I was out on the Peninsula yesterday and saw that the nature of the election campaign in North Saanich is quite different than in the City of Victoria.
1) Two of the candidates are not going to the all candidates meetings. Craig Mearns and Dunstan Browne are saying in a statement, the candidates said they will not participate "as in their opinion, past events, except those hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, have been confrontational, disrespectful and non-productive."
Interesting strategy as it is the received wisdom that going to all candidate meetings are really something all candidates should take party in. The lack of attendance will not reflect well on them, though if they used the time to go door to door they may have used their time well. In most cases the people coming to an all candidates meeting are their to support their candidate and are not open to being swayed. I was not at the one in North Saanich so I do not know if it was the same.
The downside Mearns and Browne will face is the way their non-attendance will be seen as a negative reflection on them as possible councilors. They did host their own event on November 6th in Sidney, though I have no idea who came or how many.
2) The people running are posting a lot of small signs with their names and nothing else on it. Many of them are hand made. There seems to be very little space for there to be an easy way for the public to meet the candidates and learn about them.
I admit I have not tried as hard as I could to find out about the candidates, but I have a busy life and can only do so much. My best source has been North Saanich Online for news about the election
The Pensinsula News Review has been surprisingly short of coverage on the race. I do not see letters to the editor for or against candidates.
My current estimate of the race is that Heather Goulet will win one seat. As to the other, I would lean towards Wally du Temple but I have no way to back up that gut feeling.