I read with interest your column about candidate endorsements (EDITORIAL – Endorsing civic election candidates is a waste of time and effort). Once again, we disagree!
This election marks the first time that Transition Kamloops, a grassroots organization dedicated to building local resilience, has stuck a toe into the world of candidate endorsements. And the results for us have been eye-opening. Apart from the direct emails thanking us for this research, the number of clicks to our Sustainability Shortlist of council candidates is orders of magnitude higher than any other recent webpost. People are indeed interested in our research and our opinions.
With a field of 28 candidates to sort through, voters are looking for shortcuts. Having more information can never be a bad thing. Want to see which way incumbent Councillors voted on key sustainability motions in the past? We can show you! Want to know which candidates prioritize the development of active transportation infrastructure? We have that! Want to know which candidates care so little about sustainability that they didn’t even respond to our survey? We can show you that too!
Will our readers vote exactly the way we want? Certainly not! We encourage everyone to use our research as a starting point. For Kamloopsians interested in creating a stronger, more vibrant community for our children, we’ve just made their job a little bit easier.
Will our work change the outcome of the election? That will be impossible to confirm. A volunteer-driven organization doesn’t have the heft to buy entire pages of the newspaper, as the homebuilders association has done. But given that Council seats are won and lost on the basis of a couple of hundred votes, the potential impact of a few thousand new clicks on our website is not negligible. For us, this project has already been a resounding success.