February 8, 2008 | 09:32 AM
I got my first sample of the Stelmach machine in rural Alberta Thursday. You couldn't miss the big Ed bus as it rolled into Wetaskiwin.
I was amazed to hear so many folks really struggling with what they're going to do with their vote. I heard over and over again: "Ed's a nice guy" but clearly the problems of an overheated economy are everywhere.
I spoke to two dental assistants in Tim Hortons while Ed was making the rounds. They mused that he likely wouldn't stop to say 'hi' because, in their uniforms, they looked like nurses.
They were right. After meeting and greeting everyone in the place — men, women, children — I think they were the only ones he didn't talk to.
Stelmach's stop in Wetaskiwin was just after his disastrous news conference in Red Deer dealing with daycare.
On my way out of the local legion, I was stopped by one of the town councillors who pumped me for information about daycare. He said Wetaskiwin is desperately trying to start up a community daycare, so he was hoping for some news. Sorry, nothing there.
It made me wonder how many candidates have put their kids into child care and how much Stelmach and his candidates know about the cost and difficulty of finding space. This isn't only an urban issue. It will continue to get worse — even after the electoral boundaries are rewritten for the next election, giving cities the upper hand.