Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How many candidates will run in Victoria this time?

The City of Victoria has made it a little bit more difficult to run for council than in the past.   The goal was to reduce the number of candidates that were not really trying to get elected.  

  • Election - number of candidates
  • 1996              34
  • 1999              32
  • 2002              24
  • 2005              28
  • 2008              35
  • 2010 by-election  11 candidates for one seat

The number of people I know of at the moment is 20 people running for council.   There is a chance that some people will come out of the woodwork this week, but I do not think we will break 25 candidates.

At 20 candidates the ability to have an all-candidates meeting becomes easier.   The gong show all-candidates last time around were in my opinion the low point of local elections in this region.

The electoral math of the election also changes.   A shorter ballot will mean fewer 'errors' - the longer the ballot the more likely people make a mistake with one or more of their votes as they scroll through all the names.  The longer the list of candidates, the more the candidates on the top third of the ballot benefit.

Incumbents benefit the most when the number of candidates is low or when it is very high.  In both cases they pull extra votes from the other candidates supporters.  When there are few, there simply is no one else to vote for.  When the ballot is full of candidates, the incumbents are some of the only names that stick out.  If the total number of candidates is two to three times as many as council positions, the electoral math works the best for challengers.

We will know by the end of Friday how many candidates there are in all the municipalities in this region.
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