Comment 47494

By MartinusGeleynse (registered) | Posted September 10, 2010 at 10:10:17

mystoneycreek said: "I'm curious as to how a candidate such as Martinus Geleynse would/will approach the idea of connecting with people using say, online video-chat technology."

To be honest, I would never consider video conferencing or "Teletown Halls" an effective means of two-way dialogue in the context of municipal politics. The value of such media is their ability to cover geographic divides, or in the case of web casting: to deliver a message to a wide variety of people in a variety of places. In municipal politics, however, (particularly in the downtown wards), it is possible to actually cover the entire ward on foot. My belief is that electronic media ultimately aims to replicate the value of face-to-face conversation. However, it will never be an adequate substitute. Simple example: I would rather talk to my family in-person than over Skype. For this reason, it is imperative for municipal candidates to shake hands, listen to people on doorsteps, maintain a campaign office, and connect with the electorate in the most immediate and intimate way possible. People aren't simply votes to capture by technology, they are individuals with visions, concerns, questions, and ideas. Anything less than striving for the best communication with them is unacceptable (election or not).

On another, simply pragmatic level, it has to be noted that quite a few people do not have access to, or literacy in the technology required for video conferencing and teleconferencing. While it may connect with a specific segment of society in a relevant way, it falls short for many others.

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