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View Full Version : Elections Getting to know local candidates.


Rain Man
06-19-2012, 11:45 AM
I have a question, and hope you can provide some insight. Yes, you (pointing at you).

We learn all sorts of stuff about presidential candidates, but it's harder to learn about local candidates like city council or state representative or whatever. You might see some yard signs with a two-word slogan on them, and you might read a little about them in the paper, but these types of races typically don't get a lot of media coverage.

Candidates will typically get their message out by doing mailed flyers. They'll also have a web site and stuff, though I'm not sure what proportion of voters will actually go to the effort of checking out a web site.

So the bottom line is that a candidate may have half a dozen chances to give you one or two paragraphs about them. That's not a lot.

So...imagine that there's a race for city council, and you've never heard of the two people who are running. What information do you want to learn about them that can be communicated in six mailed flyers that each contain one or two paragraphs? With that amount of information, what types of information will sway your thinking?

cosmo20002
06-19-2012, 12:31 PM
I have a question, and hope you can provide some insight. Yes, you (pointing at you).

We learn all sorts of stuff about presidential candidates, but it's harder to learn about local candidates like city council or state representative or whatever. You might see some yard signs with a two-word slogan on them, and you might read a little about them in the paper, but these types of races typically don't get a lot of media coverage.

Candidates will typically get their message out by doing mailed flyers. They'll also have a web site and stuff, though I'm not sure what proportion of voters will actually go to the effort of checking out a web site.

So the bottom line is that a candidate may have half a dozen chances to give you one or two paragraphs about them. That's not a lot.

So...imagine that there's a race for city council, and you've never heard of the two people who are running. What information do you want to learn about them that can be communicated in six mailed flyers that each contain one or two paragraphs? With that amount of information, what types of information will sway your thinking?

Almost nothing in a candidate-produced mailer can be trusted.

AustinChief
06-19-2012, 06:42 PM
In Austin I check the web for info on key issues from city council candidates. A mailout or flyer wouldn't do me any good because I would want to see ALL the possible candidates that I could vote for and what each of them stands for.

I guess in a case where there are only two candidates, I'd be most swayed by a two column comparison of the candidates stances on whatever key issues applied in that city.

If you are asking for specific issues.. I wouldn't have a clue without living in that city...

AustinChief
06-19-2012, 06:45 PM
OH one "general" thing that I think applies anywhere would be experience. When I see some kid just out of college running for city council, I immediately mark them off my list. I'd be much more likely to vote for a successful business leader or someone with past experience in logistics or government.

Oh and I don't vote for fat people.. so make sure the pics are slimming. :D

cosmo20002
06-19-2012, 07:19 PM
Oh and I don't vote for fat people.. so make sure the pics are slimming. :D

Bigot

AustinChief
06-19-2012, 09:17 PM
Bigot

YES! You're getting it! If that statement were actually TRUE then I would be a bigot! Just like you!

Rain Man
06-20-2012, 04:25 PM
Cool, thanks for the input.

In thinking more about this, I guess there are several different categories of information. Each can be presented alone or in a column format comparing themselves to the other candidate(s).

1. Personal background, e.g., I've lived here for XX years, I have two kids, here's a picture of me so you can see how trustworthy I look, etc.

2. Relevant non-political training/experience, e.g., I have a degree in marine archaeology, I've worked at Moe's Tavern, I'm a small business owner, etc.

3. Relevant political experience, e.g., I'm on the library board, I was once the mayor of Washington DC until that police sting, etc.

4. General ideology, e.g., I think people should keep their balls out of other people's yards, I'd prefer lower taxes and fewer services, I'd prefer higher taxes and more services, etc.

5. Specific priorities, e.g., I want to expand mass transit, I will focus on crime, I will focus on public corruption, etc.

6. Specific projects and issues, e.g., I want to synchronize the stoplights on Main Street, I want the trash trucks to come at 7 instead of 8, etc.

Anything else?

Chocolate Hog
06-21-2012, 10:34 AM
They should have a website with a platform.

mikey23545
06-21-2012, 01:30 PM
Ask them what they know about the Bilderberg Group.

If they pretend to not know anything, beware!