Leading Up To The October 22 Chatham-Kent Municipal Election—Part Five

Deciding which mayoral and councillorial candidates to vote for can be difficult.

A Note About Entries

Leading Up To The October 22 Chatham-Kent Municipal Election will provide information (interesting and helpful information, I hope) about the powers, duties, and functions of the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, from garbage collection to mayor and councillors; about voting; about resident’s opinions on the effectiveness of the Municipality; and perhaps about possible improvements.

New entries will be added until the election. If you’d like to be notified of new entries, use Subscribe/RSS.

Please tell your friends about Leading Up To The October 22 Chatham-Kent Municipal Election. There are Facebook, Twitter, and more share buttons at the end of the entry.

Comments and corrections are welcome. You can comment ― and read other people’s comments ― at the end of this entry, also.

Clair Culliford

The Entries, So Far
Part 1. About The Municipality Of Chatham-Kent
Part 2. About Ontario Municipalities
Part 3. Wards, Mayor, Councillors, Council, School Board Representatives, & Voting―#1
Part 4. Wards, Mayor, Councillors, Council, School Board Representatives, & Voting―#2
Part 5. A Proposal To Help Voters Decide Which Candidate To Vote For
Part 6: What Chatham-Kentians Might Want To Say To The Newly-Elected Council

Part 5: A Proposal To Help Voters Decide Which Candidate To Vote For

Deciding which mayoral and councillorial candidates to vote for can be difficult.                              

If you know the candidate personally, or if the candidate has been in office for at least one term and you have watched them and been impressed by their work, the matter may be easy.

Without those helps, however, it is more difficult to decide who to vote for. Candidates, not unnaturally, attempt to stress their strengths in their pamphlets and websites. All-candidates meetings and “meet and greets” are not the same as sitting down and talking with a candidate over a coffee. Straight answers are sometimes hard to find.

For most of us, also, it is not a priority to pay much attention to municipal affairs throughout the four years between elections. We are not willing or able to spend large amounts of time to read and consider, to attend a Council meeting or two, and to discuss local politics with our friends. It is difficult to take in and understand the background of even a few of the difficult and important matters in Chatham-Kent.

Here is a proposal that may help.

The Proposal

There should be a website that offers candidates the opportunity to tell voters what they think about important matters. On the website, voters would be able to read what candidates have to say and would be able to easily compare what they say to other candidate’s statements in an easy to use format.

For such a website, candidates would be requested to provide the following information.

First

Each candidate would provide a brief “Who I Am And What I Will Do, If Elected,” approximating the usual political brochure. There would be a maximum length for this document.

Second

The candidates would provide brief but comprehensive statements on a decided-in-advance list of matters important to Chatham-Kent: wind turbines and water wells; 401 safety; the quality and effectiveness of Chatham-Kent Council and of the municipality’s departments, services, committees, etc.; hospital wait times; potholes; and so on.

Candidates would be asked to state clearly what they think about all the matters, not just the most newsworthy or the most frequently talked about on Twitter or Facebook. Platitudes and vagueness would be discouraged.

There would be maximum and minimum lengths imposed on each statement. Voters should not be frustrated by too much verbiage or left wondering by too little information. 

(A Proposal To Help Voters Decide Which Candidate To Vote For continues below the ad. Click or tap the ad for more information about The Veranda’s Planning & Organising Service.)

Planning & Organising Ad

Third

They would provide as much background material on each of the statements as they wish, for voters to read or ignore, as they choose.

Finally

The website would be designed to allow people to read each candidate’s statements from A to Z or to read all candidates Wind Turbine statements, for example, side by side. Being able to easily compare what candidates say on important matters will, I hope, make it easier to decide who to vote for.  

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5 Comments

  • Ray says:

    Few of the Council candidates talk about what they will do, they are all quick to point out what issues and areas are contentious but few answer the question of what to do about it. Attract business and help small business grow…HOW? Need better transit…what suggestions do the candidates bring to the table to address this? Attract tourism and get 401 travellers to come into Chatham to spend money…how? Some candidates think that they are qualified to run for council because they’ve done volunteer community work…and although, I don’t think that there work is not commendable and needed in the community, what specifically did they do that relates to the position they are seeking on council? Do the candidates understand land use planning, how to market Chatham as a destination of choice, or make hard budget decisions. Most candidates give flaky answers to the posed questions or few people bother to read the explanations given in the full responses. The Voice chart of yes or no responses of mayoral and council candidates is very misleading without going to the full answers provided by the candidates on their website. People are voting with name familiarity instead of the substance of responsible candidacy.

    • Clair Culliford says:

      “Do the candidates understand land use planning, how to market Chatham as a destination of choice, or make hard budget decisions.” Perhaps candidates should be required to read a primer of these and other matters before running. It could be titled, “this is what a municipal Mayor or Councillor must know.”

  • Susan says:

    This is a great idea! If you get the mayoral candidates to agree to add their campains to your website let me know. My grade 5 class is studying the election…it would be wonderful to have all the information about the Chatham-Kent mayoral candidates all in one place.

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