Monday, December 12, 2005

Ottawa-Centre: Richard Mahoney Gets His Blog

It's a first effort, of course, and you wouldn't expect the sharp insights of a Scott Feschuk or even a Monte Solberg. But Liberal candidate Richard Mahoney has definitely started ... a fitness blog.

It's a little slow at first, talking about the number of doors in the riding he's knocked on and voicing some generalities:
Things are going well...I'm on track to achieve my goal of knocking on every door in the riding by Election Day. Going out on the streets and talking to voters is my favourite part of campaigning. Since I'm hoping to be Ottawa Centre's representative in Parliament, I know that I need to understand its citizens' views. The way I see it, the more I can talk to my constituents, the better I will be able to serve them.
But by the time he's done his official kickoff on Saturday, he's got a fairly good grasp of the format:
December 10, 2005
Today's progress: 11,273 steps taken. 10.6 km covered.

Knocked on about 600 doors in Carleton Heights and hosted our official campaign launch.

What a day! We officially kicked off our campaign with an event at our headquarters. It was a huge success with over 150 supporters in attendance. MPP Richard Patten, Mayor Bob Chiarelli and Minister of Defence Bill Graham were all kind enough to say a few words (that's me with the three of them in the top photo). They talked about the great significance of this riding to the federal election. Ottawa Centre might be one of swing ridings that decides between PM Paul Martin and Conservative Leader Stephen Harper. The event was invigorating and I was ready to hit the streets immediately afterwards to work harder than ever to earn your support.
There's still a bit of flogging in his post, but it's about the same level as Keith Fountain's -- that is to say, not as ripe as one of the posters on Paul Dewar's group blog.

Richard has also hit on a personal gimmick, with the pedometer count and the house visit count. That's exactly the kind of personal touch that's meant to distinguish his blogging style from his rivals'. That plus the use of the first-person voice gives the fitness blog the air of authenticity that online voters are looking for.

And there's one final feature which explains why it took so long to appear on his site: it appears in both English and French. In an officially bilingual government town, that's definitely an advantage.

Okay ... now I'm convinced that Ottawa-Centre is going to be a three-way race.