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The Final Choice

Candidates go door to door during their election campaigns.  If they come to your door, don't be afraid to ask questions.  In fact, people seeking public office will want you to ask questions.  Remember that they are competing for your vote, and a chance to explain the wisdom of their party's policies is a chance to convince you to vote for them.  In an election campaign, the voter is supreme.  Pick the issues that most concern you and find out what your candidates and their parties plan to do about them.

If you don't get the chance to talk to candidates face to face, call their campaign headquarters.  As well, when candidates or parties have previously held seats in the Legislative Assembly, you can find out how they handled issues in the past by reading copies of Hansard , which are available in the Legislature Library. More recent issues of Hansard can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly website .  Once again, if you know most of the important details about an issue, your questions will be more to the point, and you will also be better able to judge how much the candidates know about that particular issue.

One of the best ways to find out about a party's platform is to attend a public meeting of all the candidates in your constituency.  Here the candidates for one constituency get together to talk about issues and answer voters' questions.  You might have a chance to hear how would-be MLAs would deal with yours and other people's concerns. And, of course, the media are helpful sources of information about candidates and issues.  Television, radio, and newspapers all offer extensive coverage of election issues, the best of which involve the candidates themselves speaking on various matters.  If you miss the all-candidates' meeting, you may be able to take part in a phone-in program or watch a candidates' panel discussion or read their statements on important issues in the paper.

The final choice is yours to make on election day.  Once you have asked your questions, collected your information, and thought about your alternatives, you can go to your polling station ready to mark an X next to the name of your carefully chosen candidate.

   

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