B.C. politics has been termed a "blood sport," and election campaign trails are often said to be littered with the "bodies" of unsuccessful politicians.
But those are figurative expressions - metaphors for events in which the blood is only visible to those who live and breathe politics, and the bodies strewn about get up and walk again, although sometimes never again in the paths of politics.
Now that the writ has dropped and the election campaigns are officially underway, we expect the candidates to come out of their corners swinging.
We expect them to hit hard and land some solid blows against their opponents.
We expect them to fight to win. But we also expect them keep the dirt on the floor of the arena, where it belongs.
We want a good, hard, clean fight. Just as in boxing. We want to be able to appreciate the battle, to suss out the strategies, and to learn each combatant's strong and weak points.
Because when this month-long contest has run its course, we're going to have to choose one of them to get into the ring in Victoria and fight on our behalf for the next four years.
We want the best candidate for the big job that lies ahead. We don't want a light-weight.
We want someone with strength and stamina, with the condition required to go the long haul.
And we want someone who will represent us the way we would want to represent ourselves: with grit, determination, and deep sense of fair play.
Politicians, like boxers, may fall down occasionally. Not all of the candidates will win. That's part of the game. As long as they keep it clean, they deserve our respect for taking their best shot, and for offering us their service.