The federal election campaign is in full swing, and while the efforts of candidates to sway voters may feel overwhelming at times, it’s important to not simply turn off.
One of them, like it or not, will be chosen to be the voice of South Surrey-White Rock – to represent the community in Ottawa – and it behooves all who live in this riding, and who have the right to influence that choice, to pay attention.
While what’s happening at the national level can be interesting and even important, it’s equally, if not more, important to size up local candidates. In South Surrey-White Rock, they are Stephen Crozier (NDP), Kerry-Lynne Findlay (Conservative), Pixie Hobby (Green), Gordie Hogg (Liberal) and Joel Poulin (People’s Party of Canada).
Many people tend to look at elections as a chance to vote for the leader of a national party, but in truth, nobody except the voters in their ridings are really doing so. So what are the local candidates like?
All-candidates meetings are a good place to start.
Yes, they take a night off the table for other, more social, activities, but they are also all-in-one chances to meet all of the candidates, hear from them in person and compare and contrast what they have to say.
On the Peninsula, the first of at least four of these opportunities takes place tonight (6:30 p.m. Oct. 4), at the White Rock Community Centre. Next week, there are meetings on Wednesday (7 p.m. Oct. 9), at Gracepoint Community Church, and Thursday (6:30 p.m. Oct. 10), at Semiahmoo House. The fourth all-candidates event is set for 7 p.m. Oct. 16 at the White Rock Community Centre.
Voting is about making an important choice. The candidates are doing their part to be known. The least that voters can do is meet them halfway and find out what they think and what they will bring to the local riding; how they will translate federal platforms into something meaningful at home.
Perhaps the best choice is choosing to be informed.