The Campaigns are ramping up, but where are they going?

by David Biltek

Kevin McLean announced yesterday he will seek re-election as Councillor

And finally word from Justin Munroe that he too will be running for re-election .

and with the lawn sign starting gun set to go off on Sept 9th, all campaigns are preparing signs, brochures, door knocking, and becoming active on Social Media.

Kim MacDougall spent the weekend knocking on doors, Jaret Gossen is out trolling for fences on which to hang banners, and many candidates are active on social media, and being polite to each other “liking” updates from one another frequently.

All well and good…and boring.

What is the ballot question? What is the major issue?

An election campaign is essentially a long debate about a question, often referred to as the” ballot question” and in every debate the key tactic is defining the question and of course defining it to your advantage.

This is particularly important to a challenger to an incumbent, i.e. in this election Gladys Blackmore is the challenger to Bill Given the present Mayor.

So far we have heard little setting of questions let alone defining them. We have seen or heard little about issues from any candidate but especially the Mayoral candidates.

It is critical especially for Gladys Blackmore to define the question and set the terms. Will she do this on personality: ” I am a better suited to the job”, in which case she must define the job so that  she is the obvious choice. Or will she choose a policy issue, like “lower taxes”, or “economic development” in which case she needs to set out her position and drive home the advantage her position would mean to the citizens of the City.

So far she does not appear to have done either to any great extent.  Bill Given appears to be basing his campaign on two premises: 1. He is THE MAYOR and 2. his Vision for the City, but he is shy on HOW he will achieve the vision. Blackmore on the other hand is long on WHAT she will do, but frankly short on vision.

Yes she has said “NO to Higher Taxes” and she has said the City needs to be more like the County, but will this be enough?

What do you think? Is either candidate for mayor strongly putting forward a case? Have they explained how and why they as mayor will make a difference?