I went to an all-candidates meeting last night where all candidates from Richmond’s two ridings were invited to attend.
There are four parties running in each riding, but guess what? The Conservatives were a no-show.
So, we had two representatives from each of the NDP, Liberals, and the Green party. But there were two vacant seats where the Conservative candidates (Alice Wong and Kenny Chiu) should have been sitting.
The organizers put signs on the empty seats with their names on them.
One of the organizers told me they tried several times to invite these two people and even went to their constituency offices to invite them in person. But to no avail.
I was told Wong did not even do the courtesy of answering them (either through email or in person).
What sort of legitimate candidate running for a seat in our federal government would be so blatantly disrespectful towards the voters and towards the democratic process in general?
I find this behaviour despicable. What are they afraid of? Of course I know they were told by their party brass not to attend candidates meetings. It has been happening all across the country (see The Star Aug. 26, 2015; VictoriaTimes Colonist Sept. 1, 2015; Huffington Post Aug. 27, 2015; Metro News Halifax Aug. 31, 2015, and many more).
But why can’t they have a bit of integrity and say, “this is important,” and come anyway?
There were lots of good questions at the all-candidates meeting and lots of good, thoughtful answers that did not always follow a script.
Surprise questions are hard to answer, as well, but they did their best. It is a good way for us the voters to judge how well a candidate might represent us.
I do NOT want to be represented by someone who cannot show up to an “all” candidates meeting with members of their own constituency.