Looking for bright spots in amongst the mire of political verbiage? Me, too. While there’s no shortage of shortcomings in our political process, each of the fellas vying for the job of MPP has his strengths. Here’s what I saw last night (September 13th) at the All Candidates Meeting—beginning with the lesser-knowns:
Ken Ranney (Socialist Party)
He's a good guy to have in situations like an election campaign. When he didn’t have anything to say to a question, he'd pass (how novel). Ken’s liveliness and good use of humour shines through; almost something of a trickster vibe here. Glad to have him in the race.
Gary Beamish (Green)
Gary has a fine ability to bring it all home. Whether responding to questions about the potential dangers of WiFi in schools or taxation policy, Gary was able to relate big issues to real life personal experiences. This guy has lived. He has heart, and humility, and isn’t afraid to show it.
Dave Nickle (NDP)
Dave's a fighter. While it’s not my favourite political style, having someone who had your back would be a good thing in an MPP. If Dave can keep boisterous audience members in their place, you’d have to believe he'd be in our corner in government. And kudos, Dave, for carrying the flag of proportional representation—the only decent idea offered towards engaging more people in democracy.
Alan Wilson (Conservative)
Hmmmm. Well, he’s got the lovely Irish Lilt. That’s pretty fun to listen to.
Jeff Leal (Liberal, incumbent)
At 26 years (and counting?) in elected office, Jeff does seem to really be a hard-working public servant. He’s got that exceptional ability to evade answers to direct questions. And he’s developed a thicker skin than any of the rest could probably ever muster. It can't be easy, and you give it your all.
[pictures of candidates via their election websites]