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ELECTION 2014: Innovation changes everything in this campaign

While election signs are still used candidates are finding new ways to get their name out, and most of them involve being online.
September 24, 2014 - 7:56 AM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Knocking on doors, shaking hands, advertising and putting up signs: If you ran for council anytime before the last 10 years, that’s how you got exposure. If you ran in 2011, you probably added Facebook and Twitter to your arsenal.

But this year, candidates have all the tools of a major political party at their disposal to martial volunteers, create slick messaging, reach the electorate and even finance their campaigns.

Already this year, two municipal candidates in Kamloops have taken to crowdfunding sites to help raise money for their campaigns. Since the 2011 campaign, we've seen the rise of sites like indiegogo.com or kickstarter.com to help people raise small amounts of money from large numbers of people. In the past week, candidates Coun. Donovan Cavers and Peter Kerek have both started campaign on gofundme.com to raise money, kicking over one more potential barrier for new candidates to even the playing field.

Another Kamloops candidate, incumbent councillor Arjun Singh, is using the web to crowdsource his campaign. He says he intends to gather as many opinions as possible on civic issues before deciding on his platform. He hopes to use an online survey to poll at least 1,000 citizens to find the common hopes, fears, concerns and issues he should be focusing on during his campaign to be re-elected.

The landscape has changed in a whole different way in Kelowna with the emergence of the city's ‘first civic party’ running on a zero-tax increase platform. Three like-minded candidates are hoping to get their collective message out using YouTube videos. While YouTube was a tool in play during the last election is was not often used by candidates.

Nomination papers need to be filed between Sept. 30 and Oct. 10 and municipal elections are set for Nov. 15. This year the province announced it was extending municipal terms to four years, from three.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infonews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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