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Xun Ke Lao blog: Breaking down the 2011 Nelson Municipal election

Some thoughts on the coming municipal election:

Local election in Nelson - advance voting starting in five days, the main event in less than three weeks!

What we have here is a predominantly conservative public's general lack of active interest in matters civic; and the smaller cool segment going downright frigid when it comes to challenging the incumbent city-hall establishment.


Only one councilor is leaving, meaning that one of the three candidates will fill the slot. So one would expect these three to do some serious strategizing — but I haven't seen/heard/read anything of the kind so far.

As a voter I should not have to dig for info on candidates - it makes them seem inaccessible. If all three want to get in - two incumbents would have to go. Three or two new ones could be good: considering the new-ideas/issues-and-energy thing- even incumbents have been advocating (see post Nelson: Strings attached below).

They could hold onto each other and make some serious noise. Whatever - a perceived lack of new ideas/issues and energy does not bode well for the coming three-year term.

Of the incumbents - so far - only one has run a same-old-same-old ad (I saw) in the Star and put-up one sign (I saw).


The mayor wants to stay - and will; his two sort-of challengers - also in non-campaign mode - do not pose an actual challenge.

Definitely not with phoning it in from out of town or identifying with a former mayor who - even though producing results in some respects - was a racist extraordinaire. 

I have seen one predictable ad in the Star and two re-elect-me signs for the mayor - nothing from the other mayoral candidates.

There is a problem with the placement - as I see it - of one of the mayor's signs. It is large - 4 feet x 4 feet - and placed on the right shoulder of the road (off Front St.) leading down to the city-hall parking-lot. It is also very close to Superior Lighting, and to those who don't know: it could seem to be on this store's property and an expression of its political alignment with the mayor.

Neither is the case. Great placement - everybody walking/driving down Front Street clearly sees it! It turns out: the sign is actually on city-property - Superior Lighting was not consulted before it was put-up.

Somewhere in election-laws - dealing with advertising of those running for office - it supposedly says: all manner of advertising using city-property by candidates is disallowed - except for signs.

And signs aren't permitted within 100 m. of a polling station. So this sign is placed legally, but its ever so close proximity to City Hall and being on city-property may present the appearance that City Hall is totally behind re-electing the mayor. And - at the same time - that Superior Lighting is as well.

Although I do admire the cleverness behind this placement - ethically I feel a tad conflicted. Still - this may be as controversial as the coming election will ever get! Unless several incumbents using their e-mail addresses in their personal re-election efforts is/should become an issue!

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