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Indie MLAs talk up power of the lone voice in Twitter town hall

Candidates looking to put the indie into B.C. politics participated in a Twitter town hall meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson, Delta South hopeful Vicki Huntington and Abbotsford South candidate John van Dongen -- all independents -- put their social media skills to the test by answering questions about being in politics without a party.

Huntington was the only one out of the three to have been elected as an independent candidate, following a tight race in the 2009 election.

Simpson and van Dongen were party members during the last elections. Simpson was later ejected from the BC NDP. Van Dongen quit the BC Liberals so he could join the BC Conservatives, but ultimately he quit that party too and became an independent MLA.

The hour-long session required Twitter users to include the hashtag #Indies4bc every time they posted a question. It also gave candidates a chance to connect with potential voters.

Most of the questions were focused on what set them aside from party candidates. For all three, it came down to the freedom to speak out on behalf of constituents -- even if that means being a lone voice.

Simpson and Huntington talked about difficulties they had encountered during their last term.

All three candidates were eager to talk about lessons they had learned during the last four years.

When asked about the issues they would address if they were elected, this is what the candidates had to say:

Tyee contributor Bob Mackin tested the candidates' commitment to independence.

And another participant stumped the candidates with this one:

Aurora Tejeida is completing a practicum at The Tyee.

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