Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Kirk Schmidt checks in...

Nation, you've read on these pages before about my admiration for the kind of commitment and courage that it takes to put yourself "out there" as a candidate in an election - ESPECIALLY as an Independent candidate, running against party-backed contenders.

Kirk Schmidt is such a candidate, spreading his Independent gospel in the federal riding of Calgary West, currently held by the incumbent Darth Anders.

Kirk checked in with me this week to let me know how the campaign planning is going. Of course, not knowing when the writ will be dropped for a federal election makes the Schmidt campaign's job much harder than it already is - but they're working their collective butts off under the assumption that tomorrow will be the day. If not, then maybe the day after... point being, they're prepared, organized, and ready to engage the people of Calgary West. I'd also like to point out that, at this point, Kirk is one of only 2 politicians from Alberta listed on the "Canadian Politics" application on Facebook (the other being some guy named Harper).

Along the ideas I really like are the "I Support Kirk Schmidt" cards that will be made available. Buttons are SO 1960. :) Likewise, Kirk will be holding several events that will give Joe Voter a chance to get out, hear, and SPEAK TO the candidate. Taken straight from the horse's mouth:

"An Independent Vision for Calgary West and Canada" - Formal address by Kirk Schmidt, Independent Candidate for Calgary West, followed by a question period and meet-and-greet. This is taking place on Sunday, October 21, at the Silver Springs Community Centre at 7:00pm. Bring a few friends and come see the vision that Kirk has for the riding and the country.

Sunday Policy Talks - During the federal election, a number of Sunday evenings will be reserved for Coffee and Policy talks at local establishments within the Calgary West riding. This will be an opportunity for you, and others, to make any concerns known, provide your thoughts on different policies, and to get acquainted with Kirk. Specific details will be available on the website. Make sure you come out, have a cup of coffee, and chat with the next Member of Parliament for Calgary West.

Nation, I have stated before, and will continue to assert that the "Party System" will be the ruin of democracy. Take advantage of this rare chance to actually sit down and have a conversation with someone who wants to be the MP for Calgary West.

Often, when you attend a Town Hall or a similar function featuring an MP or candidate from a party, they'll talk at the audience for a while, and then the "reception" will see them talking to a donor or party insider for 40 minutes at a time, while you can't even approach them to say "hello", forget about raising an issue and getting an earnest and forthright answer.

Kirk Schmidt operates differently... he CARES what you think, because, unlike many in the "party system", Kirk knows that the MP is ruled by the voters, not the other way around. I encourage you to go out to see Kirk on October 21st (E.S. will be in the house!), and take the time to talk to the man. I think you'll like what you hear.

For more information regarding the Kirk Schmidt campaign to save Calgary West from the "backroom boys", go to Kirk's website.

- E.S.

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