Municipal election input over the Internet

Red Deer voters for this fall’s municipal election can go toe-to-toe with candidates on various hot topics through an expanded online election forum.

Candice Marchand

Candice Marchand

Red Deer voters for this fall’s municipal election can go toe-to-toe with candidates on various hot topics through an expanded online election forum.

The Red Deer Public Library is hosting Election Forum 2010 on website, www.electionforum.ca

The forum offers the chance to interact with Red Deer’s candidates for mayor, city council, and school trustees for both the public and Catholic school boards. Nomination day is Sept. 20.

With only eight weeks to go until ballot day on Oct. 18, several candidates have posted their profiles and are commenting on everything from active transportation to local food.

Residents can post comments as well.

Candice aMarchand, promotions and training assistant for the Red Deer Election Forum project, said she has been training Red Deer city council candidates on how to use the site. Next week, it will be the turn of school trustee candidates.

Besides the candidate profiles, the other main part centres on forums. Candidates can post their views, but so can members of the general public.

“People from around the community can submit questions or forum topics,” said Marchand on Monday.

Anyone can submit topics or questions for the election forum to Marchand at electionforum@rdpl.org

Those who wish to post comments through the website must provide their full name and contact information. It will not be posted online.

The website also includes information on important dates, including an election forum hosted by the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 7.

The library organized its first Election Forum website in 2004. The simpler version had candidate profiles and gave the opportunity for candidates to answer three questions.

In the previous election of 2007, various community organizations including the Downtown Business Association posted blogs and in doing so, the candidates were able to converse back.

The main change this go-around allows for people to dialogue a lot more through the forum, Marchand said.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com