Thursday, August 31, 2006

New Brunswick Election - Contacting the candidates

[UPDATED: 8:19 AM]
In an effort to grapple with some of the issues that matter to me in this election campaign, particularly post-secondary education, I have decided to try to contact the three candidates in my riding directly. Being the electronic age creature that I am, I figured that it would not be difficult to find email addresses for the three candidates' campaigns. I set about doing this early yesterday morning.

It would seem that I was overly optimistic. I managed to find a webpage for the Conservative candidate, complete with email address. Emailing both the head of the provincial Liberal riding association and the main campaign office, for which I could find addresses, produced a reply from main office. Unfortunately, the email address I was given produced an "Invalid recipient" response from the server. [UPDATE: I now have a functioning email address for the Liberal candidate.] I have yet to get a reply from the NDP campaign office.

I am being somewhat lazy, I will admit. I know where all three campaign offices are located in town (and I have a phone number for the Liberal one). But I did want to pose my questions in written form. It is not encouraging that the some of the campaigns don't seem to view electronic forms of communication with the voters as essential. I'll keep trying to get these addresses, and more importantly, some answers on where the parties stand on post-secondary education.

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At 9:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am Wayne Anderson, President of the Tantramar NDP Riding Association and I am writing in response to your blog posting.
If you have a question to ask our candidate, Virgil Hammock, you can contact him directly by e-mailing him at or by contacting our Campaign Manager, Merrill Fullerton via e-mail at I am sure it will be forwarded to Virgil. Both Merrill and Virgil would be quite happy to entertain any questions you may have regarding our stance on post-secondary education or our education policy in general.
Unlike the Conservatives and the Liberals who have been running this province and treating it as their own private piggy bank for over a century, we in the NDP have to make do with the limited resources that we have. In Tantramar we do not receive money from big unions, big business or big anything. We rely upon the generosity of our members and friends. We e-mail our members and rely on volunteers as much as possible in order to minimize expenses and to maximize our efficency. We have to get the biggest bang for our buck. Members of our Executive do not get stipends, allowances or our expenses covered. We do not pay our poll workers. People are driven to the polls on Election Day by members of their communities without receiving any financial compensation for fuel. When an election is called the skies do not open and money does not rain down from above for us like it does with the others.
We rely on people to call us, read the paper or, God forbid, actually drop by the campaign office and ask a real live person how they can contact our candidate with a concern. If you'd like to volunteer your time and expertise in website design and have an idea where we could host our website for free without any ads, we'd love to have you. Call our Campaign Headquarters at 536-4456 or stop by at 97 Main Street and we'll put you to work.
Thanks for the opportunity to comment.
Wayne Anderson
President, Tantramar NDP

At 8:03 am, Blogger Matt said...

Thank you for your comments Wayne, and I appreciate having an email address for Virgil.

That being said, despite the limited resources of the campaign, an email address to go along with the candidate's bio on the NDP's main webpage would not be that difficult to provide, and I don't think it unreasonable to expect this.

I would also remind you that the Tantramar NDP is not all that different in terms of funding levels from many other riding organizations. I've volunteered for both the Ontario Provincial Liberals and the Quebec Federal NDP in the past. In neither case were poll volunteers paid or driving expenses reimbursed. The "money rain" does not exactly pour down on the Quebec NDP - there was one campaign office that had to cover every single riding in the greater Montreal area. And yet they still managed to keep a reasonably high profile and a decent website.

To be a bit more helpful, though, you might want to consider something as simple as a Blogger website (like this one that I use, for free). I don't have high-tech design skills - I just use the templates that are provided. There is also a whole webring of NDP supporters who blog, some of them with websites - with a central site at: .


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