The Voice published profiles on two candidates in our region in the Sept. 26 paper. As of our (Sept. 26) deadline, there are also only two of a potential six candidates confirmed for the upcoming public forum hosted by the Hinton & District Chamber of Commerce.
Our editorial department has turned themselves inside out attempting to get contact with the other parties … to no avail. The Chamber has had the same results.
Every election, whether it be municipal, provincial or federal, we have made editorial space available to all candidates to inform our readers (their voters) of their platform. It is free of charge and each candidate is given the same timelines and guidelines for length and photo submissions.
So far, this election, two candidates have seen fit to take advantage of this opportunity. But more disturbing to us, is that the missing candidates appear to be equally averse to seeing the value in the debate forum.
There are a lot of effective campaign tools at their disposal – handshaking and hobnobbing at public events, advertising and door knocking being some options in the campaign tool box. But for the undecided voter looking to inform their choice, and for the local candidate looking to sway minds, there is no more mutual opportunity than candidate debates around the region.
These events provide the best chance to compare and contrast the style and substance of national party platforms as they translate on a local level through their candidates.
People can choose to identify with the platforms of federal parties on issues like security, mountain pine beetle and the economy. Fair enough, that’s important. But there should also be some comparison as to how well local candidates articulate their party platform, and how informed they are on issues in general.
Why? Because not all issues at a federal level will be scripted like during a campaign and, as new issues emerge, we also need to choose people who can absorb details and informed opinions at a local level and effectively communicate ideas to Ottawa. In a properly functioning democracy that is the way communication is supposed to work, from the local level to Ottawa. Not the other way around.
Informed choices are the best choices.