Well it’s official, I am in danger of turning blue. I live in Strathroy-Caradoc, part of the Lambton-Kent-Middlesex riding. In the last day and a half I have driven through most of Strathroy-Caradoc and felt myself turning a little more blue, because all of the election signs are just that – Conservative blue. Conservative blue signs telling me to re-elect Bev Shipley, signs like the ones that went up across from the end of my lane way only a couple of hours ago, which join the dozen others in my municipality and more than likely county.
If I hadn’t had to take my Grandmother to her hair appointment on Front Street yesterday morning I wouldn’t have seen any sign of other candidates in the Lambton-Kent-Middlesex riding, at least not in my community. Luckily both NDP and Liberal candidates Joe Hill and Gayle Stucke have campaign offices on Front Street, at opposite ends of a section of buildings that happen to sandwich my grandmother’s salon.
Outside of seeing both of their offices, which looked fairly dark and uninhabited, there have been no other signs of candidates in my riding a week into this election campaign. If it wasn’t for the internet and my addictions to Facebook and Twitter and even Google I probably wouldn’t know that my candidates are Gayle Stucke (LPC), Joe Hill (NDP) and Jim Johnston (GPC) and of course the incumbent Bev Shipley (CPC).
Now I have to say I’m impressed that Gayle Stucke has taken to social media (twitter @gayle_stucke and facebook Gayle Stucke Federal Liberal for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex ) but I am likely a bit of an oddity in Middlesex. While I use the internet and social media to gain a lot of my election information I know, having worked in Middlesex County interacting with a lot of local residents and merchants, that the number of people to have jumped on the social media band-wagon is still relatively small. So since I’m in a community of people either void of internet or on painful dial-up, where exactly are voters supposed to be looking to learn who the candidates are? There are now Shipley all over my community (including ones visible from my house) and there has been a mail-out from him (granted it was likely mailed out or put in motion before this election began (as it still said MP on it) ) and absolutely nothing from the 3 other candidates in my riding.
I know that there are still weeks left for campaigning and there is plenty of time for the candidates to introduce themselves, but in this election alone the Liberal, NDP and Green candidates in my riding seem to have given the incumbent Shipley a weeks head start (that is not to mention the head start he already has from being the incumbent and a longstanding member of the Middlesex Community).
I really don’t want to be blue, give me another option, give my riding another visible option, please!