STAHN: The changing landscape of politics | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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STAHN: The changing landscape of politics

September 26, 2014 - 7:11 AM

In some ways it’s amazing to see how the political landscape has changed in recent years and in other ways it’s surprising it’s taken this long.

As we watch candidate after candidate step up to throw their hat in the ring of municipal politics, you can’t help but notice the slight shift in how they approach their campaigns.

Only a handful have actually called a press conference to make a big show about running, many more have relied on press releases or even just social media to get the word out. Others have been door knocking, putting up signs and connecting over social media to get their name out there.

That’s all old school. In 2014 candidates need to find another way to get out there, to connect with people in this tech-savvy generation, and several believe they have found the way.

Two Kamloops candidates, so far, are using crowdfunding, basically using an online donation forum to raise money, to let people know they are running and to help fund their campaign. This not only speaks to those candidates who work full time and maybe don’t have as much time to go door-to-door, but it also makes it easy for those potential voters who are already online all the time to donate (and really, how many people keep cheque books or cash on them anymore?)

In theory, with a few clicks you can set up a page and then you just sit back and wait for the funds to roll in, giving you more time to connect with people. Of course this isn’t without fault. In over a week, Peter Kerek has only been able to raise $315 of his $10,000 goal while Donovan Cavers, after just a few days, sits at just $260 of his $1,500 goal. They still have a long way to go to reach their donation goals yet only seven short weeks until the election.

Another candidate, incumbent Arjun Singh, has entered the race without a ready-made platform. He has decided to instead ask everyone what his platform should be using crowdsourcing, an online survey.

He hopes at least 1,000 people will complete the survey before the nomination period closes on Oct. 10 and then he will use the common threads from those responses to help guide him in creating a platform.

Singh has always been one to reach out to the community for ideas and opinions but one might question not having a platform already in place before announcing his intention to run, since it seems a bit backwards.

Only time will tell how much these current outreach projects will impact their campaigns, and it will be interesting to see what other tricks the candidates have up their sleeves.

To contact a reporter, email Jennifer Stahn at or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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