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Voters talk

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 07/05) - Paul Martin thinks the federal election has been rushed.

"Nobody's interested in an election in the holiday season," said Martin, "No one's interested in candidates coming to their door."

Of course this Martin lives in Yellowknife and isn't the prime minister of Canada. In fact, he'd be happy if the Liberals weren't re-elected so people would stop making jokes about his name.

Yellowknife residents have a wide range of opinions about the federal election and what issues are important. Even if they think an election is needed, many are unhappy about the timing of the campaign.

"The only one I want knocking on my door this Christmas is Santa," said one person who didn't want to be named.

"I think the timing was off," said Blaine Kelly, who pointed out it's a hectic time of the year already with Christmas and New Year's.

"People can't pay attention to the issues because they're too preoccupied," Kelly said.

Accountability and health care are two of the important issues, Kelly said.

Some people feel more strongly about an election.

"I think the whole thing is absurd; it's just a big waste of money," said Marianne Murray.

"The fact that the government has been so corrupt over the past number of years, I think that will be an issue with the people," she said.

But the majority of residents are resigned to a winter election.

"It's as good a time as any," said Jo Russell.

Nancy Trotter has a similar view.

"We don't really have much choice, but I don't know if there is ever a perfect time," she said.

"I think we should exercise our responsibility to vote no matter when the election is," said Trotter who would like to see more money for health promotion.

And who will be the party in power after the ballots are counted on Jan. 23?

Henry White of Henry's Barbershop says he doesn't need to wait for the official election, he'll know the results two days before.

White will be running a "fun ballot" in his barbershop to gauge the outcome of the election. During the last election the prediction gathered at the shop branch in Hay River was right on the nail, said White.

"I think the Liberals are getting back in, myself," he said.

Emotions run high when voters contemplate the prospect of another Liberal government.

"I don't care when the election is as long as they (the Liberals) don't win," said one person who wanted to remain anonymous.

"I'm definitely anti-Liberal," said another unnamed person downtown.

Roger Morrison thinks NDP candidate Dennis Bevington will win the Western Arctic riding.

"The sooner an election comes the better," said Morrison.

Some residents haven't decided who they will vote for and wonder how much their vote will matter.

"Just like all elections in Canada it's a waste of time," said Sherri Aube.

"I'm not impressed with any of them so it's going to be quite a challenge deciding who to vote for," said Marianne Murray.