In spite of the fact that the questions are important and the answers are being read by voters, not all candidates are as responsive as others.
By Adrian Duyzer
Published October 06, 2010
The Raise the Hammer Elections website is picking up steam. With seven questions posed to candidates so far and hundreds of answers, it's become essential for anyone who wants a comprehensive and in-depth resource on the positions taken by candidates for municipal office.
The work is paying off with growing traffic, which is increasingly coming from search engines as voters research the candidates. On October 5, the candidate page on the Elections site was in the top four results on Google for 74 out of the 86 candidates in the election when searching for that candidate's name plus the word "candidate" (e.g. search Google for "Bob Bratina candidate" and his page on the Elections website is the third result).
In spite of the fact that the questions are important and the answers are being read by voters, not all candidates are as responsive as others. In fact, there is a wide range of responsiveness among the candidates, both in terms of how quickly they respond and whether or not they respond at all.
To assess the responsiveness of candidates in the election, we've developed a comprehensive report, which shows the most and least responsive candidates by ward, the level of responsiveness in each ward, and the number of responses per candidate.
Please note: for the remainder of this article, the data referred to is as of the evening of October 6, 2010. As candidates can reply to questions at any time, the data can and do change rapidly.
Many candidates consistently demonstrate a high level of responsiveness. In the mayoral race, Michael James Baldasaro, Andrew Haines, Bob Bratina, Edward HC Graydon, Fred Eisenberger, Ken Leach, Mahesh P. Butani, and Tone Marrone have all been very responsive, with five responses or more. Responsiveness drops off from there, with Gino Speziale sending four responses, one more than Larry DiIanni's three.
Brian McHattie is consistently the most responsive candidate in Ward 1, with six responses currently. With its 20 candidates, Ward 2 is hotly contested, but a select group consistently distinguishes itself as highly responsive: Matt Jelly, Martinus Geleynse, Marvin Caplan, Ned Janjic and John Castle. Ward 3 also has a large share of responsive candidates, with Bernie Morelli, Paul Tetley, Wilamina McGrimmond and Mark DiMillo frequently sharing their positions on the issues.
Ward 7 is the most responsive ward, judged by the average number of responses per candidate, which is currently 5.5. This is thanks to the frequent contributions of John Gallagher and Keith Beck (seven and six contributions, respectively), as well as Trevor Pettit (five responses). Scott Duvall, with four responses, doesn't drag the average down much.
The second most responsive ward is Ward 13, thanks to Danya Scime, Ron Tammer, and Russ Powers, who have all provided six responses, and Glenn Robinson, with five.
A scattering of candidates from other wards round out the top responders: Jose Pablo Bustamente in Ward 10 (seven responses), Nathalie Xian Yi Yan in Ward 6 (six responses), Neil Bos in Ward 15 (six responses), and Giulio Cicconi in Ward 4, Geraldine McMullen in Ward 9, and Ken Chartrand in Ward 11, who all have five responses.
The least responsive candidate in Ward 15 is Robert Pasuta, who is not really a candidate at all. Pasuta won by acclamation as the only candidate in Ward 14. His response count - zero - is thus both the least and the most in his ward.
There's a long list of people with just one, two, or three responses, which you can see for yourself. What I find most interesting is the list of people who have not responded at all.
Some of these people either became candidates on a whim, or are still living in the pre-Internet era. Take Raymond Paquette, for example. No email address, no website, and no phone numbers. I know he owns a restaurant on Dundurn, but what's his platform?
Then there's the challengers who don't bother replying, even though it'd be a great way to get exposure. Nancy Fiorentino seems like a talented challenger to Ward 9 incumbent Brad Clark, but there's no information from her on the critical issues that RTH has raised. In Ward 3, Sean Gibson's lack of any response at all puts him way behind Bernie Morelli, Paul Tetley and Wilamina McGrimmond, who all have six.
And lastly, there's the incumbents: Chad Collins in Ward 5, Tom Jackson in Ward 6, and Robert Pasuta in Ward 15. I guess Pasuta doesn't think it's worth explaining where he stands, since he's not facing any challengers. Collins doesn't list a campaign email address (or a website for that matter), and Jackson hasn't responded to any questions.
We'll keep trying.
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