Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

The word from The Forks: Week Two

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In the weeks leading to the Oct. 4 provincial election, the Free Press is periodically talking to the most important people in the campaign -- the voters. We went to The Forks on Sunday to ask people what they like, and what they'd like to forget.

Samantha Kornelsen

 Kornelsen says because she works in the provincial justice system, she’s concerned about the amount of crime in Winnipeg.

 "We need to have safer communities," she said.

 Both Liberal Leader Jon Gerrard and NDP Leader Greg Selinger have impressed her thus far.

 "The Liberals are really big on education and putting in youth programming, that’s really refreshing. I’m not big on increasing the punishment for young (offenders).

 I’m more concerned with prevention than penalties," she said.

 Lois and Reuben Funk

Reuben says he's politically aware but he's not as engaged in the upcoming provincial election as he was in the federal election earlier this year.

"I don't think there's as much information coming out. Everybody is bashing everybody else and not backing up their claims. I find it very disconcerting that our politics is going that route," he said.

Their MLA is NDP Rob Altemeyer and they don't think he's in danger of losing his seat.

Lois said none of the leaders has stood out for her but she thinks too much is made of them anyway.

"They're just the representatives of the party," she said.

Elizabeth Simpson

Simpson says she thinks it's important that candidates who want her vote show up on her doorstep at least once during the campaign.

The biggest issue she'd like given more attention is transportation for people with disabilities.

"I'd like to hear about more support for Handi-Transit," she said.

Jenny and Arie Bronk

Jenny says health care and crime are the two main issues in her mind in the campaign.

"There are so many gangs in the city, that's a concern to me. I'd love to see more facilities for young boys and girls so they don't have to associate with gangs. Rather than building more jails, they should be building more homes (for underprivileged youth)," she said.

Arie says he's tired of seeing the three leaders knock each other on television and in newspapers to try to earn points with voters.

"I wish they'd focus on the real issues. I'd like to see them focus on the meat," he said.

Jenny said none of the leaders has really stood out in her mind.

"They're not very charismatic. I don't find any of them to be a real strong leader," she said.

Rob Holter-Ferguson, 19, and Paulette Shnier, 19

Both say they're fans of the NDP more than the PCs, Liberals or Greens. Holter-Ferguson, who is originally from Stonewall, said he's concerned about rural farming communities.

"The NDP care more for the working man," he said.

Shnier said she originally became interested in politics because a teacher of hers was a politico.

"I followed it more then. Having somebody always talking about it made me put in extra effort (in following it)," she said.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 19, 2011 A4

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