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This week Express reporter Erin Fawcett has asked former Councillor Vesna Higham questions regarding the upcoming election and why there doesn't seem to be much interest in it so far. "The tighter economy's likely a factor.

This week Express reporter Erin Fawcett has asked former Councillor Vesna Higham questions regarding the upcoming election and why there doesn't seem to be much interest in it so far.

"The tighter economy's likely a factor. It takes some money to run even a modest campaign, so we aren't seeing the large number of hopefuls throwing their hats in the ring early, as in the last election," said Higham. "There are also no real galvanizing community issues like we've seen in the past, no high tax increase, no swirling controversy, or pressing local demand.

"People are generally busy making a living, enjoying what little of summer we have left. In a few weeks, however, we're going to see things pick up in earnest, once the election swings into full gear."

"The candidates will want to get their names and platforms into our homes by way of brochures and door-knocking, so read and compare the materials, and prepare a few questions for when they come calling. Candidate profiles will also shortly be available through our public library at: www.electionforum.ca, or by googling candidates' names for their backgrounds and individual election web sites," said Higham. "To really get a feel for someone, however, there's nothing like an actual meet and greet. Any candidate worth our vote will soon be manning tables at our beloved Farmer's Market every Saturday morning 'til the election on October 18.

"Get out and shake their hands, solicit their ideas, ask your questions. And don't forget upcoming election forums and debates, which provide perhaps the best opportunity to see all the candidates in action in a more formal, interactive setting."

"Unequivocally, yes. Especially in a smaller city like Red Deer, a handful of votes can absolutely make a difference. A longstanding incumbent lost his seat in the last municipal election by a margin of only 23 votes. So get informed and get out to vote. It's our community, and our civic responsibility."