It seems awfully early to be talking about next May, especially with a long, cold winter ahead of us, but it keeps coming up.
It's about politics.
"Could you please do an article on when the next provincial election is going to be held?" a reader asked via voicemail.
Yes, ma'am, the next B.C. election is set for May 14, 2013, unless Premier Christy Clark can figure a way out of it. The date is right there in writing, and can be changed only if Lieutenant Governor Steven Point dissolves the Legisature over some sort of crisis.
But Clark, who once thought of forcing an election as early as last year, would likely now prefer to wait past the May date and pray for something to take voters' minds off the HST.
In our two Kamloops ridings, the New Democrats have had their candidates in place for well over a year. They picked legal aid lawyer Kathy Kendall to challenge Terry Lake in Kamloops-North Thompson, and TRU instructor Tom Friedman to try again in Kamloops-South Thompson.
Party leader Adrian Dix was at the nominations, warning, "We have to be ready."
But the HST went down to defeat, Clark backed off, and we're back to waiting for next May. The Liberals nominated their own candidates just a month ago - it was more of a coronation than a nomination, really.
There's Lake in the north river riding, of course. And Todd Stone, the man with the Liberal pedigree as long as your arm, was equally a sure thing to step into the big shoes of Kevin Krueger on the south side of the river.
Coffee-shop wisdom says it will be a "close" election in these parts. Coffee-shop wisdom always says that, and it usually turns out not as close as everyone thought it would be.
Lake, though, won his seat by less than 500 votes over the NDP's Doug Brown. With the North Thompson traditionally fertile ground for the NDP, is Lake at risk despite his profile as environment minister?
In Kamloops-South Thompson, Krueger thumped Friedman by almost 4,000 votes but will rookie candidate Stone be able to hold the edge against lingering memories of the hated HST and a premier who hasn't gotten untracked?
Such questions are what make politics such intriguing ground for speculation. But add something brand new to the mix and it gets even better.
Every public opinion poll since the 2009 election and the explosion of the HST debate has shown the NDP soundly trouncing the Liberals, and the projected seat numbers have varied only marginally since then.
What has changed drastically, though, is the upsurge of the B.C. Conservatives, who have gone from single digits to challenging the Liberals for second place.
Which, naturally, has brought up the vote-splitting debate. It's even possible the NDP could gain power but find themselves a minority government, and you know how much fun those are.
So, where are the Kamloops Conservative candidates? Nowhere in sight so far. No well-known candidates to speculate about; indeed, no candidates at all. They're planning nomination meetings in late October or early November and it's said two people are interested in the Kamloops South nomination and one in Kamloops North.
Meanwhile, the Tories are focused on making policy.
With all the attention so far going to the well known Liberal and NDP candidates, the Tories will have a lot of catching up to do in getting some public profile here.