Election Notebook

Inanimate voters

Perhaps the best line delivered so far in this sleepy federal election campaign comes from independent candidate Wally Firth.

When asked for his thoughts about plastering communities with election posters, Firth replied:

"I've never known if signs have done anything for a candidate. Buildings and trees don't vote."

Firth, MP for the NWT from 1972 to 1979, said he will instead send information pamphlets to peoples' homes.

The house guest

Mary Beth Levan has been making the most of her contacts while touring the NWT.

The western Arctic NDP candidate travelled to Norman Wells and Fort Good Hope, May 6 to 8 to meet with constituents. While touring she stayed with party supporters.

"I want to spend more time with people instead of just making a quick appearance," said Levan.

Liberal tips

The Liberal campaign manual offers more than 150 pages of campaign advice to candidates. A few samples:

  • on canvassing: "It is extremely unlikely that a voter will ask (a canvasser) a policy question, but in the event that one comes up, canvassers should ask the voter to call the campaign office."

  • more on canvassing: "People who are not friendly are almost always not Liberal."

  • on media: "Before you agree to a interview, find out what you are getting into and negotiate conditions. Set your limits about topics, and establish a time and place.

  • Ah, thankyou, thankyouverymuch: "Thank everyone, often. You cannot say thank you too many times."

On the campaign trail

PC candidate Bob Dowdall says he can't walk a block without supporters stopping him wherever he goes. "Things got off a little slow, but now they are just trucking along," he said.

In Fort Smith since yesterday, Dowdall said he plans to open a campaign office in the South Slave community.

Little time left

If anyone's considering running as a candidate in the June 2 election, there isn't much time left to make it official.

Potential candidates must file nomination papers and a deposit of $1,000 by 2 p.m. Monday, May 12, with the riding's returning officer to have a name on the federal ballot.

Signatures from qualified voters are required for nomination papers. Call the Elections Canada office at 920-8100 for more details. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Where's the fun

Unlike previous federal elections, this year's campaign is sorely lacking "alternative" choices.

For instance, what happened to the Natural Law Party and its yogic flyers?

Perhaps leaders from Natural Law were worried if the Rhinoceros Party won power and repealed the law of gravity, yogic flying would take on unimaginable consequences.

In the 1993 election, Natural Law earned 213 votes in the NWT compared to 15,552 for the Liberals, 3,863 for the Tories, 2,000 for Reform, 1,820 for the NDP and 325 for The Green Party of Canada.