Municipal Election 2010

Introducing the RTH Election Site

Follow the candidates and issues for the 2010 Municipal Election on the new RTH Elections website.

By RTH Staff
Published September 17, 2010

With the 2010 Municipal Election coming up on October 25, Raise the Hammer is proud to launch the RTH Elections site, an interactive live database of candidates, policy questions and responses.

The main page for the 2010 Hamilton Municipal Election includes a list of all the candidates with their contact information and a list of questions that we have posed with links to their responses.

Also, take note of the design and layout for the RTH Elections site. It provides a sneak peak of the planned redesign of the main RTH site, which will be ready to go live Real Soon Now. The redesign was generously provided by our friends at factor[e] design initiative, who insist it was entirely selfish as they have to look at RTH when they visit it.

Policy Questions

Of course, we also plan to ask the candidates several policy questions during the election campaign, and you can read the responses as we receive them.

So far, we have results for the first question we posed to the 85 candidates registered to run for the City's 15 wards and the mayoralty:

For your campaign, will you be accepting donations from corporations or unions? If so, why? If not, why not?

So far, 39 candidates have responded. 26 replied that they will not accept donations from corporations or unions, and 13 replied that they will accept donations from corporations, unions or both.

In all cases, candidates were also to provide explanations for their decisions and you can read their explanations on the site.

Data API

We also believe in sharing this data as widely as possible so that more information can get into the hands of more voters. As a result, you can also access our underlying data programmatically via a simple, straightforward web service API that delivers the site's election data in JSON format.

If you are a programmer and want to access this data, you can learn how by reading the API documentation. Of course, feel free to contact us if you run into any problems.

Note: the data is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Licence.

Candidate Source Data

The baseline candidate data comes from the City of Hamilton's Nominated Candidates/Nomination Forms page.

The source code for that page is a complete mess (seriously, view the source - they manually lined up the columns of tabular data with lots of non-breaking spaces), so we wrote a quick script to grab and parse the data into a list of objects.

We checked the formatted candidate data manually, and then imported it into our database. From there we contacted candidates to ask if they have campaign websites, and have updated our data as they respond.

34 Comments

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By jasonaallen (registered) - website | Posted September 17, 2010 at 09:39:27

Civic engagement/urban activist nerds FTW!

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:15:20

Awesome job, love the new layout and the API too. This is the future of government.

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By Api Ape (anonymous) | Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:21:28

Nice clean API. I think I smell a mashup!

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By synxer (registered) | Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:34:18

Love it!

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:40:57

Looks great. Bernie does have a site just FYI.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2010-09-17 09:52:31

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:50:32

Hi Lawrence, thanks for letting us know. That's actually his Councillor website, not his campaign website.

Also, FYI the syntax for adding a link in Markdown is: [link text](URL) with square brackets around the link text first, and then parentheses around the URL. You've got parentheses around the link text and brackets around the URL. :)

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:56:51

Thanks Ryan. Not sure why he wouldn't leverage his existing website to promote his campaign if that is indeed aloud, or put together a new one. It seems we are in the age of Twitter, Facebook, and your own website, being vital to spreading the word.

Sites like this new RTH election website, are going to change the future of politics.

As for the coding, I don't know why I always mix up the square and round brackets? Is there a little rhyme that helps you remember what comes first? lol

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted September 17, 2010 at 11:01:47

Bernie's site is dreadfully out of date - the City Hall address hasn't even been updated.

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By synxer (registered) | Posted September 17, 2010 at 11:21:34

My only suggestion for the new design would be to add the classic (or refreshed) RTH icon in there (the hammer) in some way. It works well as an easily identifier when skimming though on Twitter, etc.

The footer icon is pretty sweet, but the hammer icon is more identifiable, IMO.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted September 17, 2010 at 11:30:33

@Ryan - I love this site, but I gotta say my favourite commenting systems are ones that use stripped out HTML. Yes, HTML isn't as user-friendly as Markdown or BBcode or Wiki languages, but it's a far more global standard.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2010-09-17 10:39:47

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted September 17, 2010 at 11:52:52

Excellent, Ryan!

(Now; can we expect that much-anticipated editorial on...well, you know the one of which I speak...anytime soon...?)

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 17, 2010 at 13:23:29

Terry Whitehead has the old cowboyish photos out again at Garth and Mohawk next to the Pizza Pizza. Pure awesomeness!

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By highwater (registered) | Posted September 17, 2010 at 14:17:43

Not sure why he wouldn't leverage his existing website to promote his campaign if that is indeed aloud,

It's definitely not allowed.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted September 17, 2010 at 14:22:39

Mayor Fred's website is:

http://www.votemayorfred.ca

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 17, 2010 at 14:26:32

^Thanks, I updated his record.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted September 17, 2010 at 14:30:03

Holy crap, 20 candidates for Ward 2? Caplan will walk away with it by name-recognition alone, just because of his real-estate background... then again, there's not-that-Lloyd-Ferguson.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2010-09-17 13:32:49

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By PseudonymousCoward (registered) | Posted September 17, 2010 at 14:30:48

Srsly, some candidates don't even have email addresses? I had to check back to the City page to make sure you didn't just miss them. That's...not an encouraging sign for their campaigns.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted September 17, 2010 at 15:50:05

@pxtl,

I seriously doubt Caplan stands a chance. He doesn't live in the ward, he no longer has a place of business in the ward, and he only has name recognition in the older demographic.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted September 17, 2010 at 16:31:41

And he used to be a Ward 1 councillor and the voters turfed him out for McHattie in 2003. And Jelly also has name recognition - heck he even has an editorial cartoon!

SuperActivist!

Comment edited by z jones on 2010-09-17 15:32:33

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 17, 2010 at 16:31:55

Matt Jelly has more name recognition than Caplan. Jelly's hard work resulted in several front page news stories about toxic barrels and contaminated sites all summer.
Martinus should also get a strong following. He has emerged as a great community leader and he resonates with the younger, creative demographic.
Throw in Jason Farr - more name recognition, and this should be an awesome race.

@Coward - I'm sure you can mail them a letter with your questions. LOL

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 17, 2010 at 16:33:03

http://www.votemayorfred.ca

Much like the last election, Fred's website is miles better than Larry's. I think Larry's is actually worse than it was 4 years ago.

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By Kevin B (anonymous) | Posted September 17, 2010 at 23:35:40

It is a lovely website. How's that pan am stadium coming along Fred?

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By GoodGod (anonymous) | Posted September 18, 2010 at 12:39:23

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted September 18, 2010 at 13:13:01

The site looks great and functions well for its purpose. It's going to be an interesting election...

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted September 20, 2010 at 09:22:33

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted September 20, 2010 at 12:25:57

Webmaster,

Please fix the link for Geraldine McMullen in ward 9. It give me a 'problem' page.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted September 20, 2010 at 12:29:54

turbo said "You guys are well intentioned but virtually all of your platforms are bad for the city"

Statements like this, opinion without even an ounce of factual reference, waste everyone's time.

From what I've seen, RTH has championed downtown revitalization, environmentally sensitive transportation and greater accountability from corporate interests seeking public subsidy.

So, please, be specific. Which platforms are bad for the city and why?

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 20, 2010 at 12:46:40

Please fix the link for Geraldine McMullen in ward 9. It give me a 'problem' page.

Thanks for pointing this out. It's fixed now.

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By JimmyS (registered) | Posted September 20, 2010 at 15:46:35

realfree, Turbo probably works for the DiIanni campaign. He's likely referring to all of the initiatives you mention.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 20, 2010 at 18:15:40

Since the RTH election site lists all of the candidates, and since the candidates themselves have "platforms" (and not the site that is reporting on them), I assumed Turbo's stab was at the collective candidates - in other words (s)he sees nobody worth voting for.

Perhaps I was giving turbo a little too much benefit-of-doubt?

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By Hopeful (registered) | Posted September 21, 2010 at 09:56:51

Just went to Bernie's website and got a Joomla notice stating...

Bernie Morelli - Councillor, Ward 3 This site is temporarily unavailable. Please notify the System Administrator

Maybe he's updating the section on support for arts and culture in his ward. ;-)

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By ildar (registered) - website | Posted September 29, 2010 at 23:05:00

Hey Ryan,

Jaswinder Bedi has a website too: www.jaswinderbedi.com

Cheers, Ildar

P.S. Markdown syntax isn't working for me for some reason: website

Comment edited by ildar on 2010-09-29 22:13:29

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 30, 2010 at 06:06:29

Hi Ildar,

Thanks for posting this. I'ved updated his candidate page

P.S. Markdown syntax isn't working for me for some reason

You seem to have uncovered a bug - again, thanks. Markdown should work for you now.

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By ildar (registered) - website | Posted October 02, 2010 at 14:18:37

Ryan, I'm glad I was of some use :)

By the way, thanks for the amazing work you're doing with RTH! Love your principles and approach. McMaster's environmental stream (which is within the civil engineering department) is definitely promoting similar ideas: less sprawl, more walkable streets, better downtown, mixed housing, etc... I'm an alumnus, and I'll ask the chair if he's aware of this site.

Thanks again for your efforts! Ildar

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