Friday, September 19, 2014

New contenders for Council positions may shift campaign styles for local political scene

There would seem to be bit of a shift in local politics as we head towards the upcoming municipal election and the November vote.

With a pair of newcomers providing a few themes for discussion already for the campaign, as well as offering up a new way of delivering their message from what we may be used to from the lead up to past November votes.

With launch parties and social media blasts, the two newcomers to the local political scene are taking a different approach it would seem to the normal methods of campaigning.

A process in the past that seems to have been nothing more more than coffee shop gossip around town, with a declaration of sorts  stating that "hey I heard so and so is running for Council".

This year it would seem, the times will indeed be a changing!

This week saw the introduction Blair Mirau as a new candidate for City Council, his entry announced through a press release, a rather new thing for our local municipal scene.

We also learned a bit more about Mr. Mirau through his rather professional looking website, an internet offering that provides background on the candidate and some of his points of interest for the campaign.

It follows along the same kind of theme as that of Lee Brain, the only declared challenger thus far to set his sights on Mayor Mussallem in this election.

As we've outlined in the past, Mr. Brain first came on the political radar in the late spring, offering up a website and Facebook page to hold his spot in the line it seems.

Only recently however have those portals, along with his twitter feed started to come to life, with video clips, press release announcements and what seems to be the slow roll out of a campaign profile.

Still, in less than a week, the two newcomers have provided for a launch of ideas and themes for discussion over the next few months, leaving the more established candidates it seems mainly to ponder where to place their newspaper ads when the time comes.

Whether any of the other candidates, incumbents, or newcomers, have plans to launch the same kind of ambitious a social media campaigns as those that are currently underway remains to be seen, but if so, they're getting left behind in the ether of the Internet.

As for the Mayor, so far Mr. Mussallem's main approach to delivering his talking points has been through the print media.  With an occasional ad buy to remind the voters of his years of service and experience on the job.

The most recent one of last week, going to a colour reproduction of his now famous Mountie advertisement of a few weeks ago.

Other than those short missives in the weekly paper however, there isn't much more to know as to what the Mayor plans to run on as far as achievements, or handling of issues over the last three years.

And while the newcomers have laid their foundation thus far on the Internet, the accountants at the weekly paper won't seem to have much to worry about when it comes to counting the ad revenues.

Mr. Brain purchased his own colour ad of the fall campaign for last evenings paper and while it may have been short on Red Serge, it did offer up more of his recent talking points.

Offering a few challenging items for the Mayor on the theme of a positive vision for the community and a need to "say goodbye to leaders who have a track record of dividing citizens within our community".

How the Mayor responds to those new talking points perhaps comes with next weeks delivery of your weekly newspaper.

You can review more of our items on the 2014 Municipal election campaign from our archive page.

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