December 6, 2019

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An oboist, a bagpiper and a viola player walk into an election...

Free Press opens federal election portal for Manitoba candidates

The Winnipeg Free Press believes one of its core responsibilities is to provide readers with all the information they need to exercise their democratic right to vote.

By the numbers

Thirty-seven candidates replied to the Free Press questionnaire: 45 per cent of the 83 candidates running.

Of the candidates who had replied by press time Friday, the average age (for those who provided an age) is 46.

Thirty-seven candidates replied to the Free Press questionnaire: 45 per cent of the 83 candidates running.

Of the candidates who had replied by press time Friday, the average age (for those who provided an age) is 46.

Kildonan—St. Paul has both the oldest and the youngest candidates: 21-year-old Evan Krosney, running for the NDP, and Eduard Hiebert, an independent who listed his age as "three score and 10."

The most common first name is Ken (three); there are two each of Dan, James, Terry and Wayne. The most common surname is Hein (two).

The most engaged candidates were in Elmwood—Transcona, where four of five filled out the Free Press questionnaire. (There's still time, Green candidate Kelly Manweiler.)

Only one candidate returned a questionnaire in Provencher (Liberal) and Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman (NDP).

The most engaged party is technically the Communists, with a 100 per cent return rate (they have just one candidate in Manitoba). Next up were the Liberals, with 79 per cent providing information. People's Party candidates were the least responsive; only 14 per cent took up our invitation.

More than half of Christian Heritage Party and Independent candidates replied, while less than half of Green, NDP and Conservative candidates did so.

As part of that commitment, it reached out to all federal candidates in Manitoba, offering an opportunity to introduce themselves, share their position on issues of interest, and explain why they're the best person to represent voters in Ottawa.

On the issues, the Free Press has launched a feature on its website that lets the reader/voter select a position on 10 matters of federal interest — then compare positions to the candidates.  From taxes to immigration to pipelines and gun control, see where the candidates fall.

Aside from letting the Free Press know their position on the issues, it also invited candidates to share a bit about themselves personally.

Select your opinion on the issues and see how the candidates running in your riding compare. (Winnipeg Free Press)</p>

Select your opinion on the issues and see how the candidates running in your riding compare. (Winnipeg Free Press)

A question asking for "something about you that voters might find surprising" revealed a viola player, bagpiper and an oboist, a polyglot, a board-game designer and one candidate who has never seen the movie Titanic.

To see replies from all candidates, visit wfp.to/candidates and search by candidate, riding or party.

Look for "10 questions on the issues" to compare responses with the candidates, and see "The candidates, as people" section to read longer answers to Free Press questions.

If you're a candidate who hasn't yet filled out a form, it's not too late. Check your email (including junk mail) for an invitation from the Free Press. Still no luck? Email webnews@freepress.mb.ca to have it re-sent to you. 

Wendy Sawatzky

Wendy Sawatzky
Associate Editor Digital News

Wendy Sawatzky brought her twin passions for writing and technology to the Winnipeg Free Press in 2008. She's currently the paper's associate editor for digital news.

Read full biography

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