An Exercise in Responsive Local Democracy #yqrvotes #yqr #tweetocracy

Today’s the municipal election.  As I posted yesterday, I’d long ago made my decision about who I would support as Mayor.  But I was still undecided about who I would support for my local councillor.

My choices aren’t really that different as far as I can see – the current Councillor is Chris Szarka, a well-known former Roughrider who’s currently running a company that builds houses.

The challenger, Jerry Flegel, is a long-time Regina councillor who was defeated by Szarka in the last election (probably a lot based simply on name recognition for the Rider.)  While Szarka builds houses, Flegel sells them as a realtor for Century 21.  Both are pro-stadium and both seem to have political views that are quite different from mine – Szarka re-tweets Mitt Romney while Flegel just seems to be a guy who’s more pro-business rather than pro-community  – at least as I define it.

I was leaning towards Flegel since Szarka has been even less visible than most city councillors tend to be during his first term.  But last night, inspired by someone who posted that they’d put a something about the election on their Facebook page and ended up getting a call from Jerry Flegel when word got back to him, I decided to try a similar experiment directly asking each candidate for their acknowledgement to garner my support.

Shortly after midnight, I posted the following on Twitter…

Although this may seem like a “waste” of my vote, I thought it was actually a great way to test exactly how responsive each of the candidates would be, something of potential value even if my own values don’t appear to align with either of theirs (which is how you’d normally decide who to vote for.)

Within half an hour, I received the following response…

Yay Jerry – that was fast (not sure why the screen grab says 10am, I’m sure this reply came within half an hour of my first post just after midnight.)

Except there was a wrinkle I hadn’t expected.  Flegel was the first to respond but hadn’t done what I’d asked – an equally valuable part of being a responsive politician.

I briefly thought about responding to say “What you can do for me is re-tweet my original post like I asked so I can go ahead and vote for you with a justification in my mind.”

But instead, I let it go and headed to bed.  And woke up the next morning to this…no editorial comment, no added hash tags, no MT, just a straight RT from the “Canuck Truck”…

I almost want to give Flegel a generational pass – he’s an older gentleman so, to generalize a bit, probably not as familiar with Twitter conventions as his much younger opponent and he might not have gleaned that I was asking for a direct RT (even though his offer of help was more generous and open than what I got from Szarka.)

But in the end, it’s not that big of a deal either way.  I voted for Szarka, Shea voted for Flegel so we cancelled out each other’s votes and whoever wins, the world goes on!  Not sure if this is an issue for either of them but we desperately need an overpass at 9th and Pasqua – traffic is backed up for miles every day at rush hour.  Unbelievable – you’d think you were in Toronto instead of Regina when you see it!

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