NANAIMO — He’s only seven years old, but Danny Oppen has won the Green Party’s “Design Our Candidate” contest for this year’s provincial election.

Hundreds of people entered the contest, which aimed to design the quintessentially stereotypical Green candidate.

Judges were particularly impressed with Danny’s attention to detail. “He couldn’t have nailed it more perfectly,” said head judge Marjorie Smythe. “I mean, he designed a character that wears red plaid flannel and is a wilderness photographer who blogs about mindfulness.”

Danny used Photoshop, stock photography, and AI-based character creation design tools to create a digital mockup of what his fake candidate would look like, if he were real:

“It’s almost eerie how accurate the character design was,” said Smythe. “The ball cap. The hiking boots. The greying beard. It’s the perfect Green candidate-design.”

Indeed, Danny’s contest entry even came complete with a fake web site he made, where the “candidate” says things like “I will touch on topics of mindfulness and how it can bring more happiness into your life,” and “these past years have found me spending all of my time in the outdoors.” The mocked-up site also contains an exhaustive list of camping supplies.

Danny admits his dad helped him come up with some blog posts. “We just imagined what a candidate from the Green Party would write, and did that.” Blog posts on the fake site include “My Perfect Day in Medicine Hat Mountain Biking” and “Plastic Free Challenge.” It also includes recommendations for tick- and mosquito-repellent clothing.

Danny said his inspiration for the fake candidate design came from the video game Far Cry 5 — specifically, the primary antagonist, a cult leader named Joseph Seed.

He named the candidate “Chris Istace.”

The Green Party holds the contest each election, in lieu of selecting actual candidates.

Vote Nathan Poe.

For the record, this post is satire. Of course, the Greens are running candidates. In Nanaimo-North Cowichan, it’s Chris Istace — who is a real person and the real candidate. [news article] Here’s why he’s running, according to his web site.

At the time of this writing, other candidates in that riding were Duck Paterson (BC Liberals) and Doug Routley (NDP).

You can either vote in-person or by mail.