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Researching Your Local Candidate: Tips and Tools

One of the things that I hear most often when election time rolls around is that finding information on local candidate is difficult.  That’s true.  Sometimes it can be next to impossible to find information on local candidates.  That’s partly because the party leaders hog all the headlines and partly because there are 87 ridings in the province with anywhere from 3 to 10 people running in them.  Compiling all that data would be next to impossible.  Lord knows I’m too lazy to do that.

But still, people need to be able to get to know their local candidates and where they stand on the issues – if only so they can understand where they deviate from the party line in the event they cross the floor mid-term. 

This will take a little more effort from you than previous posts. But you’ll be fine mon petit fromage. So while I can’t provide you with a comprehensive list, hopefully I can provide you with some links to aid in your research.

The first task is determining what riding you are in. Even if you think you know, you should double check because for this election many riding boundaries have changed. There are countless tools exist to do this, but Global News not only tells you which riding you’re in but gives a quick profile of it as well. Click here and enter your address to find the information.

You back?  OK good.  My humble blog needs the traffic. 

It’s a good idea to check back occasionally because candidates are being added all the time. So if you don’t see a candidate from one of the major parties (only 2 have candidates nominated in all ridings so far), chances are you will. Dave Cournoyer has a blog where he tracks candidates and links to their individual websites and social media.

It may seem simplistic, but the next thing that you’ll probably want to do is research the platforms of the actual parties running candidates.  After all, there is a reason that the candidates chose that particular party – it probably matches their ideology closely.  Of course, the websites of the individual parties are not exactly unbiased information, but it does help you understand what their position is on many issues.  Here are links to the websites of the major parties.  The Alberta PartyThe Liberal PartyThe New Democratic PartyThe United Conservative Party

Our previous post about Vote Compass is a handy tool for unbiased information on where each party stands on the major issues, as well as where you stand.  Often people are surprised by which party they most agree with on the actual issues.  Here’s a quick article on the promises that the parties made at the start of the election.  And here’s a link to a site that will keep track of the parties’ promises as they come throughout the election period. 

As I said, this will require you to actually take some initiative to look into your local candidates yourself.  Happy researching!

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