Friday, December 02, 2005

Ottawa-Centre: The Candidates Get Into Gear

Looks like Liberal candidate Richard Mahoney is finally paying attention to his website. And only three days after the campaign started.

No weblog, but given Mr. Mahoney's attention to online matters that's not surprising. He now has two media releases: one announcing his campaign, and one about how this election has put OC Transpo in danger:
“It is unbelievable that the opposition parties put their interests before Canadians by forcing an early election. The result is a huge loss for the people of Ottawa, in this case amounting to $43 million. This investment, which the Conservatives voted against in June, and the NDP ground to a halt in November, demonstrates their lack of commitment to cities.”
He's also gotten his events page updated, highlighting an all-candidates' meeting coming up on Friday, January 6.

It's still pretty slow compared with NDP candidate Paul Dewar, whose own events page makes him pretty busy: not just the EGALE debate, but a show with Mike Duffy, a dinner, and the Barley Mow. Compared with Mahoney, it looks like Paul plans to have fun with this campaign. That's always a good thing.

It also looks like Paul's blog has shifted a gear:
I spoke to one woman who had supported Ed Broadbent in the last election, but hadn't decided whether or not to take a Paul Dewar sign because she didn't know much about him yet. Then, she thought about her options out loud: "Of course I'd never vote Conservative", she said. "Who's running for the Liberals?" I told her I thought it was the same candidate as in the previous election - Richard Mahoney. "Mahoney?!" she said, "I definitely don't like him! WE'RE ON!!!"
Still slightly floggy, but at least it's not quite as triumphal as that first post.

The shift from the third person to the first does brings up a question, in fact the same question with the Tory campaign blog: who's writing it? If it's Paul himself, let him say so; if it's "the official agent for Paul Dewar," then let's see a proper name.

There's also a weakness in that if you click on the "français" link, you don't get a French translation of the blog, but the French versions of Paul's news releases. French translations aren't really required in this riding because the francophone population isn't all that big, but this is still a flaw. He'd be better off either clarifying the link or leaving it out altogether.

There's also an implied tactical error in the the above blog entry: it's a little early to be so dismissive of Keith Fountain. Unlike the other two, Keith doesn't have an events page; he announces his events in his blog entries. But I expect this to change once he talks with his web people.

His latest blog entry is a call for recruiting people, a subject that subtly touched on by Paul in his entry. Paul has a volunteer form page, while Richardonly lists information. This does tend to put Paul ahead of Keith, but to be fair there's only so much you can do with Blogspot, which hosts Keith's site.

Of course it's early days, but the way I see things shaping up, the fight here isn't going to be between Paul Dewar (Ed Broadbent's successor) and Richard Mahoney. Unless Richard really gets moving, I see the big fight as being between Paul Dewar and Keith Fountain.