The Race is on… Isn’t it?

Ron Bolin, Feb. 28, 2010

We know the field.  Now we need to know the candidates and their issues.  Thus far I have seen about 80-125 words per candidate in the Daily News, and about 275 words per candidate in the Bulletin.  In returning to the Daily News this morning to check some info, I couldn’t even find the by-election listed on the front page and a search didn’t find anything either.  I hope that the Bulletin will keep running the by-election banner until it is over.  We will see what more our newspapers do to keep us informed of the candidates and the issues.

I have heard rumours of an all candidates meeting to be held soon, but have not heard any details.  Hopefully, with only six candidates, there will be adequate time for some debate on the issues rather than the simple “I am a good person and I am for lower taxes and better services for everyone,” which is the usual fare.  (I do not mean to insult the candidates here.  Given the few seconds that have traditionally been allocated per candidate, that is about all that they can say.) It would be nice if the sponsors of this meeting would open up on-line to take questions ahead of time from a broader segment of the population than is usually present at such events and which are often padded by the proponents of individual candidates.  And one does hope that the affair will be televised and recorded for replay.  We really need to at least try to give the public enough information to make a rational decision in this important election.

We can also visit the web sites or blogs of the candidates.  Those that I have been able to find are listed on the lower right of the front page of nanaimocityhall.com.  I have been disappointed in the static nature of these sites which do not encourage questions, at least in any public way.  It is not enough to answer individual questions individually.  It is too easy to have a different answer to suit each questioner.

And last, but not least, there are still two Council meetings before the election and five more before the final adoption of the budget.  While during an ordinary election in November, the budget is not up immediate discussion; during this by-election the city is still reviewing it.  At every Council meeting anyone wishing to comment on the budget can do so without pre-registration.  One would have to question the sincerity of candidates who are afraid to appear before Council and the public to give voice to their feelings about the budget and the improvements they would recommend.

Please forward any information about events at which candidates can be seen or heard and any media coverage of the by-election which we have missed at any time during the election; or any suggestions which could improve this election.   We look forward to hear from you.

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