Is the Alberni-Pacific Rim contest such a foregone conclusion that the candidates aren’t bothering to campaign? I contacted the BC Liberals about their candidate by email a week ago. They responded quickly to say that they would forward my message to Mr. Deluca. One of my specific requests in the email was to know when and if Mr. Deluca would be making any appearances in our corner of the Alberni Pacific-Rim riding. Apparently he showed up on Tuesday for a photo op with the premier. Eight days since my original email, I’m still waiting for some kind of reply from Deluca’s team. I similarly contacted Mr. Fraser’s team by email through another BC NDP candidate’s campaign, asking for information on any local appearances plus asking to be put on their email distribution list. I received a reply eight days later, on April 6th, but I have had zero contact from them since. Due to her lively involvement in civic politics, I have little interest in finding out any more information about Ms. Sangster-Kelly, but I looked her up online all the same. Like the other two candidates, she has a near-static presence online. None of them are using the Internet to connect with voters. They all appear on their party’s website with a biography and photo. Sangster-Kelly also appears on her local constituency association’s website, but this hasn’t been updated since the beginning of April. None of them have an online blog or use a website to regularly update voters or supporters. None of them use Twitter. Deluca doesn’t even have a campaign email address online. On Sunday, Scott Fraser’s team started a Facebook page (the only one of our three candidates to have one), but I only found this by looking at his page on the BCNDP site again today while writing this letter. Surely launching a new community like this would be worthy of notifying interested voters in an email? I asked Scott Fraser about his lack of social media presence two years ago, and he responded honestly that he just didn’t have the time for it. It’s a big disappointment for voters and supporters for a candidate to an online community during a campaign only to abandon it after the election (see Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan’s twitter profile for a perfect example), but I would still urge Mr. Fraser and the other candidates to make the time. Other MLAs seem to manage it. Even our MP manages to make himself accessible through these new media channels. It’s bad enough that Errington/Coombs/Hilliers is lumped into the Alberni-Pacific Rim riding. We’re economically and socially separated from the rest of the riding. We are in a different regional district and a different school district. We even have different news media here. Now, we’re also stuck in a riding in which the candidates have little grasp of how to use modern technology to reach the community. There’s no “buzz” here. By stark contrast, Barry Avis has been campaigning in Qualicum since he was nominated over two years ago, and both Stillwell and Coupland were making themselves be seen in the media long before the writ was dropped. They’ve had at least two public debates so far with another planned soon. No word from any of our own candidates on public appearances or all candidates’ forums. If they can’t be bothered, can you blame the electorate feeling disengaged and indifferent?