In recent years, the number of Red Deer citizens voting in elections has been abysmal. I suspect voter apathy will establish new records in this election unless the candidates and the local media soon consider this current federal election seriously.
A March 25, 2011, story from the online edition of the Edmonton Journal enabled me identify the names of three Red Deer candidates: Earl Dreeshan (PC), Ashkan Hamzehi (Green Party), and Stuart Sommerville (NDP). Since no Liberal candidate was listed, I’m assuming that the Liberal party is not running a candidate in Red Deer. I’m amazed that I had rely on Edmonton media coverage to know who’s running in my constituency. Local media coverage of the election has been non-existent. Not only are our local candidates not receiving any attention, but campaign events on the national front aren’t even considered front page news.
The three local candidates apparently feel that their pedestrian attempts at reaching voters through social networking will suffice. Attracting young voters at the expense of more seasoned voters serves only to alienate individuals who desire more than attempts to delineate candidates’ positions on issues through 140 character tweets, Facebook entries, and blogs.
The Conservative party attack advertisements hitting the airwaves several months back, was a prime indicator that an election was imminent. The local media and local candidates should have been prepared. Lack of information breeds apathy. Apathy translates to low voter statistics.
My message to the media and candidates simply is to respect the citizens of this riding by earnestly addressing this election.
Editor’s note: An Advocate story last Thursday listed the candidates declared in Central Alberta ridings and detailed the search for Liberal candidates in the Red Deer and Crowfoot ridings in Central Alberta.