In an age of elections when Harper hides in a press bubble, it shouldn’t be surprising that some towns (Sherwood Park), would think they can get away with charging politicians to debate.
Imagine the galls it takes to say, “yes, we’re for open democracy, but the only candidates you should be able to hear are the ones who can pay $220 to show up.”
I have to imagine the NDP budget in Sherwood Park is not what it is here in Strathcona. I would be surprised if candidate Brian LaBelle even had more than a few thousand dollars to print pamphlets, post fliers, and put up signs. Asking him to then pay to attend a supposedly open forum after that is ludicrous. And the Edmonton Journal agrees.
It’s a violation of basic democratic principles — and very bad manners.
Apparently, this charge-per-debate shtick has been going on for 15 years without a candidate saying anything.
I think we all need to commend Brian LaBelle for doing the right thing and exposing this ridiculousness. And hey, with two Conservative candidates there, and the potential to grab more attention now from this event, he may be able to steal Liberal votes and rise up a bit in numbers.
For the record, here’s the 2006 results:
|Candidate||Party||Vote Count||Vote Share|
|Lynn T. Lau||Greens||3992||7.35%|
(Note that even if two conservative candidates split the vote of Ken Epp that the NDP and Liberals would still need to pool their votes to win, so I’m not really predicting any surprise here).
The candidates for Sherwood Park this year are: