Reasons to spend and not to spend in the Nelson political game
Re: “Does $$$ = votes? A look at last year’s election spending” story in the Star on March 23.
I would have done better if I had done a lot of advertising in many media to get my name recognized by those who never heard of me. I could have made my positions better known.
Two reasons why I did not try to spend money.
1. I did that in a major way, by my standards, in 2005, when I spent sufficiently. I did not do better. This time I spent zero and got more votes than ever before in any of my previous attempts.
2. On principle. I dislike the link between money and public service, or commerce and politics. I believe name recognition and reputation are what wins an election in local politics. My reputation is made, for what it is, over my 25 years in Nelson when I have been a public person in a small way, but only to readers of newspapers and those who heard me on my radio show every week for the last 12 years. And to those who have seen me with protest signs against war on Remembrance Day — which probably loses me votes more than gains them.
For the second point, I think my reputation for political leanings is known and I doubt many people who have paid attention to local issues would mistake who I am or what I stand for. Those who pay attention only at an election and cast a vote on the basis of seeing my literature at election time, and see what I have to say in public forums and media, will have less to go on, but still can form an opinion.
Word of mouth matters hugely in a small community. Advertising is not the best way to put out an honest representation of who I am, that takes longer and requires action and a record. That is why incumbents have an advantage.
My “no growth” message got out clearly during the election, and for that I am pleased. I hope some people thought about the global, and national and provincial contexts of our local issues in population growth and development.
We are part of a world where converging crises of all sorts have been gathering force all my lifetime and the solutions available were not applied. So overpopulation, ecological breakdowns, social and political earthquakes have been coming nearer.
Maybe someone read a book by Charles Eisenstein after hearing about it from my campaign. If so, my election effort had consequence.
Nelson has to think about how what we do here really does matter for the world, and so also does BC and Canada generally.