed driven to climb the ladder in the Conservative Party, hot after cabinet posts. His record would suggest his goal was always to serve the voters of northern Vancouver Island.
He has been a political fixture in this region for a long time but, as he said, all good things must come to an end. Good for him personally, that is, he and his party have to answer politically for their record. But Duncan’s legacy is one of service, good yeomanship, a soldier serving his party and constituents to the best of his ability.
Thank you John for those years of service.