With only three and half weeks before the people of the City of Victoria and the people of North Saanich vote in by-elections there is almost no buzz about the election at all.
City of Victoria
I can understand not seeing signs up as they are expensive to buy and a few hundred will have almost no impact, you need thousands to have an impact. What I can not understand is why the candidates do not seem to be actively campaigning.
With 11 candidates running in Victoria, and at least seven to eight of them very seriously trying to get elected, I should have run into some of them actively campaigning. To date no one has been main streeting when I have been out and about and no one has come to my door.
There are only just over 20,000 doors available to knock on when campaigning in the City of Victoria it is an easy task to go to every door in the city. The available doors are the houses and townhouses you can walk up to and does not include the 22,000 apartments and condos. A campaign team only needs to reach 500 houses a day, an easy task for 20 volunteers to achieve each and every night.
With six serious campaigns running, this should mean I should have seen three of the campaigns at my door step already. Even if campaigns are unable to reach the 500 a night number I still should have seen at least one campaign come to my door by this point.
From what I have seen and heard around town this is the rough order of who is putting in the most campaign effort to date:
1) Steve Filipovic - I have heard several people comment about his mainstreeting
2) Barry Hobbis, Susan Woods and Rose Henry - there are active campaigns, but not nearly strong enough.
3) George Sirk and Marianne Alto - I believe there are campaign teams and I believe the candidates are campaigning, but there is no first or second hand evidence I have heard about them running.
This by-election is about one thing for the candidates - meeting the most people. It is much more important this time around to shake as many hands as possible than in a normal election because it is a one person race and all 11 candidates are unknown by the public.
A serious candidate will be campaigning 14-16 hours a day for the next 25 days and be doing this with a decent sized team of volunteers. Anyone that has a job should have planned ahead and taken their holidays for the campaign period. If a candidate has time to watch TV, work, cook a meal or almost anything else other than meeting people, they are not being serious about getting elected
To put it simply, a serious election campaign is probably the hardest thing a person will ever do in their lives. I am not seeing this sort of dedication from the candidates.
This race is very different because most of the players in the race are known to the public in North Saanich in some way. The geography of the community also makes traditional hand shaking very hard to do. What will matter is the public's opinion of people like Wally De Temple and Heather Goulet. As former councilors they have an edge, but that edge is dependent on their record when in office.
Given the results from 2008, I do not give Craig Mearns and Dustan Browne a good chance to get elected. In the last election the day was carried by the 'anti-development' forces and there is little I can see that this vote has weakened at all.