Friday, January 20, 2006

Local candidates forum

Tonight I spent a couple of hours listening to all 6 of my local candidates for Edmonton- Millwoods-Beaumont. David Kilgore's former riding.

In no particular order:

CPC: Mike Lake
Lib: Amarjit Grewal
NDP: Neal Gray
Green: Kate Harrington
Communist: Naomi Rankin
IND: Kyle Mcleod

The forum was attended by approx 100 people at the Beaumont Highschool and consisted of an opening 5 minute statement, selected audience questions, both group and 1 direct question to each candidate, followed by a minute rap-up statement.

Nothing of note through the openings, although my mind does drift off for a few minutes as I ponder how many votes the Communist candidate figures she will get, and I miss most of her opening.

The group questions soon follow (paraphrased), USA relations, the handicapped, SSM, proportional rep, student funding, Kyoto, and ethics. My question on the not withstanding clause does not make the cut tonight, and remains un-read.

As this is not a normal campaign I was not sure what to expect, and was not dissapointed with the result. Mr.Grewal answered with the usual party lines for the most part, but also stated that he was in favour of proportional representation, and wanted to use the surplus to provide free University education to everyone. Yes, he said "everyone".

Wow, I never saw this stuff in the Liberal platform, but than again who knows what the PM had promised in the last few hours while I have been away from news. When asked for his direct question if he would ever vote against party lines, Mr. Grewal stated that he would vote for what ever we wanted. It was a very strange campaign style, but understandable with anyone attached to the Liberal party at this time with the leader saying anything just to stay alive.

Mike Lake, even though he was nursing a sore throat from the campaign trail, managed to make his points known and did well. He was the victim of perhaps the best line of the night thrown out by Mr.Grewal when he told Mike to "keep his day job". Referring to Mikes campaign literature about leaving his 'dream job' with the Edmonton Oilers and running for the CPC. I think Mike got a laugh out of that one as well, but come Monday Mike will have a new job representing the good people of Edmonton-Millwoods-Beaumont.

Feel free to track his progress election night; as one of the 2 seats won for the Liberals in Alberta during the last election I expect to see some media coverage.


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