Sad to see

Call it a sign of the times.
Only incumbent MP John Rafferty chose to open a campaign office here in Fort Frances while the other three candidates—Liberal Ken Boshcoff, Conservative Maureen Comuzzi-Stehmann, and Ed Shields of the Greens—opted not to.
Mr. Boshcoff cited the limitations on campaign spending, saying he decided to forego formal rented facilities in favour of bringing his message directly to as many people as humanly possible. Ms. Comuzzi-Stehmann, for her part, felt she could better utilize her time by using social network sites and other online tools to reach voters.
Opening and manning a local campaign office is largely symbolic, to be sure. Yet it shows the candidate has taken the time and money to be visible in the community. As the largest town in the riding (outside Thunder Bay, of course), it rings odd that only one campaign bothered to set up shop here—fuelling the perception that our concerns get lost in the shuffle now that we’re aligned with Thunder Bay rather than Kenora.
There’s no question campaign offices aren’t the draw they used to be. Years ago, people tended to congregate there to debate policy over a coffee, pick up a campaign brochure, or volunteer to answer the phone. Complete with colourful streamers, balloons and posters, it added a sense of excitement and drama to the campaign, especially on election night when party faithful would gather to watch the results trickle in.
That personal touch is missing now as candidates focus more on updating their Facebook page or sending out a “tweet.”
And perhaps gone with it is voter interest, which is most sad to see.


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