Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/8/2012 (3268 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
FORT Whyte Liberal candidate Bob Axworthy is asking voters to try him out for a few of years. If they don't like him, they can elect someone else in 2016.
"What you get in me is a fresh voice," he said Saturday at a small meet-the-candidate BBQ at the Whyte Ridge Community Centre.
Axworthy said he's telling voters that electing him in the Sept. 4 byelection won't change the government or the opposition, but the riding will get a politician willing to stand up for local issues.
That includes new development around Whyte Ridge, the need for a Waverley Street underpass at the Canadian National Railway tracks and traffic problems McGillivray Boulevard and Brady Road.
Those are all civic issues, but Axworthy said there is no reason a provincial politician can't raise them.
Bob Rae, the interim federal Liberal leader, in town to attend Folklorama and meet with local Grits, was the guest of honour at Saturday's BBQ.
The Liberals are emphasizing Axworthy's pedigree -- he is the brother of University of Winnipeg president Lloyd Axworthy, Canada's former foreign affairs minister and Manitoba's most powerful federal politician in the 1990s.
Axworthy, who has lived in Whyte Ridge for 15 years, also noted his main rivals don't live in the riding.
The Liberals and the Conservatives, both still smarting after last fall's provincial election, see the Fort Whyte byelection as a test of their rebuilding and organizing efforts in the lead-up to the next general election in April 2016.
Fort Whyte has been an easy win for the Tories in the last four general elections and in a 2005 byelection. Newly minted Conservative Leader Brian Pallister is hoping the byelection catapults him into the house, while the NDP is running Brandy Schmidt, the community engagement manager for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada in Manitoba.
Running for the Greens is Donnie H.J. Benham.
Byelections typically have low voter turnout rates, rarely cracking 40 per cent. In Fort Whyte, that problem is made worse by the timing of the race in the waning days of a near-perfect summer, when many families are thinking about heading back to school instead of politics.
But Axworthy said he's finding voters engaged at the door.