So, I could cast my vote on ticket prices, or I could watch some anti-war activists beg the Christian Heritage Party to bring the troops home. I chose River Rats.
But here we are now, 2.5 years later, and in the throes of another federal election. Athabasca's all-candidates forum had a format I was much more agreeable to. Rather than being held by a specific group, it was being hosted by a group of concerned individuals who just felt Athabasca had to had one. Only four candidates are running in Fort McMurray – Athabasca this time out – Conservatives, Liberals, NDP, and Green – and only the NDP candidate chose not to come out to the forum. And yes, it was an open forum, so all could ask questions, and they were even planning to have some meet-and-greet time before and after the forum so you could talk to the candidates one-on-one.
Before we get to the show, though, just want to take a moment to talk about the riding's NDP candidate, Berend Wilting. With the surprising surge in popularity of the NDP, there seems to be a lot of growing anger towards the NDP here in Fort McMurray-Athabasca. At least in this part of the riding, Wilting hasn't done any door-knocking, declined all interview requests, and is doing no campaigning whatsoever. There's a lot of angry and frustrated NDP supporters out here, and it'll be interesting to see how it affects the NDP results on election night.
The three players at tonight's forum were:
- Green candidate, Jule Asterisk
- Liberal candidate Karen Young
- the incumbent, Conservative Brian Jean.