There are, of course, many ridings where the incumbent is not running for re-election. But in the case of Calgary Shepard, there has NEVER been an M.P. Most of this riding had been previously represented by Jason Kenney (who was first elected when my entire neighbourhood was a farmer's field), however with the riding split following the boundary adjustments, Mr. Kenney is running in the riding of Calgary Midnapore.
This creates an opportunity for someone to step forward and plant a flag, as the first ever Member of Parliament representing the riding of Calgary Shepard in the House of Commons. To their credit, as of the writing of this post, 4 people have done just that, and stepped forward. They are:
Dany Allard, IT professional
Graham MacKenzie, Teacher
Jerome James, Engineer
Tom Kmiec, Human Resources professional
Here's my challenge: Tell me why I should vote for one of these people.
A little background, first: You will no doubt notice that I have not included the political parties of the candidates. This is because, quite simply, it doesn't matter. Many of my political friends and long-time readers will argue this point with me, but they'll be wrong. There's no guarantee that, the day they're sworn in as M.P., any of these 4 candidates will still belong to the same party they did on the day of the election (ask any of the 20,062 Vancouver-area citizens who voted for Liberal David Emerson on January 23rd 2006 and saw Conservative David Emerson sworn into cabinet on February 6th 2006).
So here are the rules of the challenge:
- I want to hear reasons why I should support your candidate of choice that do not include the names of any parties. My vote can't go to a party. It can only go to an individual, and like I said in the paragraph preceding this one, parties can change. So I don't want to hear that I should support such-and-such because the Liberals believe yadda yadda yadda... doesn't matter. Tell me about HIM, and what HE thinks.
- I don't want to hear about party leaders. Period. There are no party leaders on my ballot. It doesn't matter who Mulcair hates, or whether or not Justin is ready. They're not on my ballot.
- I want to hear about why I should vote FOR someone, not AGAINST the others. This is a riding where in hiring someone to be the first ever MP for the riding, I don't have to fire the person who's already in the job. So I don't need to know why the current MP needs to be turfed in favour of your candidate - there isn't a current MP on the ballot. Likewise, don't talk about the other candidates and why they SHOULDN'T get the job - talk about your candidate, and why he SHOULD.
That's it. 3 simple rules. If your comment on this post follows them, I will seriously consider your argument as to why my vote should go to your candidate. If it breaks any of the 3 rules, I will disregard the entirety of your argument.
My vote is up for grabs, folks: EARN it.
p.s. Apologies for the recent silence, Nation - I was on a good tear there, getting my rhythm and mojo back in form, and then had a bit of a medical issue (since resolved, thankfully) pop up that kept me flat on my back. Good to go now.
I wanted to put this blog post out a little earlier, but with over a month to election day, now's as good a time as any.