As of August 16, 2013, there are five candidates currently declared in Ward 10 – Hafis Devji, Richard Feehan, Dan Johnstone, Zack Siezmagraff, and Michael Walters. According to our analysis, Richard Feehan and Michael Walters are both strategically strong candidates and have compelling and progressive platforms that each reflect well on the criteria we have chosen to base our endorsements on. In talking to both of these candidates, they are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about building a better city.
One of ActivatED’s key objectives is to highlight electoral politics as a major mechanism for creating change. We seek to break down the barriers and apprehension young people often feel about getting involved in “Big P” politics. ActivatED recognizes the municipal election as a great way for people who have never been involved in elections and campaign before to get their feet wet for many reasons. For example, in a municipal campaign a volunteer often has greater access to the candidate running, the campaign manager and the exciting inner workings of a campaign – which can be a great learning experience. The Edmonton municipal election also operates without a formal party system, which is great for people who feel wary of joining a major political party or may not know which one they support. We view this as an opportunity for citizens to engage and to get excited about the election via issues they are already passionate about.
ActivatED recognizes that this Ward, despite the absence of an official party system, is highly divided along political party lines. We have observed the division this has created amongst our allies, as well as within our own organizing team. We feel that strong partisan ties also may accentuate the barriers to engaging in electoral politics, instead of breaking them down as we are seeking to do. In light of this, we do not believe that it is within our mandate to endorse a specific candidate in Ward 10 at this time.