5 unique ways to stay up-to-date with the candidates and their platforms
The 2018 municipal election is coming up on Oct. 22nd and big changes are on the way. As Hamilton experiences challenges with affordable housing, ageing infrastructure, new development, and LRT construction, the opinions of Hamiltonians have been quite polarizing. People are looking for strong leadership to guide the city in the right direction.
Last election voter turnout was 34% and with the many issues Hamilton is facing this time around, every vote counts.
Following the school of thought that you should vote for candidates that fit your values, how much do you know about each of the platforms?
With over 15 candidates running for mayor and more than a handful running in most wards, it may seem difficult to keep up with everyone in the running, especially since not everyone gets equal coverage or has the finances to run a splashy campaign.
Lucky for you, Hamiltonians have multiple ways of staying informed. From community events to a special podcast, there are creative ways for candidates to get their name out.
Let’s take a look at 5 unique ways Hamilton residents can learn about the 2018 municipal election and stay up-to-date with the candidates and their platforms.
Joey Coleman, one of Hamilton’s most outspoken and notorious independent journalists set up a podcast series to interview candidates and get to know them. The Public Record’s The 155 Podcast Questions for Hamilton’s Mayoral Candidates asks questions like; Who are you? Why are you running? How have you contributed to your community and our city, and; What are your three top policy platforms to create a better Hamilton, and how will you implement them?
Joey also asks about their thoughts on amalgamation, Hamilton’s Strategic Plan, and thoughts on poverty reduction.
Joey Coleman’s dedicated page on his site called the ‘2018 Hamilton Ontario Municipal Election’ features ward maps, screenshots of nomination papers from different candidates and the podcast episodes.
Coverage on the Big Screen
This year, Cable 14 offered air-time for all candidates running in Hamilton and Haldimand County for this upcoming Municipal Election. Over the month of September, election candidates met in a boardroom to debate topics pertinent to the city.
At the time of print, there were no debates open to the public scheduled for the mayor candidates. In the past, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce has organized a debate – stay tuned to their channels for more details.
Hamilton’s 2018 election is not shying away from technology. Residents from across the city report getting calls asking about the issues they want council to prioritize. This is a unique way to learn about some different candidates if you’re one of the lucky ones to be selected for a poll.
Creative Engagement Opportunities
Like any good politician, many of this year’s candidates are out in the community. Cycle Hamilton has organized ward bike rides to allow residents to engage with candidates about cycling related issues in their ward. Various candidates have participated in community events and with so much competition this year, candidates need to find creative ways to stick out. For example, Sophie Geffros reports on her website that she is releasing her platform in 4 different languages. Another candidate who is campaigning with an innovative approach is Dan MacIntyre, running for Ward 7. He has active, sponsored campaigns on social media and host events in parks where people can bring their dogs and meet him. Ute Schmid-Jones makes the cut for a creative campaign. You may recognize Ute’s name. That’s because she notoriously ‘showered’ Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with seeds during his visit to City Hall in October 2016. She’s active in the community and seems to be at an event each week according to her social media channels. Vito Sgro, running for Mayor was the first candidate to throw a large fundraiser. Running for mayor can be an expensive endeavour -it is estimated that a ‘good campaign’ should cost around $200,000. Paying for a campaign manager, staff, signs, advertising and events can increase the chances of success. In early August, he hosted an event with more than 400 attendees who paid $250 a plate for dinner. Keep an eye on social media and in the news to see what other ways candidates are spreading the word about their platform and vision.
Whether you meet a candidate at an event or see their efforts online, there is lots of buzz surrounding this year’s election. Will the new leadership reject LRT and drag on the process? Will they ensure more affordable housing? What does the future hold for Hamilton?
Vote on October 22, and wait to find out.