SAMRU election debate causes some confrontation online
By Nathan Woolridge, News Editor
On March 28, SAMRU was set to host a Calgary-Elbow debate between the ridings’ candidates. But, the event sparked a bit of discussion online when Alberta Party candidate, Greg Clark, put a call to action for his opponents to show up to the debate.
“Debates are a great way to hear directly from the candidates asking for your vote,” says Clark. “Looking forward to debating [Janet Eremenko] and [Doug Schweitzer] tomorrow at MRU, hosted by [SAMRU] at 1 p.m. Hope to see you there.”
The response to Clark’s tweet is where things started to get interesting.
“Forums are a great way to hear directly from voters. Normally, they are negotiated between campaigns,” says UCP candidate, Schweitzer.
He then added that the Elbow Park School forum on April 11 and that he hoped both Clark and Eremenko would be able to make it.
“So you’re cancelling? I’ll debate any time, any place. And I don’t need permission from my leader,” shot back Clark.
“We let them know right away. It’s too bad you weren’t told until now,” replied Schweitzer. He then invited Clark and Eremenko to the Elbow Park School forum once again. “Full platforms should be out by then.”
In one last attempt to call out Schweitzer, Clark tweeted, “Why won’t you be there? What could be more important than talking with [SAMRU] students and sharing how you would represent my neighbours in Elbow?”
To which, Clark received no reply from the UCP candidate.
The candidates in attendance were Greg Clark (Alberta Party), Janet Eremenko (NDP) and Joshua Codd (Alberta Liberal Party).
March to the campaign office
Later on that same day as the SAMRU debate, a march was organized in Marda Loop. The march was for support of Gay-Straight Alliances. It began with hundreds of supporters meeting in a Safeway parking lot and making their way down the street to Schweitzer’s office.
Clark, whose office is in the same block as Schweitzer’s, invited marchers to his office for the “unofficial GSA rally after party.”
He told his Twitter followers to look for the signs, which he posted a picture of outside his campaign office. The signs had messages of “We support GSAs” and “Join our party.”
Early on in the election, it appears that there is some tension in the riding of Calgary-Elbow. Only time will tell which candidates will appear at the debate on April 11 as we get closer to the April 16 election date.