Many politicians believe elections are won and lost on the doorstep. But with the increasing prevalence of social media there is a cyber battle that needs to be won. Or does it even matter?
Of the seven local candidates ramping up election campaigns, some are doing more than others.
But less can be more. And too much can be worse than nothing.
Conservative (BCCP) candidate Chad Eros and his verbose Face-book postings could earn him some support. But they could also get him into trouble (assuming the BCCP candidates have a chance).
In Chilliwack-Hope, Liberal candidate Laurie Throness is on Twitter. But he joined in February 2012 and in 13 months has sent just 39 Tweets. He has a Facebook page but a quick examination shows that the last posting is from April 18, 2012, his final thoughts before he lost the byelection to New Democrat Gwen O'Mahony.
MLA O'Mahony has been Tweeting pretty consistently since she was elected (613 updates since March 2011). She also has a Face-book account, but she is clearly not the most sophisticated user. She recently created a "Campaign Party" Facebook event page for a Hope office meeting March 23. She used a cartoon "Team Work" image with a Shutterstock watermark on it.
The third candidate in that riding is Michael Henshall for the BCCP who has been making election comments on Twitter pretty solidly since he joined in January. He's also on Facebook.
In Chilliwack, Green Party candidate Kim Reimer was last to enter the race. As the youngest, and someone who runs a website design business, she will likely have a strong social media presence. So far she has a Facebook page with a few comments but no tweets yet.
BC Liberal John Martin has been running a Facebook page since January on which he has been posting photos and links. Martin is also on Twitter where he has posted 72 times since December.
NDP candidate Patti MacAhonic has been on Twitter since June 2011, long before she was a candidate. She is also on Facebobok where she's been very active.
Then there is Eros, who has a presence on Twitter but has been by far the most active on Facebook. It is here where he has spent considerable time posting, commenting and leading discussions with a surprising number of participants.
I'll mention two of his more bizarre postings. The first is "Chilliwack Water Solutions," from March 8 where he is taking ideas on how to deal with the water chlorination issue in the city. A stunning 298 comments have been elicited by this post, but Eros seems to simply be capitalizing on popular sentiment.
"Winning idea to be supported by the people of Chilliwack through a method of their choice."
I have no idea what this sentence even means. Fraser Health has ordered the city to chlorinate its water. Period. The only reason to go into such great depth on the subject is to score cheap political points: When his "solution" is ignored he can criticize the NDP/ Libs for ignoring "the people."
Eros's confusion and verbosity is unmatched by anything I've ever seen by anyone on Facebook. To wit, Eros drew up a political spectrum in which he equated the NDP and the Liberals as socialists. Someone asked him where he felt the Greens are on that spectrum.
Instead of an answer, he responded with a 500-word diatribe about a guy he once carpooled with who used to smoke pot before driving.
Huh? "So, if the Green Party gets its way, how will it ensure that high toked up drivers are not on the roads?" he wrote. Not even close to an answer to the simple question.
In his defence, he's out there. But I wonder if Eros, as a BC Conservative, grasps the irony of this line about the Greens: "[T]hey are a long ways away from ever forming government."
The other candidates aren't doing much on social media but maybe that's not a bad thing.