Ballots and Beyond

In case you missed it, we’re now at the peak of election season. We’ve devoted a good chunk of our coverage in this issue to the federal election, but that doesn’t mean we’re all politics and no fun – we’re on both sides and also in a middle zone where politics and fun intersect (yes, it exists).

Electoral politics often have their home in the hard news section, but during federal elections, these important debates spill over into all sectors of society. What do our representatives and future governments have to say about the environment, about treaty rights and about the arts? Which questions are they avoiding? Whose debates are they attending, and which groups of citizens are not being addressed?

In this week’s cover feature, we take a closer look at the names we’ve come to know as public figures in Winnipeg Centre, to get a sense of the people behind the politics. We asked them some unconventional questions, and their answers may surprise you. But someone out of this slate of politicians will be elected within the next week, and they’ll go on to make important decisions that affect our day to day lives in the most intimate ways (whether we think that’s a good idea or not.)

At times, the whole system can feel baffling, and conversations about how best to navigate voting – do you follow party lines, vote for an individual, vote strategically, vote at all – are everywhere. We can’t capture all of these dilemmas and viewpoints, but many contributors have their two cents to share with you in these pages.

Evidently, voting isn’t the only way students and citizens raise their voices, and take steps towards building the campus, city and society that they want to see.

Debates about culture and respect showed up on campus this week as well. We saw students and student groups protesting military recruitment at the U of W, and calling out images they deemed problematic when a virtual reality tour company visited campus.

And as we prepare for an election outcome that will affect our lives for the next four years, our day-to-day life continues. Filmmakers and moviegoers are in for multiple treats this week with french film festival Cinemental, as well as online database MediaQueer, which aims to preserve queer films and video. Apparently Drake dropped a mixtape, and Garbage Hill is still the place to be. Before and after we go to the polls, life in Winnipeg goes on.

-Anastasia Chipelski

Published in Volume 70, Number 6 of The Uniter (October 15, 2015)

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