Whitehorse Daily Star

Area resident eyes independent candidacy

A Takhini Hot Springs Road resident wants to run as an independent in the next territorial election.

By Whitehorse Star on June 22, 2006

A Takhini Hot Springs Road resident wants to run as an independent in the next territorial election.

Tim Zeigdel said he read and heard comments this week by Whitehorse businessman Kenn Roberts. He agrees it's time for a shift away from what Zeigdel described a self-serving party politics where special interests rule, not individual constituents.

'That is one thing I will not do,' the 43-year-old Zeigdel insisted in an interview Wednesday. 'I will not serve somebody's special interest.'

Zeigdel said he is community-minded, and would be happy to be involved with fighting for the wishes of his community, or the neighbour next door.

'If the community wants something to happen, even if I don't agree, I will represent them.'

Roberts is mounting a recruitment campaign to have independent candidates in each of Yukon's 18 ridings for the pending election, which Premier Dennis Fentie must call before November.

It's time to move away from party politics to a consensus style of government currently used in the Northwest Territories, Roberts believes.

There are no party politics in the N.W.T. and the premier and cabinet is selected by the 19 successful candidates in each election.

Roberts told a press conference Monday that individuals and communities would be much better served when elected representatives are not bound by the party line.

Zeigdel said the straw that broke the camel's back was the new rural subdivision being built next to Grubberville along the Hot Springs Road. The development, he said, is the brainchild of Lake Laberge MLA Brad Cathers.

But it has given little regard to the impact on the cabin lot he rents from the owners of Grubberville, said Zeigdel, an unemployed actor, jack of all trades and a member of the board of directors of the Northern Video Film Industry Association.

Zeigdel said he has never ran for office, but is interested in politics, and has taken a look at what the different parties in the Yukon have to offer.

'All of them have something that I like, but it just seems once somebody becomes a member of the party, they toe the line, and I do not think that is what a government is supposed to do.'

More and more questions are being asked about whether the government is serving special interests, or all the people of the Yukon, he said.

Zeigdel said he may not be a polished politician like some, but he is willing to let his name stand, and is able to fight for the needs of his constituents.

'I would actually like to have a debate with Brad Cathers, to see if he can stand his ground.'

Roberts said Monday there are three candidates committed. But he will not run because of the time required for his young business, unless there is no other candidate for McIntyre-Takhini, and there is a solid slate of independents among the other 17 ridings.

Confirmed candidates don't want their names released until they get a feel for how many others will be putting their names forward, Roberts said.

The NDP and Liberal leaders have both criticized Roberts' efforts as nothing more than forming a new party under a different name.

Yukoners are free to run as independents at any time, but as soon as you glue them together with a common cause and purpose, they're just another party, the leaders have said.

Fentie has declined comment on the independence movement.

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