WEYBURN -- This is an important election for Canadians as the country attempts to reinvigorate its economy, and to try to emerge out of the COVID-19 pandemic, with varying degrees of success.
Questions to be answered include, who do Canadians believe is the best party, with the best set of policies, to lead us forward? In order to move on in our lives, our communities and in the economy, it is crucial that voters take a long and careful look at what is being put forward in the parties’ platforms.
In Souris-Moose Mountain, there are four candidates lined up as of this writing, and it’s possible more may step forward – but with an election date of Sept. 20, they don’t have much time.
The most recent candidates to put their names forward are Javin Ames-Sinclair (Liberals), Greg Douglas (Maverick Party) and Diane Neufeld (People’s Party of Canada), according to their respective party websites.
They join incumbent Dr. Robert Kitchen of the Conservative Party, who has been the Souris-Moose Mountain MP since 2015.
Voters will be inundated with political ads on TV, radio and social media like never before, and the messaging and cross-messaging can quickly bog a person down as they consider who to cast their ballot for.
A good place to start is to search out the platforms for the parties, but also to question their candidates. Find out who they are, what they believe in and where they stand, in particular about those topics that you’re most concerned about.
There will be candidates’ forums set up, and this will be a primary opportunity to see and hear them in one place, as they debate each other and answer questions about issues. A voter could go with an open mind (if they’re undecided, for example) and be ready to hear what will be said, or they could seek out opportunities to pose a question during the forum or afterwards.
This may sound like a lot of work for a voter, but consider what is at stake here: we have an economy that needs rejuvenation and growth, as virtually every business and industry has been impacted in some way by the pandemic.
There are questions about the pandemic itself and what the federal government has done to handle it, and what the various parties running in this election plan to do after Sept. 20. There is still work to do, with variants infecting both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents, and children under 12 who are not vaccinated as yet with school about to start.
In the end, the most important task is for every eligible voter to cast their ballot and take part in this basic democratic exercise, come Sept. 20, or at an advance poll. Help set the direction for the next number of years, and vote for who you believe will best lead us forward.
Greg Nikkel writes a weekly editorial for the Weyburn Review.