We’ve got 10 issues to get to know these candidates

When we vote Oct. 19 in Canada’s 42nd federal election, we are choosing a representative from the Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding

When we vote Oct. 19 in Canada’s 42nd federal election, we are choosing a representative from the Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding to send to Ottawa.

Although the representative we choose will belong to one of Canada’s four major political parties with candidates running here, we’re not voting just for parties – we’re voting for people and ideas. It’s important to remember that, and as a community newspaper, the Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle will be covering this election from that angle.

We have become so accustomed to referring to our representatives as Conservatives, Greens, Liberals and New Democrats – and so determined are most parties to centralize their messages and douse independent commentary from local, regional or even provincial perspectives – that it sometimes seems we might as well be sending parrots of a different feather to Parliament as thinking beings, who can represent our views.

The Chronicle’s mission, and we choose to accept it, is to get to know what your candidates in this election think about issues of concern to you, and what they will do to see those issues addressed by your federal government. The national media can zoom in on what has become a cult of leadership at the national level; we want to see what leadership looks like right here.

Is that naïve? Sometimes naivety harnessed to determination becomes hope, and there is much to hope for in terms of an improved democracy in Canada. Sending representatives to Ottawa so they can be ‘whipped’ into voting the party line in a combative, first past the post parliamentary and electoral system that doesn’t truly reflect the wishes of Canadians is a reality we can hope to see improved.

We want to hear your candidates’ views on electoral and parliamentary reform.

Continuing with business as usual when every scientific indicator strongly suggests that will lead to global disaster calls for real leadership. We want representatives who will fight tooth and nail in the House of Commons and within their own caucuses for a serious reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. We are a nation that should be showing leadership when it comes to climate change.

We want to hear your candidates’ views on global warming, and believe a majority of voters in Nanaimo-Ladysmith want to hear those views, too.

We’ve selected 10 issues we want to see your candidates address between now and Oct. 13 – our last edition before the Oct. 19 election: climate change; electoral and parliamentary reform; the economy; health care; poverty & homelessness;