Posted by: Alvin | October 28, 2008

Get Your Vote On All-Candidates Debate

Last night candidates from COPE, Vision, the NPA, the Work Less Party, and Marc Emery gathered at 395 Kingsway in the Biltmore Cabaret to take part in the Get Your Vote On Youth Debate. I have to say, it was probably the most fun I’ll have at an event this campaign, and also had some of the toughest questions.

The fact the questions were tough may have surprised some, but think about it. Youth residents in this city care about everything since everything effects them. They haven’t yet bought a home or started a career, many are still going to school or working in their first jobs. The issues of housing, transportation, education, sustainability, and economy all matter, and they matter all at the same time. So questions were asked accordingly.

The evening started with 5 sessions of speed-dating where we moved from table to table and answered some rapid fire questions. The music was a little loud, so hearing everything was sometimes an issue, but it was fun nonetheless.

We then all headed to the stage to answer a series of pre-set questions before moving to questions from the audience. Like I said, questions often contained references to not being able to pay the rent, use transit effectively, and have fun in the city…all at the same time. Some points were universal as well. The audience all demanded more affordable housing, not just for our city’s homeless, but for students and new families as well. The need for a city-wide UPass was also clear; the fact that we have students at VCC, Langara, Capp, Emily Carr, and elsewhere still paying full price for transit is inexcusable. It’s unfair, and fixing the situation would not only increase ridership, but would be good for the environment as well.

I’ll post photos when they become available, and I think there is going to be a video feed of the event soon as well. Personally, I think we need more people out at debates. I wish we had a democracy that yearned for face to face contact. But it all starts with youth though, if we can’t make a city that works for young people, pretty soon we’re going to see a Vancouver with all the creativity pushed out. And then you’re just left with a copy of West Vancouver, White Rock, or god forbid…Surrey! That would just suck.

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