By Jonah Kondro
I was dancing around my kitchen and listening to Blink 182’s album “Enema of the State”; this was a select choice of music during my miscreant years as a youth. The cleverly titled album seems suiting to listen to as the provincial election looms closer. I’m not particularly enthusiastic for politics, but someone could guess that I was enjoying the party song after a day of work and getting amped up for the Rimbey-Rocky-Sundre candidate forum that was on April 20 in Rimbey.
It seems that having an election forum on the fourth month’s twentieth day is a little brass. Four-twenty is usually a day reserved for the dumpweed types wondering if aliens exists and lots of Bob Marley tracks spinning through the radio. I’m not sure of how four-twenty got its illicit designation, but one can hope that the festivities would spill into the election forum at the Rimbey Drop-In Center and turn the candidate panel into a live action moppet show. It turned out, however, that the only mutt that evening was me and my pre-forum kitchen dancing.
The forum captured comments from Tammy Cote, Jason Nixon, and Joe “Don’t Leave Me” Anglin. Nixon will sing the anthem for the Wildrose Party, Anglin is an Independent candidate, and Cote is planning on helping pull the fiscal levers for the Progressive Conservatives. Whoever was supposed to be representing the New Democrats never showed up; he or she probably had Marley’s “Jamming” on repeat and decided not to leave the basement.
The forum ran for a couple of hours and was highlighted with some difficult questions from the audience members in the areas of property rights, education funding, heritage fund dos and don’ts, candidate qualifications, and many others. I behaved myself and never got brave enough to ask the candi- dates what’s my age again? Undoubtedly there are a varied amount of issues, concerns, and inquisitions stemming from the pending provincial election.
I was drifting in and out of some mid-evening daydreaming throughout the forum—but my attention was restored when education funding was addressed through the questions from the audience. Joel Ward, the prime minister of RDC, had announced budget cuts to the faculty members and students before the end of the winter term. The English program basically was a bottle of rum that had gotten poured out into the parking lot with little left for anyone to enjoy. With the program cuts and shifts—I have to now depart from RDC after another year and potentially go to university in Calgary or Edmonton to finish my degree.
The candidates at the forum in the Drop-In Centre had a lot to discuss and promote for their campaigns; I didn’t get the clear cut answers for the future of Alberta’s education funding as I had hoped. But, I’m glad I attended the discussion—I put some names to faces and got to hear the candidates speak for themselves and his or her parties. My own pending voting decision will come easier now.
I’m certainly not going away to college to become a political scientist, but it seems that all the small things will decide the outcome of all the voting on May 5.