I always found it fascinating while in a journalism program in university that so many of my classmates had little or no interest in anything political.
Very few of them would try and learn about an election and even fewer wanted to drop by a debate or all candidates forum.
It was odd to me, partially because quite often it was at these forums where I would make my decision on who I would cast my ballot for.
These events give the voters the chance to get up close and talk to the candidates, hear their opinions and decide who they believe is trustworthy.
On August 23, the byelection all candidates forum will be held at the Senior Centre in Golden.
This is your chance to hear the question you want answered. For two hours candidates will sit in front of the voters and answer their questions about whatever you think is important.
This is a luxury you should never take for granted .
In too many countries around the world people do not have this freedom to question those people who want to represent them on any level of government.
It is not a right, it is a privilege.
We get to go in and ask the questions we want to know the answers to and listen to the responses from the candidates’ mouths.
These forums also give use the chance to chat with the five runners after the event is over.
There are no handlers, no one in their ear telling them what to say and no one attempting to stifle what is being asked. It is perhaps the most honest form of politics there is.
The voters get access to candidates they know and some they may only just be learning about. Then the judgement begins. After all that is part of the reason we attend these events.
We are all political critics at those moments. We critique what each of these candidates say, and how they say it.
We sit there slowly building an opinion about the people who have tossed their names into a very tough arena.
While some people slowly build an opinion, others go to an event like this with their minds already made up.
That is the nature of the beast.
All is fair in love and politics, isn’t it?
Though a few people came out to the last debate, many people are wondering if there will be more out at this byelection forum than usual.
Many issues have polarized the area as of late. Between the space between bridges, buses, finances and to burn or not to burn one thing is for sure. There are many questions that can and should be asked to this group of candidates.
We are lucky to have a chance like this and that can and should not be forgotten.
This is your time as a voter.
This is your time as a resident of the Town of Golden.
This is your chance to ask the questions that you need to know the answers to.
This is the candidates’ chance to stand up and share their honest opinions and ideas which could lead not only Golden, but this whole area, into a brighter future.
But for this to happen you need to get out and show up to the event.
If only a few people come to ask their questions then yet again you the voters have taken your democratic right for granted and that is a waste.
Many people in the world would like to have the chance which we are given so easily. Here is hoping you come by, so that a rational choice can be made in September.