By Trevor Busch
Vauxhallites are being offered the opportunity to probe the minds and characters of their party candidates during an upcoming all candidate election forum hosted at the Vauxhall Legion Hall on April 30.
Organized by the Vauxhall Business Society, the all candidate forum will commence at 7 p.m. and will be open to all members of the general public, as well as residents of outlying areas within the provincial Little Bow riding.
“We have three confirmed that are coming (so far),” said VBS president Joerg Klempnauer. “There’s ones we’re still waiting for.”
The forum’s moderator for the evening will be former Enchant-area MLA and cabinet minister Ray Speaker.
Candidates vying for the right to represent the people of Little Bow in Edmonton include incumbent MLA Ian Donovan for the PCs, Dave Schneider for the Wildrose, Helen McMenamin for the Liberals, Bev Muendel-Atherstone for the NDP, and Caleb Van Der Weide for Social Credit.
“It will be an open format, and the people that come can ask questions,” said Klempnauer. “We don’t feel we should be much involved in shaping other people’s opinions.”
Klempnauer pointed out how important local election forums can be in allowing voters to get a feel for their local candidates and their varying opinions on critical issues during an election campaign before heading to the polls on May 5.
“I feel we will have a very low voter turnout this year, obviously for youth, and I think one has to put the candidates out and put them to questions by the public. If the public doesn’t show, then we will know what the election will be.”
While keeping any political opinions to himself, Klempnauer maintained that having a strong opposition is vital in any democracy.
“I feel this election was called for a very fast date. Four weeks is not much to run an election campaign. I also feel we don’t have enough opposition — democracy only lives if you have two or three solid parties, not one party that makes up 60 or 70 per cent.”
The Vauxhall Royal Canadian Legion Hall is located at 217 5th Street North.
Due to the timing of the forum (April 30) and the election date (May 5) in relation to the next publication date of The Vauxhall Advance (May 7), coverage of the all candidate forum will only be available online at http://www.vauxhalladvance.com.