In the Greater Vancouver area, we are currently experiencing an election campaign as the local municipalities are deciding on mayors, city councilors, school board trustees, and lunch ladies. In the mail, I received several pamphlets and other informational items from local candidates. Because these elections are far from the provincial and federal level, their campaigns tend to be less slick. In this day and age though, everyone has a web site which is encouraging, smart, and cost-effective for any candidate at any level. As I looked through all the election material, I also noticed nearly all the candidates had their own custom domains, another good sign that everyone was catching to the times. Candidates were no longer using Geocities to host their sites.
The one thing that stood out, like me at a lingerie store, was the use of candidate e-mail addresses. Though candidates managed to get their own custom domains, they listed their e-mail addresses from providers like Yahoo, Gmail, Shaw, and Telus. That’s just so disappointing. That’s like running a marathon at a record pace and then stopping 10 metres from the finish line. They got so close to having all their bases covered from an Internet perspective, only to look like someone who discovered the Internet last month. I’ve registered several domains in the past and basically every registrar will throw in a basic e-mail account for your domain for free. It’s essentially a no-brainer. If you registered johnsmithformayor.com, it requires almost no effort to set up email@example.com. Instead we get candidate e-mail addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org. Imagine e-mailing your questions about parking meters to a candidate with an address like that.
I know it makes no sense but I’d have a hard time voting for a candidate that setup their Internet presence that way. Again, it’s a stupid way to vote but I never claimed to be a smart individual. If you want to see examples of what I’m writing about, feel free to go to here, here, here, and here. To be fair, many candidates have a good and complete Internet presence. Also, having a web site and e-mail address out there is better than not having anything. I’m just getting old and cranky.