News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Election discussion set for Saturday

An upcoming election discussion will allow local voters to talk through issues appearing on the November ballot. 

“This is a very contentious election cycle,” said Ed Diehl, who will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot as a candidate for Oregon House of Representatives to represent District 17. 

“People in Oregon really want change,“ Diehl added. “They are not happy with the status quo. In particular, the three-way race for governor is especially interesting, and people want to talk it through.”

The Elections Discussion event will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 at Mehama Old School in Lyons. Interested voters are invited to attend.

Mehama Community Church Pastor Troy Gulstrom will join Diehl for the discussion about the election, candidates running, the issues, and the impact of the election. 

“People need to understand what is on the ballot – the measures/candidates and what they mean and who they are,” Gulstrom said. “For the past two and a half years the people have been cancelled, silenced, ignored. This idea of questioning elected officials and what they are doing is almost non-existent. But the people are waking up to the designed chaos and saying enough is enough.”

Gulstrom believes by hosting the discussion, they help fulfill “one particular bedrock principle of the nation’s founders – the free exchange of ideas.” 

“So unless we gather, discuss and learn, we may loss sight of this necessary principle and thus our freedom,” he added.

Gulstrom agrees with Diehl that the race for governor is most important.

“There are two options – to continue the current operation of doing whatever ‘they’ think is right, thwarting accountability,” he said. 

“These past two-plus years show us what unchecked power does to a state, communities and families. Or return to the proper understanding that those who govern do only by the consent of the governed.”

Diehl said, “There are some non-partisan races, too, and people find it difficult to understand where the candidates stand on certain issues. Plus, people don’t trust how ballot measures are worded. In particular, many feel they were deceived by Ballot Measure 110, which decriminalized personal amounts of hard drugs.”

Both hope participants will come away from the event more informed and in a better position to case their votes.

“As residents of this state, we do have a say in its policies and practices but we all have to engage,” Gulstrom said. “That means gather, discuss, learn, question the ideologies of those in office. Ben Franklin was asked after the Constitution was passed by the delegates ‘what form of government did you give us?’ His response? ‘A Republic if you can keep it.’ Citizens have to be engaged and involved in the conversation.”

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