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All-Pinoy race in Tyndall Park

By Alona Mercado


For the first time in Canadian history, it will be guaranteed that on Election Day, the residents of one riding will elect a Filipino-Canadian representative. All three major political parties are fielding Filipino-Canadians in the riding of Tyndall Park. This will make the race in that riding extremely exciting to watch and even more exciting to participate in.

No longer can the old and tired argument “vote for your kababayan be used. The focus in this race will now turn to other factors, as it should. As my regular readers will know, I have long held the belief that a person’s race should not play a factor in determining who to vote for – we are all Canadians, after all.

In Tyndall Park, what will the voters be looking for? Will they vote along party lines or based on who the best candidate is? Will they vote based on the age or appearance of the candidates? Will they vote based on the issues? Or will they choose not to vote at all?

To add a little more spice to the mix, the New Democratic Party (NDP) is running Ted Marcelino, the brother-in-law of current cabinet minister Flor Marcelino, as their candidate. Will the name recognition help or hinder Ted? Ted also won his party’s nomination after battling with three other candidates. Could this indicate that Ted’s support within his own party is weakened or will his former adversaries unite behind him for the sake of party unity?

Over in the Conservative corner, their candidate is former NDP MLA Cris Aglugub. Will the fact that Cris switched parties only a few months after losing the NDP nomination in The Maples turn off traditional Tory support because he could be seen as balimbing? Although he now calls himself a Tory, Cris stated in a recent televised interview that he intends to hold on to his former NDP supporters. Will this lead to a splitting of the traditional NDP vote?

The Liberals are fielding Roldan Sevillano as their candidate. Roldan is the Executive Assistant (i.e. chief of staff) to current Winnipeg North MP Kevin Lamoureux and a former Recreation Therapist who worked with seniors at Calvary Place. Will his association with Lamoureux hurt or hinder his chances? Will he be the beneficiary of turned off Tories who don’t want to vote for a former NDP MLA? Will a possible NDP vote split help his chances? Will his youth be seen as an asset or a liability?

Only the voters of Tyndall Park can answer these questions. The election will take place on Tuesday, October 4th from 7 am to 8 pm. However, voters can also vote at any advance polling location in the province from Saturday, September 24th to Saturday, October 1st from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. By allowing voters to vote at any location, Elections Manitoba has made it extremely easy to vote in this election. Click for a full list of all advance poll locations in Winnipeg

To the voters of Tyndall Park, you have a tough choice on your hands. Who will you choose? Sino ang karapat-dapat sa boto ninyo? I do not live in the Tyndall Park riding and therefore cannot cast a vote. However, I am participating in this election by volunteering my time to one campaign.

I know all three men who have chosen to stand as candidates in Tyndall Park. I have had the opportunity to meet Cris and Ted at various community functions over the years and I first met Roldan over a year and a half ago.

It will come as no surprise to anyone that I am supporting Roldan in this election – I am, after all, a Liberal. However, my support for him stems deeper than just our mutual party beliefs. In the short time I have known Roldan, he has impressed me greatly – and that’s not a compliment I give lightly.

I have had the opportunity to work along side Roldan in many pressure filled situations and I have also observed him meet with people from all walks of life. His sense of compassion, humour and professionalism reflect the character of a man twice his age. I have also seen him speak to a crowd with a passion and charisma that most politicians would envy. Roldan may be young in years but he has spent the last ten years of his life serving people – a trait that will serve him well in politics.

I have worked with and for many politicians over the past twenty years and I can honestly say that, if elected, I know Roldan will make an excellent public servant. That is why I agreed to be his Campaign Manager. That is why, if I lived in the Tyndall Park riding, I would be casting my vote for Roldan Sevillano.

Editor’s Note: Alona C. Mercado is a lawyer practicing in Winnipeg and campaign manager for Liberal candidate Roldan Sevillano in the upcoming provincial election.

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