Jocelyn’s Jottings: Muddling through campaign messaging

Election season is always crazy, problems are brought to the forefront, promises are made and hopes rise and fall on an almost daily basis.

With all of the discussion, debate and mixed messaging going on, how does one make sense of any of it? In my job I get more information about candidates than most and I still can’t make sense of it all. If only crystal balls actually worked and we could see into the future.

The candidates did well at the Chamber of Commerce’s election forum. If anything they made it more difficult to choose which six to vote for. So here are some tips so that we can all make the best decision on who to vote for.

First, write down which six candidates you like best.

Then ask yourself why are they your top choices?

Acceptable answers for this question include: “because they have similar beliefs as I do about where the city should be in the future” and “I am confident that they will do a good job as a city councillor,” among other things.

You should maybe think a little bit harder about your choice if you are voting for them because they are good looking, or because your friend told you too.

If you don’t even know where to start when it comes to choosing a candidate, start researching. The Review has extensive coverage about each of the candidates and a video from the election forum can be found on our Facebook page. The other two publications in town as well as the radio station have also been talking to the individuals running in the election. On top of that many of the candidates also have campaign Facebook pages and/or websites or are available to meet to answer questions.

Once you have that information here are a few more things to consider:

What are the candidates promising and what could they actually do in their role if elected?

What does the candidate bring to the table that is valuable?

Do I trust the candidate?

Would they be a good ambassador for our community?

Would I feel comfortable going to them with an issue that concerns me?

Where do they stand on issues that I think are important?

I learned in my first few years as a journalist that we can’t believe everything a politician says, we can’t count on their election promises and they may end up being different than they presented themselves while campaigning.

I think the key is to step back, look at the big picture and ask ourselves, without the promises and the charm would I still vote for this person?

But I haven’t been voting for very long and there are probably some people out there who go about picking their candidates in a different way. Take this, and everyone’s opinion with a grain of salt.

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