I felt a little guilty not looking up the Liberal candidate in Dauphin when I was in that constituency a couple of weekends ago covering Premier Greg Selinger’s campaign.
I talked to local incumbent Stan Struthers briefly at an NDP announcement outside the community’s hospital. I spent some time with Struthers’ chief challenger, Lloyd McKinney of the Conservatives, while he watched his son try out for the local Triple A midget hockey team. But I never looked up the Liberal candidate, Sisay Tessema, mainly because the Liberals received all of 385 votes (4.8%) in the riding in the 2007 election.
As it turned out, I may have looked long and hard and in vain for Tessema, since he lives on Furby Street in Winnipeg and doesn’t have a campaign office in Dauphin.
Political parties often have to search far and wide to field a full slate of candidates. In this election, the Liberals have more than a dozen candidates who don’t live in the constituency that they’re seeking to represent. The Green party, with a record 32 candidates this year, also has more than its share of interlopers. For example, the Green vying to unseat Tory Heather Stefanson in Tuxedo lives in an apartment on Assiniboine Avenue downtown.
Even the two main parties have difficulties finding local candidates to run in every riding — especially where the chances of victory are slight. For instance, the NDP candidate in Agassiz, located west of Lake Manitoba, lives in Tyndall Park. And the Progressive Conservative candidate in Wolseley calls The Maples home.
Elections Manitoba recently released all home addresses of the candidates in the Oct. 4 election. A full-page ad with the information appeared in Saturdays’ Free Press.
River Heights, currently held by Liberal Leader Jon Gerrard, is a popular place for politicians to live. At least five candidates not running in River Heights call that constituency home, including PC Leader Hugh McFadyen, who is running in Fort Whyte, Fort Richmond PC candidate Shaun McCaffrey, Kildonan Liberal candidate Sagriotis Dimitrius, Southdale Tory candidate Judy Eastman and St. James Liberal candidate Gerard Allard.
By the way, of the four candidates seeking office in River Heights, only Conservative Marty Morantz lives outside the constituency. He resides in Tuxedo.