‘I’ll pick my own candidates’

Letter to the editor by Maple Ridge resident Michael Patterson

Editor, The News:

Re: Ridge council winners were on lists (The News, Nov. 23).

I don’t agree with Grover Telford that a list of candidates influenced the Maple Ridge elections too much, even though it is a slimy tactic.

Personally, if I see such a list from a union, professional organization, or others, I am inclined to vote the opposite.

I’ll pick my own candidates, thank you very much.

Looking at the statistics from the last several elections, it gives a pretty good idea as to how candidates fare.  It has far less to do with a candidate’s platform, contrary to Judy Dueck’s comments.

Virtually everyone votes for one or more incumbents.  Given there were 28 candidates, that almost guarantees each incumbent will win, or at least do very well.

The next best predictor is how well known a person is in the community.  If you are on a lot of committees or in a profession where you meet a lot of people, if you are generally liked, you’ll pick up quite a few votes.

This makes some sense as people want to vote for someone with a bit of a track record as politicians are known to lie and people are reluctant to go with someone who says things with no history to back it up.

Thirdly, if you have large, prominent well-designed signs placed throughout the community, you are sure to pick up a lot more votes than you would otherwise.

Last is platforms.  This seems to be a poor predictor of success unless your platform is totally out there.  The only difference a platform seemed to make in this election was at the Albion polling station, where Craig Speirs narrowly lost being elected because he didn’t give in to the shopping zealots.

I am glad we don’t force people to vote, otherwise there would be a lot more eeny, meeny, miny, moe going on in the election booth.

To those who didn’t vote, thank-you – you gave the 25 per cent of us who did four times the voting power we should have had.

Michael Patterson

Maple Ridge