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Friday, October 22, 2010

Democracy fail: Where are the local opposition Candidates?

We’ve been under the threat of a federal election for well over a year yet I see that many ridings are unprepared having few of their candidate’s selected, mine is no exception.

I’d prefer that candidates were chosen very early on so we have more time to learn more about them, talk to them, judge them and see how seriously they intend to run their campaigns. I want to see dedicated candidates that actually work at making local connections, communicating their ideas and listening to ours all year, not candidates that get pulled out of thin air right after the writ is dropped, do a 5 week campaign blitz and then disappear back into obscurity should they lose.

In the current municipal elections we’ve seen some great examples of hungry engaged candidates who’ve been active in the community long before the election started. Some contenders have been working towards their goal for the entire interval between elections showing a great deal of dedication and determination. These are the kind of people I want to see in ALL parties vying for the opportunity of representing us federally. I don’t want last minute municipal candidates who come out of nowhere and file their papers on the last day nor do I want federal candidates who refuse to state their intention and be scrutinized well before an election is called.

So my question is where are these tireless federal candidates in Newmarket-Aurora?

Naturally the Conservative incumbent Lois Brown is visible as she should be, it’s her fulltime paid job. She may be a 3rd string, lack luster MP but she is available.

Vanessa Long of the Green Party has been nominated for 9 months and has been increasingly active engaging the public through a variety of local community and business organizations. Here she is speaking at the prorogation rally in Newmarket just days after her nomination.

From what I can see the NDP continues their history of being the stealth party with little visible EDA activity and certainly no proactive nominations. To be fair their president and previous candidate did take part in last winter’s prorogation protests but they generally don’t make the effort to be seen, have never tried to run a credible campaign and have been trending down over the last 3 elections.

The biggest surprise however is the total lack of activity by the Liberal party who nominated and then lost candidate Margaret Black all within a 4 month period in late 2009 Not only did Black bail on the nomination but she wasn’t even a resident of the Newmarket- Aurora riding, her full time gig is Mayor of King City. This alone might not seem like much until you see this recent letter sent out by the Young Liberals of Newmarket-Aurora to their followers on facebook. My snide commentary is in the brackets

Hi Everyone,

It's unfortunately been a quieter summer than we anticipated. However, the house about to resume for the fall session so things are about to get exciting once more. (Iggy’s bus tour was a bore and we did no organizing; I hope the this session is more interesting)
As some of you may or may not be aware, the Newmarket-Aurora riding is currently without a Liberal candidate. (because she bailed on us after 4 stinking months)

As a member of the candidate search committee, we have been looking around Aurora for people who qualified to represent the riding and a desire to make a difference in the community. (Yet morally flexible enough to run Liberal)(P.S. Why just Aurora? Newmarket not good enough for ya?)

The committee has done some good work, however, further input by party members is desired. As a result, I'm asking the members of the Young Liberal group here if they know anyone who would be interested in seeking the nomination. (We’ve spend all summer looking for good a good candidate yet we came up dry and really need you to find a new sacrificial lamb)

If anyone has any specific names of who they would think make a fitting candidate, please forward them to me.

I hope to hear from you all soon. If anyone has any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Nick (Nick Kelly)

I don’t know about you but I interpret this letter as an admission that after a wasted summer they found that no one of quality wants the job. Margret Black took the nomination in August 09 and then backed away when polls weakened for the Liberals at the end of the year, a Mayoral position in the hand is apparently worth a lost cause in the bush. The Liberals seem to be struggling in Newmarket-Aurora; unable to find “good” local candidates unless a win is guaranteed. Currently it looks uncertain and no one seems willing to be stuck with the Liberal label.

As I said before I want to see a quality selection of candidates representing all the flavours of the Canadian spectrum, I don’t want 5 week wonders or cardboard cut outs filling space on the ballot. I also don’t want parachutes candidates arriving because parties are too week to generate good local talent.

What I want to see are engaged candidates on the ground today listening to citizens. In Newmarket Aurora the Conservatives and the Greens are the only two parties who actually appear willing to work for the job of representing us and that’s not too encouraging.

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1 comment:

Liz J said...

Holy cow, that is some funny stuff.

Funny to see Newmarket left out of the letter -- certainly giving some evidence of where the party is putting its focus.

The snide comments gave me a laugh, but honestly, who approved this letter? It gives the impression that the Liberals have descended to the very bottom of the barrel in trying to find any candidate willing to run!

Not encouraging news -- they had better not come looking for strategic votes from Newmarket voters with this attitude.

Bring your best game, Liberals, or stay home.