EDITORIAL: New avenues inform voters

RISE OF social sites allows more access to election candidates.

With the growing popularity of websites, blogs and other social media outlets, Nanaimo residents will have to make a conscious decision not to participate in this year’s municipal election.

The rise of virtual networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn means voters have more access than ever to candidates running for a seat on council this fall.

Residents can use those social media platforms to ask questions, participate in discussions and ultimately make an informed decision on who is best to guide Nanaimo for the next three years.

Uncensored by media, organizers or other special interest groups, voters can interact directly with candidates and pose the questions on issues that matter most. The same can be said for those candidates answering the questions.

New avenues of communication don’t negate old forms, however. More traditional campaign communications, such as all-candidates forums, door-knocking and the oft-maligned signage, are still relevant, but for how long is anyone’s guess.

Candidates – and voters – who find themselves technologically challenged might also find themselves at a disadvantage.

Citizens often complain post-election about the lack of information and access to candidates as a reason they failed to vote.

With the advent of social media and its use by today’s politicians, that excuse no longer holds water.

The avenues and channels to reach a municipal candidate and share ideas are wider than ever, leaving few excuses for residents not to cast an informed vote in the Nov. 19 election.