The writ’s dropped here

This is the most important election in the vast majority of our lives

It’s widely anticipated we’ll be in election mode by the time you read this item. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to visit Governor General David Johnston and request Parliament be dissolved, sending Canada into the longest election campaign since 1926, and arguably a campaign as important as it will be arduous.

The Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle is determined to raise issues of interest to readers and offer candidates of the four main parties running in Nanaimo-Ladysmith – Conservative, New Democrat, Liberal and Green – an opportunity to state their positions.

We’ll also be looking for ways to raise questions you want to ask, and present perspectives from you, the voters in our coverage area. So no matter what Prime Minister Harper does, we will begin addressing the issues next week.

We’re going to take some novel approaches in our efforts to get citizens involved, informed and ready to vote come Oct. 19.

Each week we will focus on a specific issue. We have our list: climate change, electoral reform, poverty and homelessness, adequate funding for municipal levels of government, health care, economic development, world aid, to name a few.

But with eleven weeks, and 10 editions between the start of our coverage and our last pre-election edition on Oct. 13, we figure there’s time to cover a lot of ground and adjust our questions to get in your concerns.

Here’s what we’ll be doing:

• In each edition between Oct. 11 and 13 we will summarize a specific issue we believe is of concern to our readers and fellow Canadians, beginning with climate change. We will do our best to remain neutral, but won’t shy away from presenting information that appears to place one or another of the parties in a more favorable light.

• We will step outside the usual journalistic frame by sharing our overview with all the main-party candidates before it is published, and inviting them to comment on the importance of the issue and how it would be addressed by them and their party. We will also let readers know what the upcoming topic is going to be.

• We will run our summary and candidates’ responses – if they choose to respond – in the next edition of the Chronicle, along with a representative sampling of readers perspectives and views.

• We’ll do our best to engage our community in the newspaper and online. You can find our Facebook page at Ladysmith/Chemainus Chronicle.

Hyperbole is the norm come election time. But we at the Chronicle do not believe it’s an overstatement to declare this is the most important election in the vast majority of our life times. The issues confronting us as a nation and as citizens of a global community are more urgent than at any time in our lived history.

More than any other election we can remember, we are making choices that will impact our children and grand-children’s lives.