Last night I attended a “town hall” event, to listen to the candidates running for MP in my riding: Kildonan-St.Paul. I decided to write a brief review of my initial thoughts for those of you who couldn’t make it. Now obviously being just a regular every day guy, I am going to have some biases, and I want to note that this is just my opinion based on a couple of hours spent listening to each candidate and asking a few of them some questions.
Before I get into my rankings and thoughts, I think it’s only fair you know a little bit about me first, to understand any biases I may have – and although this is meant to be a fun exercise, (there might be some bad words) I will try to be as objective as possible. I don’t belong to any political party. My voting record, and political positions have changed quite a bit over the years. Not to brag…but in the last 3 Federal elections, I voted for the winner (Harper, Harper, Trudeau). I think it is also important to note I am not a religious man, and I’ve always been strongly in support of:
Some people will look at the above and say – okay this guy is just another libtard hippy, and although, yes I do drive a Hybrid, I think it’s also important to note, deep down, I still consider myself a capitalist- I just happen to think capitalism has been massively abused and needs to be reigned in and regulated. That said, I am a fan of efficient government, I am a fan of lower taxes for the majority of Canadians, and I believe it’s important we have a government that understands the importance of fiscal responsibility as well as social responsibility.
There are SIX people running for MP in the riding of Kildonan-St.Paul. They are listed below:
Going into last night, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I assumed MaryAnn would be the most prepared as she has been in Politics for a while. I also assume that she is the front runner, although I haven’t seen any polls to confirm this. I expect the biggest challenge to come from the Conservative Party candidate Raquel Dancho – Unfortunately she was the only NO SHOW for the event as she claims to have had a prior engagement. And although she did send a stand in to speak on her behalf(more on that later)…
Now onto the candidates…
Raquel Dancho: Conservative Party Of Canada
Thoughts: This one is easy. She was a no show(prior engagement) Her stand in, was some older dude who is the head of the CPC in Manitoba or something. He didn’t have much to say about Raquel – or policy in general. He told a few stories about himself, and his father..something about wanting to buy a Canoe when he was a boy, and his dad told him to earn some money first so it would be a “hand up – not a hand out” blah blah blah. The best part of the evening was when a question was directed at the stand in, and the moderator announced that he also had to leave for a prior engagement…you can’t make this shit up! The stand in needed a stand in….Amazeballs.
Martin W. Deck – People’s Party of Canada
Thoughts: It was pretty obvious from the onset, this guy is in over his head. When pressed about basically any issue, the response was either “I haven’t looked into that” or “Oh I wasn’t aware of that”. The funny thing is, the majority of his concerns, actually seemed to line up more with the NDP platform, although I don’t think he realised it. (Low wages, daycare costs, etc). At one point in a one on one discussion about taxation and the ultra wealthy, he seemed to be trying to blame immigrants for low wages. He also mentioned how poor the economy is (he used an example of CN Rail struggling), although when I approached him one on one, and mentioned CN stock is trading near an all time high, they raised their dividend 18% this year and have been doing stock buy backs, he quickly pivoted and said “maybe that was a bad example”. All that being said, and trying to be as objective as possible, I will say Martin was one of the most approachable people there, he seemed confident and outgoing and was one of the few actually going up to people and trying to engage in conversations with them. Although I don’t agree with most of what he said, or his Party platform, I honestly get the sense he is just a bit misinformed and to his credit, he did seem willing to debate and admit when he didn’t fully understand an issue/topic.
Spencer Katerynuk – Christian Heritage Party
Thoughts: Okay, I know I said I would try and be objective, but I am going to have to take a quick pause on that for this one… First of all, is this guy running to be an MP, or is he running to be class President of Grade 8? Seriously, he is 20 years old, and I have to admit..at some points I actually felt sorry for him, being a 20 year old, speaking in front of a group of people about how he doesn’t think birth control should be covered by pharmacare, and that assisted suicide is a top 3 issue facing our country…it takes balls – I’ll give him that. I’m not going to spend too much time on this guy, because honestly, if he gets a single vote outside of his Church and family I’d be shocked…but I will say, some of the ideas (and again, keep in mind, these aren’t his ideas…he is just reading the CHP platform sheet) are downright scary and dangerous. Just a few tidbits…he mentioned something about the CHP pharmacare plan including data collection on all drugs people take so they can datamine your personal medical information. Another beauty was his idea for scrapping CPP and replacing it with an account so that people can manage their own money. I don’t think he saw the irony in thinking the government shouldn’t be involved in your finances, but should be involved with your bedroom and body choices. I’d like to also point out, I have zero qualms with anyone, practising any religion, I just don’t condone policy that will impact people’s lives based on someones religious beliefs.
Evan Krosney – New Democratic Party
Thoughts: First impression was: look at this wiener. That opinion didn’t change right away, he started off with some corny story about meeting with a senior citizen at a pancake breakfast…he almost lost me completely. I kept listening, and I’m glad I did. I have to admit, Evan was by far the most prepared, most professional and was one of only two candidates who laid out actual specifics on what he wanted to get done. His priorities were clear and concise: Pharmacare, infrastructure and tackling the climate crisis. I even had to go up to him afterwards to tell him he surprised me. I’m not sure he will/can win this race, being up against an incumbent, and in a traditionally conservative riding, but I expect even if he loses, we will see him running again for something in the future.
MaryAnn Mihychuk– Liberal Party of Canada & Current MP
Thoughts: In the spirit of transparency I think it’s important to note I voted for her last election. As I mentioned before, I was expecting MaryAnn to be the most polished, and concise. Although I don’t have anything “bad” to say about her performance, I will say it seemed like a bunch of fluff and pandering without any real specifics. When asked about her top priorities, her number one priority was “serving the people”. I mean…yea okay I get that…that’s like the actual job you are applying for – but not a priority. She also agreed with Evan on a national pharmacare program, but said “Only the Liberals can get this done” without explaining either how they are the only party who CAN get it done, OR why they haven’t got it done. Overall she was very nice, and seemed to know the majority of the people in attendance. I have no doubt she is a real nice lady, and genuinely cares about the people in her riding, but I was expecting a little more from an incumbent to be honest.
Rylan Reed- Green Party
Thoughts: Rylan was a candidate that grew on me as the evening progressed. When he started, he seemed a little unprofessional, and unprepared. He openly remarked about how the event wasn’t the format he was expecting, and it seemed he may have been a little bit nervous during his opening remarks. That said, as the evening went on, his confidence grew, and his ideas (which were mostly good) started coming out. His number one priority is one that I also consider one of my top concerns (The North End Sewage Plant, and subsequently the health of Lake Winnipeg). I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about Rylan, but by the end of the evening, he got me at least wanting to know a little bit more about himself and the party, and in the end I think that’s what these events are for. He also has a very powerful sounding voice, and I’m not sure what he does for a living, but he could should be in broadcasting..haha.
I am still not sure who I will vote for, and I hope to continue conversations with all the candidates, as well as learning more about their parties platforms. I’d also like to thank all the Candidates for running, and putting your thoughts and opinions out there, regardless of what I think…besides who cares what I think, I’m just a random guy who writes about stocks, whiskey and personal finance…
My final rankings for the evening are as follows.
I know I am just one vote, but if any of the candidates want to reach out to discuss their platform in more depth, I’d be happy to sit down with them, and write a more detailed/updated review. Keep in mind, this whole event was about 2 hours, and I only spoke directly to a few of the candidates, so these opinions are based on a very small sample.
For any other voters in our riding, I hope this was helpful, and if not, I hope you at least got a laugh or two! I don’t care who you vote for – but just make sure you get out and vote on election day!