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Election candidates 'speed date' Vancouver voters
A handful of Vancouver municipal candidates appealed to the electorate in a whole new way Monday night, participating in a "speed dating" event with voters.
Political hopefuls toured booths at the Biltmore Cabaret in East Vancouver, switching tables every five minutes for a chance to woo a new crowd.
Independent candidates joined council, parks board and school board contenders from Vision, the Non-Partisan Association and COPE for the event, organized by Get Your Vote On.
Coordinator Adrian Sinclair said speed dating municipal candidates makes sense because "you're going to be in a three-year relationship" with them.
"You want to find out who they are, and you also want to have a conversation with them," Sinclair said.
A mainly young crowd took the opportunity to converse Monday night, often over beers, quizzing candidates on culture, housing and how they would handle the Occupy Vancouver encampment.
Though municipal elections rarely drum up the same enthusiasm as their provincial or federal counterparts, Sinclair said some of the most tangible political decisions are made at City Hall.
Councillors and board trustees debate everything "from your parks to your streets to your libraries," Sinclair said, as well as "if you can grow food, where you can grow food, funding for the arts… all sorts of things."
Candidate speed dating was followed by a formal debate. Election day for Vancouver, as well as municipalities across B.C., is on Nov. 19.
Get Your Vote On is a volunteer-run organization aimed at engaging young people in local, provincial and federal politics.