The StarPhoenix, Saturday, September 20, 2008
Clarke no-show at forums
The first candidates' forums in the Desnethe riding
won't include the incumbent. Clarke said he has several
reasons for taking a pass on the forum planned for
Meadow Lake Sept. 25: His schedule is full; he doesn't
want to get into a debate before the leaders' debate
Oct. 2 for fear of contradicting leader Stephen Harper;
and he's not a big fan of forums in any case.
"Usually with a debate, you only get about 20 people
to show up. And what happens is it's usually staged. You
get people from other camps asking questions and it just
turns into support for one candidate."
Clarke has committed to an Oct. 9 forum on MBC radio,
which will reach more of the riding.
Marjaleena Repo, the co-campaign manager for Liberal
candidate David Orchard, said Clarke has also passed on
a second Sept. 25 forum in Spiritwood and one scheduled
for La Ronge Oct. 1.
"This is quite shocking to me," she said.
Clarke said he's got a different style than Orchard.
"The one thing I've noticed about David Orchard is
all he wants to do is debate," Clarke said. "Debate
debate debate debate in every town. My opinion is he
doesn't want to go and meet the voters."