The latest news…
One month pre-election in Latvia: a political discussion program on Latvian TV this Saturday, September 11, streamed live at www.vissnotiek.lv. It will start at 10am Alberta time and involve 7 North American cities via Skype, including Edmonton. Anyone with internet access can watch it at home.
If you know any seniors who don’t have internet access and who would like to watch this, please let them know and maybe help them arrange something…?
Hansamedia TV in Latvia is organizing a political forum for this Saturday, September 11th, allowing 7 North American communities to participate in discussions with election candidates from 5 political parties in Latvia. This will be done using Skype and will be streamed live on the internet. A similar forum with Europeans, ie: Latvians not living in Latvia, took place on September 4th.
LNAK (Latvian Nat’l Assoc in Canada) chose Toronto and Edmonton as the two Canadian participants. I think they wanted to show and recognize that not all Latvians in Canada live in the east. The other participanting cities are San Francisco, Detroit, Boston, Minneapolis and New York.
There are 3 pre-determined topics which all political candidates will answer and discuss:
1. How many persons of Latvian heritage and how many Latvian citizens live outside Latvia? How important are these Latvians to Latvia? In the interest of future strategic planning, can we agree on a realistic number for this population?
2. What, if anything, is being done now to allow Latvians abroad to return to Latvia? What are future plans/strategies to encourage this return? Does Latvia want these Latvians to return? Maybe it’s more convenient for Latvia to have this diaspora?
3. What is Latvia doing and how is it taking care of the Latvians and Latvian citizens who have chosen to stay abroad, at least for the next few years? How do we help them maintain contact and exercise their rights as citizens? Comments on dual citizenship? Changes in the voting law to allow voting via internet?
The program starts at 7pm Latvian time or 10am Alberta time. It will be 90 minutes long. Because of time constraints, each of the 7 above-mentioned cities will only be allowed to ask one question.
I’ve spoken to 8 people and so far noone wants to be involved. It looks like I’ll be asking the question from Edmonton. However, if one of you would absolutely love to do this in my place, please let me know by Wednesday at the latest and it’s all yours! We are also collecting questions to ask the politicians. One question will be chosen but we’ll need backups in case of duplication so please send me ideas.
Finally – anyone who wants to vote in the October Latvian election has until September 10 to register for an absentee ballot by submitting their application and passport to the Latvian embassy in Ottawa.