Around 45 Chestermere-Strathmore riding residents addressed during the Chestermere Public Library’s Meet the Candidates event on April 10.
“It allowed residents to meet all of the candidates in one place and ask any questions that they may have,” said Meet the Candidates Organizer Sheri-Dawn Guidolin.
“Residents asked great questions, and the candidates enjoyed having the ability to connect with them, which is why we do it,” Guidolin said.
Throughout the evening, residents expressed their gratitude on being able to meet the candidates and have their questions answered to Guidolin.
“The residents who were here definitely benefited. That’s all we wanted, was to allow residents an opportunity to talk to the candidates,” she said.
Although not all of the candidates attended the event, the ones who did appreciated the opportunity to answer residents’ questions, she added. Residents did take note of who did not attend.
Chestermere-Strathmore riding resident, Jason Maharaj attended the Meet the Candidates event for multiple reasons.
The first being it was crucial to get more information and talk to each candidate face-to-face before he made his decision, along with educating his son about how the election process works.
“The whole idea was to get my son to see what happens during the process, what kind of questions to ask, what’s important, and hopefully after we will have a discussion,” Maharaj said.
He added, the more parents expose their children to the election process, the more likely their children are to cast a vote in the future.
Leaving the event, Maharaj hoped to have a picture of what the local representatives will be doing for him as an individual, the long-term balancing of the budget, and creating jobs.
“It’s our responsibility as citizens to cast a vote to the best person who represents your ideals,” he said.
For Mary-Ellen Krastel, and Alex Krastel attending the Meet the Candidates event was an excellent way to research what the candidates stood for, before casting a vote.
“This election is not like any other election. There is so much more to think about, and so much more to worry about,” Mary-Ellen said.
“This election is more politically charged than most elections are, there is a lot of tension,” Alex said.
He added people seem ready to fight about anything and doubling down on their beliefs rather than looking at the other views people have.
Residents need to put more thought into what they are doing this time and think about how their votes will affect the future, Mary-Ellen said.
“You can’t just tick off a box. You have to be a responsible voter,” she added.
After talking with the candidates, Mary-Ellen wanted to have a better direction and understanding of what the different parties are doing, what they mean, and what they stand for.
“We don’t have a lot of time. We need to do our homework and make the best decision we think we can make,” she said.