We need more choices for MP

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There are fewer than 100 days left until the federal election and two of the three major federal political parties have not announced a candidate for the St. Albert – Edmonton riding. Effectively, the voters will be left with a choice between a Conservative candidate and a conservative who is running as an independent candidate – not a real choice for the constituents of this riding in my opinion.

It appears that the Liberals and the New Democrats have conceded this riding to the Conservatives or to the incumbent MP without even entering into the contest. It is precisely this kind of lack of effort on the part of political parties that results in the absence of political discourse at the grassroots level and ultimately amounts to voter apathy and subsequent disenfranchisement. I wonder, should the constituents of this riding feel insulted by this apparent lack of effort and attention by these parties toward this constituency displayed by the delay of nomination or not nominating a candidate at all.

This is a riding with incredibly savvy voters who will make the choice in the election on the basis of merit and ideas rather than on the basis of personality cults of party leaders. The constituents of this riding have a right to demand a show of respect toward them by all political parties by nominating competent candidates and have them pitch their ideas to the constituents as to how they would represent them in Ottawa. The Liberals and the New Democrats should understand that the constituents of this riding might reject any last minute attempts by them to install a candidate in the riding for the sake of just having a name under their respective political banner on the ballot by simply not showing up on the election day.

Both Mr. Mulcair and Mr. Trudeau are campaigning on the premise of “change.” This notion of “change” seems meaningless without there being a real choice in the form of capable and competent candidates to all Canadians across the country. Simply stated, the constituents of St. Albert-Edmonton riding deserve a real choice in the interest of greater electoral participation and democracy.

Amir Farooqi, St. Albert

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