Over the past few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to speak with some of the candidates who are running in 2014 provincial election in Peterborough.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to meet all of the major candidates, and I only contacted candidates whose candidacy was known prior to the election. This means the three so-called “fringe” candidates weren’t contacted. Despite that, I encourage you to seek out information about these candidates beyond the interviews I conducted to ensure you are highly informed on election day, June 12.

Information on how you can go about voting if you are a student is available here.

This election has been rather lackluster as far as the three major parties–Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, and the NDP–are concerned. As Arthur Co-editor Matt Rappolt and I discussed on the June 7 episode of the Arthur Hour, no issues have managed to galvanize the public this time around and voter apathy seems to be unfortunately high.

The Liberals are plagued by scandal after scandal and seem impossible to trust, even with a new leader. The Progressive Conservatives have been running on a platform that make us wonder how Tim Hudak ever got a degree in Economics. The NDP have taken a populist turn, and seem somewhat confused and under prepared for an election they themselves triggered.

The Greens have been a fairly loud fourth option, but their chances of forming a government are quite slim (their chances of gaining their first seat are slightly higher though).

With the odd exception, public discourse has been more about scandals and put-downs than the ideas and policies each party would bring to the table. And postsecondary education has been almost entirely absent from the discussion. It was in fact absent from the June 3 debate.

Trying to figure out who to vote for based on leaders or platforms alone is a difficult task regardless of your political persuasion. The point of these interviews is to allow you to meet your local candidates for MPP, and see if that makes the decision on June 12 any easier.

While naturally each interview has a slightly different focus, I tried to keep it as much about issues affecting students as possible.

Jeff Leal – Liberal Party

Shelia Wood – NDP

Scott Stewart – Progressive Conservative Party (Forthcoming)

Gary Beamish – Green Party

Brian Martindale – Independent (Forthcoming)

Candidates who were not contacted are Andrea Quiano – Socialist Party, Gerard Faux – Paupers Party, and Wayne Matheson – Freedom Party.