Be informed on federal issues

Editorial

The federal election race will begin soon, most likely within the coming week, but campaigning by the federal parties has already been underway as attack ads have begun appearing on most forms of electronic  and social media.

Voters should take in these various ads and campaign speeches with a grain of salt, or perhaps with a whole box of salt, as they are going to be hearing opposing points of view on many issues, and many personal-style attacks that really don’t have anything to do with federal issues.

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It’s all too easy to get caught up in the emotionalism generated by the campaign speeches and rhetoric by candidates and party leaders, but voters should not be influenced by the personal comments.

The best approach is, firstly, to be informed by finding out what the platforms of the various parties are.

Many people have preferences for voting in mind, but it wouldn’t hurt to be open to exploring what stance the parties take on particular issues, especially the issues that are important to a voter.

Secondly, take a look at who the candidates are and what they stand for. If, for example, a voter has a party preference in mind, but they have a local candidate of a different party who has an excellent character and a strong point of view that the voter really likes, this can also be a consideration to think about before stepping into the voting booth.

Thirdly, consider what issues are of particular importance to the riding. Here in the riding of Souris-Moose Mountain, issues of the economy are of vital importance, as both agriculture and the oil industry are strong components of economic activity in the southeast.

Policies that affect these industries should be considered, not to mention whether a local candidate is going to stand strong for the farmer and for the oil industry, as well as having a strong respect for the environment.

There are innumerable other issues that are also important to people, such as equality for women in the workplace and in society in general, immigration issues, support for our military, and so on. If a voter doesn’t know how a local candidate stands on any of these points, they need to ask and find out, and do research as to where the parties land on each issue that is of importance to them. There will also be opportunities to take part in events like candidate forums, and these will be important to attend and hear where candidates stand on important issues. Take an interest and be informed before casting your ballot.