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The Internet candidate for Edmonton-Strathcona


 

The election should probably not pass without noting the candidacy of Christopher White, running as an independent in Edmonton-Strathcona. Mr. White is the fellow who started the Facebook group that helped rally thousands of Canadians to protest prorogation.

Now seeking office—however long the odds in his particular case—his wide-ranging platform includes a wiki to encourage discussion and feedback.


 

The Internet candidate for Edmonton-Strathcona

  1. Best of luck, Mr. White!

    I whole-heartedly support your suggestion of a wiki for policy development. While it always comes down to the technical execution and governance of such a collaborative tool, I've been advocating within my own little circle for the creation of a wiki structure to help with policy development in my little corner of the world. While face-to-face meetings are often the only way to resolve truly contentious issues, they are absolutely horrible for engaging in technical consultations.

  2. I happened to be online when he created Canadians Against the Prorogation of Parliament and was the 2nd person to join up.

    Canadian democracy is broken and has been for some time. It has only gotten worse under Harper and it will most assuredly not get any better with a majority.

    Canada needs more Christopher Whites. I would vote for him if I lived in Edmonton.

    • Canada needs more Christopher Whites to pick a political party and help revitalize it.

      • Canada needs more Christopher Whites to rip the existing party system to shreds and make representation of a riding actually mean something more than being part of a given party's caucus.

        • I think parties have an important role in our parliamentary system, but I think a few of them could do for a nudge towards more responsible and achievable goals. That's why I'm running. I'm not saying I won't ever get involved with a party, but if I do, I want it to be on my terms with the assurance that I won't be called to vote on ridiculous motions expressing sadness over magazine articles.

      • I might end up doing that. Just making things up as I go, but anything can happen.

    • I remember the first two members. I didn't know either of you, which was encouraging. I think I sent you each a personal message, the intent being that I'd message each person individually as they joined. That policy didn't last long…

      • Still have that email:

        "Hi Ted,

        Thanks for joining the Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament. You are officially the second member, and as I write this, we've had someone else sign up as well.

        So, will you be contacting your MP? I want this to be more than a facebook group that people join and then forget about: I want people to take the next step and seriously try to get the majority of our MPs to show up for work on the 25th of January. It will send a strong message to Harper and Canada that we have representatives that are willing to stand up for democracy.

        Thanks again for joining, be sure to spread the word and get people writing, calling or emailing their MPs. Take care!

        -Christopher"

  3. Hey, good luck!

    I'd be delighted if we moved away from the signs and the door-to-door, and into something people feel they're participating in.

    • I think the door-to-door is very important. When I do it, I start by asking what issues motivate them as a voter to get the conversation going. There's been times where I've had to disagree (eg. Gun Registry questions, Enviro policy) but I think people appreciate the face to face.

      I would like to see more All Candidate debates/forums. We only had one here in Edmonton-Strathcona, while another was canceled because some of the other candidates weren't interested (I was gung ho). It's a chance to measure the policies side-by-side and for people to ask what's on their mind.

      • I always hated door-to-door when I was a candidate….you catch people when they're sleeping from the night-shift, or in the shower, or eating…no matter what time you show up selling yourself like a box of soap. Online they get to choose the time and place….and neither of you have to freeze at the door. LOL

        • What seat did you run in?

  4. OriginalEMily1 wrote:
    "I always hated door-to-door when I was a candidate"

    Don't worry Emily, I'm sure the folks who answered the door didn't want to be bothered by any Marxist Leninnist party candidates either.

    As for selling yourself like a box of soap……how tall were you after someone actually bought it?

    • Is there some reason you feel free to lie about other posters?

    • You, sir, are very rude.

  5. Your complete failure to accomplish anything via Facebook popularity will be both entirely expected, and kind of funny.

    Stop deluding yourself; this kind of whiny, pointless slactivism is an ironic hipster pose, not The Future of Democracy.

    • He organized massive rallies and is running for office. How is that slacktivism? But I guess you win internet whiner bingo by using facebook, slacktivism, ironic, and hipster in one comment.

      • He motivated several thousand slackers in my city to get up and protest. What have YOU done lately, avr?

    • He'll be happy to receive your input on his wiki, which is a lot more than your can about whichever of your MPs gets elected.

    • It's true: I spent too much time on Twitter today, but I don't think I'm a slactivist. I put together a coherent, modest national platform. I designed and printed my own website, brochures, etc. I've been going door to door and attending events to engage with voters. Would be happy to hear how this compares to your election experience.

      As for the CAPP group: Created it to get MPs back in Ottawa. The Libs, NDP and Bloc went back. Conservative support took a hit (they were floating around 40% and dropped to 30%) and in December 2010, Harper explicitly said he wouldn't prorogue, after having spent the first part of the year toying with the idea that he might make it a regular thing. The group had modest goals, it wasn't meant to shake the foundations of Canada, and I think it achieved those goals. Also, let me know how your initiatives have been panning out and what their effects have been.

      • A) Kudos to you for your engagement in the process.

        B) I'm voting down your Firsties anyway, on principle. :)

  6. Speaking of Facebook; did you know that Jack Layton passed Stephen Harper on the people like this meter yesterday? And that Layton, in the last week, has also been getting almost five Facebook votes for every one that Harper has scored in the last week?
    http://aboutpolitics.ca

    It's turning into an interesting election.

    • Michael Ignatieff roared past Harper ages ago, and has always been way in front of Jack Layton on Facebbok, while Harper just went totally stagnant this week. How did you manage to miss mentioning in your post Ignatieff's 10,000 lead on Layton, and 12,000 lead on Harper?

      • That was yesterday's news. It's true that Iggy took the lead on April 1 (no fooling) and is leaving Harper in the dust.

        But looking at yesterday's numbers, Iggy captured over 2 'thumbs-up' for every one that that Harper bagged, but Layton got 3 for every vote that Iggy snagged!

        Like I said, this is shaping up to be a very interesting horse race.
        http://aboutpolitics.ca/gif/fbrace.gif

  7. LOL sort of a backhanded compliment, but I'll take it anyway…thanks.

    If we all thought alike it would be a very dull life eh?

    • Oh, I'm sure many thought me a flake, as well…but that still means they're thinking.

      And there are only 1500-ish people in a country of 30+ mill willing to stand up, in public, with a metaphorical target on their backs. Brave souls, all, It does make life interesting…

  8. Christopher White had the respect of many when he started that group. But he started to abuse his position as administrator of the group by using it to promote his campaign amongst its massive membership. Then when the membership objected, he appointed an American ( "Arizona") to administer the page in his stead, someone whi answers no one, does no administering, and lets the trolls rule the wall, an offensive joke on the hundreds of thousands of people who really care about what is happening to Canada, and who have been fleeing the page ever since. Finally, he chose to run in the one riding in which the favoured candidate whose votes he will jeopardize is the one who encouraged him in the early days and even got him to Ottawa to speak on his anti-proroguing issues.

    So, as he does not have the respect of the members of CAPP, perhaps the author could stop assisting him in his exploitation of a group that has lost all respect for him.

    • I made mention of my plans to run on CAPP because I felt that the dozen or so people that still use the page might be interested to hear what one of it's members was up to. I had a lot of support when I started the group and I hoped it would encourage some people to get involved and show that anyone can run for parliament.

      Some people supported the idea (again, there's only a handful of the 196,000 members still use the page) but there were a few that really, REALLY didn't like the idea. It wasn't my platform, but the fact that I was running in a hotly contested riding between the NDP and the Conservatives. I decided to back away, because when I'd try to engage and ask what they thought about my policy, I was rebuked.

      The CAPP Facebook group had a purpose, it served it well but time has long past for something new, something offline. I'm trying to do that (albeit, while spending far too much time on Twitter) and I encourage anyone with the conviction, some good ideas and the communication skills to do likewise. Facebook groups can only take us so far.

      • Wait a minute, I was there too, and this seems to be rewriting history to make yourself look better? "only a handful of people still use the page". "196,000 members" when actually your trial balloon on CAPP went over like lead because, as was clearly explained by all the comments I read there, you did not behave honorably towards what was at the time well over 200K members just a few weeks ago. You should have handed over responsibility for the page to a responsible person who respected this Canadian community, BEFORE announcing your campaign, and if all you wanted was to speak to the sorry "handful who still use the page" I don't think you need an audience of over 200K to do it.

        You are also the one who changed the name and poster on the page to "Election 2011" just BEFORE announcing your candidacy on the page. and you are the one who took a non-partisan group and respresented it with a poster that shows all the leaders of the latrines, except for Elizabeth May, who is instead mocked by a cartoon likeness of a rotund bear. You disrespected those who joined in good faith, you changed the purpose of the age to the election, you made it non partisan, and you exploited the members for your own personal/professional benefit.

        shame.

        Your response here does, as the above critic suggests, say quite a bit about your opinion of your fellow Canadians on the group. It is disappointing. I did have respect for you and hoped for an honest response but the only people who have a hope of believing you are the ones who were not witness to what you did to your fellows on that page.

        • Er, "leaders of the parties" !!! Damn you autocorrect!!!!

        • The CAPP group once had 225,000 members, and it started to dip after Parliament resumed, which makes sense. It had fulfilled its purpose, but after that point people were still interested in using it as a forum to discuss the issues of the day. Not sure how changing the pictures to "Election 2011" is related to my candidacy. I've changed it many times over the past year to reflect the issues of the day (at times, posting something very partisan) and the current picture makes no reference to my platform or campaign, so I don't see the link.

          I am not sure how posting a mention of my intentions to run in the election constitutes exploiting the members. I stand by my assertion that only a handful of members are actively engaged. I am not sure if any of them are in my riding. I didn't make a request for donations, nor did I message all members to ask them to get involved (BTW, Facebook disables messaging members if the group is 5,000+ members).

          I know some people have been upset with me and my laissez-faire approach to the CAPP group. I rarely ban anyone and don't police the comments. My logic is that adults (many of them much older than me) should be able to discuss politics civilly and know when to "walk" away when they're faced with someone they can't engage with. In an online forum, no one forces you to respond to a troll's comment and you can block troublesome users. I have no interest in playing nanny online because if we can't even act responsibility there, we have no chance in the real world. If you disagree, you are free to create your own online group and moderate it how you wish.

          Also, for the sake of full disclosure, it's polite to include your name. I always post under my real name so that people know who I am and what I stand for.

  9. Wikis are so easy to write NOT into, as well!

  10. Wikis also allow you to view its history.

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