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Editorial: Wading through the rhetoric to find party policies

Social media memes add little to political debate
federal election
We head to the polls Sept. 20
YORKTON - We are now less than two weeks from going to the polls and it would be hard to suggest the race is heating up locally. 

In fact, it seems as if the election in the Yorkton-Melville constituency is barely at a simmer, being a rather tepid affair so far. 

Drive around and the lawn signs are sparse, and just starting to pop up around the community. 

That seems unusual given there are six candidates running, although finding a voter that could name the six might be a challenge at this point. For the record they are; Conservative Party Cathy Wagantall, Green Party Valerie Brooks, Liberal Jordan Ames-Sinclair, New Democrats Halsten Rust, People’s Party of Canada Braden Robertson, and Maverick Party Denise Loucks. 

Of course with Wagantall, the incumbent, garnering roughly 75 per cent of the votes cast in the last election, the race might seem an uphill battle for the other five candidates, who will no doubt be happy to gain ground and build a foundation of support to build on moving forward. 

Of course the question for voters is what each of the six candidates and their parties stand for? 

That is increasingly hard to determine. 

Social media is little more than a quagmire of mean-spirited memes, flinging mud back and forth, and offering little in terms of party policy. 

It should not be good enough to point fingers and complain about what a party, a leader, or a candidate stands for. It should come with a suggestion of why an alternate candidate/party is a better choice. 

Normally, a look at the policies in a head-to-head situation comes when the local Chamber hosts its all-candidates forum which is covered by local media such as Yorkton This Week. 

The forum is again scheduled for 7:30 pm Thursday, Sept. 16, at the Gallagher Centre.  

However, only the candidates representing the Conservative, Maverick, and People’s Party of Canada agreed to participate in the forum, said Juanita Polegi, Executive Director of the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce.   

Invitations had been extended to the candidates representing the Green and Liberal parties but no response had been received by the Chamber from either candidate. The New Democrat candidate is unable to attend the Forum, noted Polegi. 

It is unfortunate that the forum will feature only half the candidates. A forum with only half the candidates is sort of like having only half the book.  

Voters should be able to see how each handles questions, and how well they articulate their policies, since they will need those skills to represent the constituency well in Ottawa if they were elected.