Sunday, November 09, 2008


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC

The Value of Independents and Small Parties in Canadian Democracy: At The Billy Bishop Legion

See the Straight

A number of Independent candidates in the Vancouver municipal election have organized an all-candidate forum for Independents and Small Party representatives on Sunday, November 9 at the Billy Bishop Legion in Kitsilano.

Jamie Lee Hamilton, candidate for Park Board and Lea Johnson, candidate for Council are co-organizing this forum.

The format of the afternoon will feature 3 minute opening addresses by the candidates, then an interactive section with a Media panel featuring Charlie Smith, news editor of the Georgia Straight, The Republic municipal affairs columnist, Reed Eurchuk and Sandra Thomas, a reporter at the vancouver Courier.

Candidates will then have one minute for closing statements.

The afternoon will be moderated by former WestEnder Editor Kevin McKeown, owner of Publicity Plus Event and Marketing.

Co-chair of The Value of Independents and Small Parties in Canadian Democracy, Lea Johnson states, "A characteristic of genuine democracy is the opportunity for meaningful participation by each citizen. To create this opportunity political freedom has to prevail by the expanded participation of independents and small parties. In this way all votes are widely held ensuring that political equity is broadly shared, the opposition legitimately reflects citizen views and a one or two parties do not form a type of totalitarian pseudo-democracy."

Jamie Lee Hamilton the other co-chair of The Value of Independents and Small Parties in Canadian Democracy states, " It is imperative that our democracy has independent-minded citizens who are not tied to political machines voicing ideas and putting forth their ideas and platforms to an engaged and informed electorate. Too often, we have witnessed political power vested in the hands of backrooms and backroom operatives and this has thwarted the political will of citizens and has stilted democracy. We can do so much better than this".

Confirmed Independent speakers include Council candidates John Boychuk, Steve Wansleeben, Lea Johnson, parks candidate Jamie Lee Hamilton, Mayoral candidate Marc Emery and invitations have been sent to the Workless, Marijuana and Nude Garden parties. The Workless has also confirmed they are sending a speaker

The Independents and Small Parties in Canadian Democracy Forum is on Sunday November 9 from 2pm-4pm at the Billy Bishop Legion at 1407 Laburnum Street in Kitsilano.


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