Candidates are all in

All four hopefuls have RSVPed and the all candidates forum at the REC Centre on Oct. 8 at 6 p.m., sponsored by the Lillooet Chamber of Commerce and this newspaper, will indeed live up to its name, with a full slate confirming their attendance at what should turn out to be a pretty interesting event.

The candidates will square off in a pretty standard format for these types of gathering–each will be given a few minutes to introduce themselves in opening remarks before the mics are opened up to the audience to pose questions to any or all them. Moderator Verne Rasmussen will also have a number of prepared questions that he’ll work in as it seems appropriate. We at the BRLN office will be coming up with those questions but that doesn’t mean we want to do it on our own. If you’ve got a question, you’d like to the candidates to tackle and would rather not ask it in person please pass it along to us at any of the email addresses conveniently located below, and we’ll try our best to fit them in. There’s no guarantee we’ll get to your question–or all of ours for that matter, priority will be going to questions from the floor–but we’d be glad of the help in putting together a good list, and we’ll see how it goes.

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It should be a spirited exchange and a very worthwhile evening. The candidates have the obvious differences dictated by their party platforms and the political leanings that dictated the banners under which they’re running, but–perhaps equally obviously–they have significant personality differences and backgrounds, as well.

Liberal candidate Jati Sidhu will have the advantage of experience–just as he’ll have the usual incumbent advantage in the coming election–and he’s without a doubt the most polished of the four when engaged in standard, low-pressure baby kissing, but that can evaporate pretty quickly under pressure. As Mike Tyson famously said: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” There are obvious perils that come with the incumbent territory, as well, Sidhu will have a record to defend. Most of it won’t be his personal record but he’ll have to defend it anyway. Sidhu will have the toughest job to do here on Oct. 8, but he’s shown himself to be up for it.

Green candidate John Kidder is not new to campaigning, either – just to winning – and he has a depth of political experience, both provincially and federally and in two different parties, that will serve him well. He’s confident, well informed and can be expected to be formidable.

Nick Csaszar, also no political neophyte, is running for the People’s Party of Canada and representing a platform that is widely demonized but also passionately defended by a portion of the electorate. He knows the criticisms and he knows, and–more importantly–believes deeply in, the answers he’ll give back. Csaszar should be interesting.

Conservative candidate Brad Vis is the least experienced and, by a significant margin, the youngest of the field, but he knows his platform and is very articulate and sincere. He’s also arguably best positioned to challenge Sidhu in terms of his party affiliation, representing as he does a party with tremendous experience in government and one that some voters are no doubt feeling nostalgic for after four years of a majority Liberal government that some seem to feel has come up short.

It’s great that all four of them have committed to showing up. It would be really great to see a huge turnout from the community, as well.

DS

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