By David F. Rooney
Most politicians today rely heavily on social media — and the news media — to get their particular messages out to the public, but nothing beats traditional door-knocking when you want to make personal contact with individual voters.
Both Norm Macdonald of the NDP and Dog Clovechok of the BC Liberal Party have been doing a lot of that in town since the provincial election began on Tuesday. And this weekend saw both of them stretching their legs around the city taking their messages to Revelstokians.
Both candidates said they enjoyed pleasant encounters with voters and said they appreciated the questions and statements people shared with them.
“A lot of people told me they had never has a candidate come to their door before,” Clovechok said as supporter Angela Waters guided him through Southside which was the neighbourhood where she grew up.
“That personal connection is important,” said Macdonald. Most people who watch keep tabs on local politics recognize that months of steady door-knocking helped him clinch a ballot box victory over then-incumbent MLA Wendy McMahon. Of course, it helps if your opponent’s popularity flatlines, as McMahon’s did in 2005.
Candidates’s wives often help with door-knocking.Norm’s wife, Karen, and Doug’s wife, Susan, were both out helping with doorknocking on the weekend and Sue Clovechok also attending a meeting of women to talk about her husband and his political ideals. Campaigns are usually the only times that you see a politician’s wife publicly helping their husbands. For the most part they keep their distance from active and visible politics.
Another important feature of any political campaign is the Community All-Candidates Debate. Revelstoke’s is to be held at 6:30 pm at the Community Centre on Monday, April 21. If you’d like to choose from the four candidates vying for this riding’s seat in the Legislature then you won’t want to miss that. Thew other two candidates, Earl Olsen of the BC Conservatives and Laura Ralston of the Green Party will also participate in the debate.
In the meanwhile, here are some images of the NDP’s Norm Macdonald and the BC Liberals’ Doug Clovechok hitting the bricks to meet and talk with voters on a one-to-one basis: