Out of left field: The election is looming - come meet your choices

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
November 3rd, 2011

I’ve reported on a great many elections – federal, provincial, municipal – and there’s a kind of tried-and-true newspaper approach to candidate coverage. The reporter interviews the subject for perhaps a half-hour or hour, then writes it up in their own words and the result gets published. It occurred to me, this year, that perhaps there might be value in letting the candidates speak to the electorate themselves. It’s their campaign, after all.  So this election, rather than write formulaic biographies of each person who has a hat in the ring, I asked the contenders if they’d rather write something themselves, directly addressing Source readers.  All of them said ‘yes’. (To see all Source election coverage, go tohttps://castlegarsource.com/elections2011)  Please feel free to post comments or use this site to ask candidates questions, as time is running short – advanced polling begins next week.  There are other things I’d ask of you, too, this election. First, please disregard the moronic advice published in local media suggesting you only cast ballots for your favourites (ie, if you only like three candidates, only check three boxes).  That’s ridiculous counsel.  There are going to be six councillors whether you vote for them or not – would you rather see the six you like best, or just the three you like best alongside the three you like least? The latter outcome is the one you deserve if you only vote for three candidates.  Most elections these days involve some degree of choosing between the lesser of evils – that doesn’t mean you should relinquish your right to choose. Just rank the contenders  from one to 10, one being your favourite and 10 being the person you would most NOT want as a councillor. Vote for one through six. And walk rapidly away from anyone who tells you to throw away any of your votes.  Second, attend this Tuesday’s All Candidates Forum at the Complex. As much as I value news stories, I don’t believe you can get the measure of a man (or woman) from one of them. And while at the forum, don’t just listen to the answers they give – pay close attention, too, to whether they answer. If they won’t talk straight during the campaign, it’s unlikely they’ll do so in council chambers, either.  I also recommend watching whether they’re standing for something or against something. In my experience, candidates who can only build themselves up by cutting others down are uniformly destructive influences when and if they achieve office. Divisiveness and criticism have long been effective campaign tools – but they’re not much good when it comes to running a city, setting goals, and building relationships with other municipalities and other levels of government.  Don’t choose the guy with most eloquent attack on his competition. Choose the candidate whose vision for Castlegar’s future most closely mirrors your own.  In fact, choose six of them. 

Categories: GeneralPolitics


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