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Questions ready but candidates aren’t ringing the bell

Joyce Walter writes about the election campaign and the lack of interaction with local candidates
Reflective Moments by Joyce Walter

An advocacy group has prepared a set of questions that it hopes its members will ask political candidates seeking a seat in the House of Commons.

The questions have been put together based on what the group’s leadership has heard on the hustings, from regular citizens who might show a certain amount of bafflement about what some of the candidates actually mean when they talk.

I read the questions with interest and thought, “Yes, I’d like to hear the answers from election hopefuls eyeing regular flights back and forth between the riding and Ottawa.”

The group suggests downloading the questions from its website so we have them handy when candidates knock on our doors, when campaign workers call randomly, or when candidates attend public forums and are willing to answer questions to gain our votes.

I admire the group for doing what it can to encourage voters to engage with candidates. It is just unfortunate that so far some candidates aren’t doing much to engage with the voters. Or maybe I’ve been away when the doorbell buzzed or the phone rang and thus unfortunately missed the opportunity to quiz the Liberal, Conservative, NDP, Green, Maverick and PPC representatives. The majority seem to have gone the way of the Fuller Brush Salesmen.

Forums for candidates have been slow to spring up but congratulations to the organizations who attempt to corral all the hopefuls into one spot to face the voters who hold the winning fate in their hands. Hopefully the candidates who chose not to show up had significant reasons for their absences. Shame on them if they simply felt they have already won the election and don’t have to answer the questions. 

Candidates must also be operating on stringent budgets: only one piece of election propaganda has so far made its way into the mailbox and election signage is sparse in comparison with previous campaigns. Is that in deference to our forests and environmental resources or lack of money in the kitty? 

There is no doubt campaigning in this large riding of ours makes it difficult to engage in many meaningful conversations on the doorstep. A one-day jaunt on a recent Sunday afternoon through the area put on close to 600 kms and took several hours to complete. I wonder how many elbow bumps that would have meant for a serious potential Member of Parliament?

So, just in case someone rings our bell between now and Sept. 20, I have those previously mentioned questions written down and I’m ready for a discussion.

Unfortunately the only live thing on either of our doorsteps lately has been that feral cat that taunts me as I chase it away under the fence.

To the candidates, I could say, “May the best person win” but how will I know the best one if no one comes around? Blind faith is not the way I wish to vote.

Joyce Walter can be reached at

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.