Friday September 10, 2021 | COWICHAN-MALAHAT-LANGFORD [Updated September 11, 2021]
by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
He’s been out and about meeting people in all areas of the large Cowichan-Malahat-Langford (CML) riding during this 44th federal election campaign season.
For NDP incumbent Alistair MacGregor looking for re-election to a third term, meeting people in person is the best way to both gauge a voter’s interest and to hopefully better-assure their vote.
That included being seen out voting at the Advance Poll in Duncan today.
“I went out and cast my vote at the advance poll this afternoon! You can too! They’re open today, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 9 am to 9 pm,” MacGregor posted on Twitter this afternoon regarding the Elections Canada polling stations on September 10 through 13.
The general election date is Monday September 20.
Meeting with & informing the public:
Door knocking is “the best way to get an accurate pulse on the community”, and gives an opportunity to answer questions. “The best debates are on the doorstep! It keeps you sharp and informed,” said MacGregor told Island Social Trends.
MacGregor runs a farm in the Cowichan-Duncan area. He has sent out flyers by postal mail and will be taking part in at least nine debates online over the course of the 36-day campaign.
MacGregor has already taken part in the 100 Debates on the Environment (on Zoom September 8), the Canadian Federation of Agriculture debate (on Zoom, September 9) and the Duncan Chamber of Commerce event (posted online September 10).
More debates coming up:
Still coming up are six more debates where Alistair MacGregor as the NDP candidate in Cowichan-Malahat-Langford will pitch his party’s platform and address local concerns:
- Sunday Sept 12 – National Animal Protection Debate (on Zoom, 4 pm)
- Monday Sept 13 – National Farmers Union Debate (on Zoom, 4 pm) [Cancelled]
- Thursday Sept 16 – Cowichan-Malahat-Langford All Candidates Debate (at Bench Elementary, on Zoom, 10 am)
- Thursday Sept 16 – Chemanius Residents Association All Candidates Meeting (in person, 6 pm)
- Friday Sept 17 – Hiiye’yu Lelum House of Friendship All Candidates Meeting (in person, 11:30 am).
Cowichan-Malahat-Langford is a large riding, but MacGregor and his team cover every community. Answering questions at the door for voters “is the best debate”, he says. “It keeps you sharp and informed.” He feels it may better secure a vote if the person has met him in person.
Due to the continuing COVID pandemic MacGregor and his team are not visiting apartment buildings during this election in Fall 2021. He stresses that all connections with candidates in person are occurring outdoors. So far in this campaign that began August 15 the weather has been very cooperative.
People are usually happy to meet MacGregor when he’s out campaigning, he says. Or at worst they politely decline the flyer or chat at the door.
What happened on the campaign trail for the Liberal leader earlier this week was a serious indication as to how angst among some Canadians is escalating.
“That’s a really bad sign,” said MacGregor with reference to bits of gravel being thrown at Justin Trudeau when he was out campaigning. “The RCMP has to do a better job,” says MacGregor, right out front. There needs to be a recognition that there “is a lot of angst” and “uncertainty about what the future holds”, and how this upsets people, says MacGregor.
“That can quickly turn into fear, into anger,” he says. If not dealt with right away it “becomes open to extreme or radical” action.
How can politics deal with the fear that some Canadians now have in a challenging time (COVID, economic stresses, etc)? “We address it policy-wise,” says MacGregor. “It’s not too late to address it,” he says, adding that it’s not yet like “down in the USA”.
Understanding the root causes of social despair and unrest is the key to resolving the worst of the angst for people, says the candidate who seeks re-election for a third term on September 20.
Comparisons and contrasts:
“Campaigns are often about setting up contrasts and showing what the other party is doing wrong,” says MacGregor. But he says he tries to rise above that style of campaigning.
The candidate for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford says that his leader Jagmeet Singh sets an example in trying to find ways to unite people. MacGregor highlights Singh’s outreach to the other federal party leaders to create a joint message encouraging everyone in Canada to get vaccinated against COVID-19 (a joint taping took place last night in Ottawa just ahead of the federal leaders debate).
And it’s great to reinforce the voters as they drive, walk and cycle around town. Alistair MacGregor’s orange campaign signs are out and about around Langford.
We’re interested in your preference for learning about your candidate. The 1-minute Island Social Trends poll on How You Like to Hear from your Federal Candidate is on the main page of our website at www.islandsocialtrends.ca . (Open to September 15, 2021).
Poor debate format a disservice to viewers & voters (September 9, 2021)
Candidate-voter interface during the 2021 pandemic federal election (September 9, 2021)
‘A planet on fire’ discussed by Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke candidates (September 8, 2021)
Scrappy election debates: how & why to watch (September 7, 2021)