Tag Archives: campaign

Boosting engagement and participation by making voting more accessible

Saanich gets creative to woo more voters in fall election

July 16, 2014


The District of Saanich will be rolling out more options to increase voter turnout in November’s municipal election.

Council voted this week to reinstate mobile voting stations, which had been replaced by mail-in ballots in 2011. Both options will now be available in the fall, said Mayor Frank Leonard.

“[Staff] found that we had good results with the mail-in ballot, but where there had been better turnout with the mobile poll, it wasn’t there with the mail-in ballot,” Leonard said. “That’s why they’re going to do both.”

University of Victoria students and staff will also be able to vote on campus, thanks to a new advanced polling station.

“The campus draws students from all over the region, which makes municipal voting a bit complicated,” said Coun. Dean Murdock. “Victoria and Oak Bay are also going to have voting opportunities at UVic, so between the three municipalities, we will be able to help people find their home for voting.”

Students will need to identify themselves along with their address in order to vote, Murdock said.

“But unlike provincial or federal, you’re not restricted to a particular voting location.”

Murdock said Saanich wants to make voting as accessible as possible to its residents.

“If we can encourage people to get engaged and interested, and make it easy for them to cast a ballot, I think it’s important to do that,” he said.

Along those lines, Murdock said council also asked staff to look into putting voting stations at popular public places such as shopping centres and recreation centres.

“If it’s something Saanich can do to make [voting] more convenient, that’s always something we want to see go forward,” he said.

The municipal election takes place Nov. 15.


Proud to be endorsed by Conservation Voters of BC

Conservation Voters of BC announces 2011 municipal endorsements

November 15, 2011 – Today the Conservation Voters of BC announced its endorsements for the upcoming November 19th municipal elections in BC. Conservation Voters of BC has a proven track record of helping elect environmental champions across party lines.

“It’s really inspiring to see so many strong environmental champions running throughout BC this year,” said Kevin Washbrook, a director with Conservation Voters of BC. “We’re only able to endorse some key candidates brought to our attention, but there are more out there and we encourage environmentally-minded voters with to seek them out and vote for them.”

Many of the upcoming civic elections are expected to be close contests. “We’re hearing from lots of citizens who are excited to vote in these elections, because they have an impact on their daily lives,” said Lisa Matthaus, a director with Conservation Voters of BC. “Civic elections are about issues that concern us all, and we’re encouraging everyone to get out and vote!”

Municipal government decisions and actions have a big impact on our environment. To take just one example, Canadian municipal governments have direct or indirect control of approximately 44 per cent of heat trapping greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.(1) They are also important actors in water conservation, public transit, land use and food security. Conservation Voters of BC strongly encourages voters who care about the environment to get out and vote in this year’s municipal elections, especially because so many candidates are explicitly highlighting their environmental track records and values.

Conservation Voters of BC is a volunteer-run, non-partisan organization working to elect environmental champions from all parties to municipal, provincial and federal offices. We are non-partisan in that we believe environmentally minded candidates can do good work within all of B.C.’s major parties. Thirty-five of the 46 candidates we have endorsed have been elected in seven previous federal, provincial and municipal elections.

For more information on Conservation Voters go to http://www.conservationvoters.ca/.

CVBC 2011 Municipal Endorsements:

David Cubberley (Mayor)
Judy Brownoff
Dean Murdock
Rob Wickson
Harald Wolf
Vicki Sanders

Murdock wants Saanich’s green roofs for urban farming


For Immediate Release
November 15, 2011

Murdock wants Saanich’s green roofs for urban farming

Victoria – Saanich Councillor Dean Murdock thinks one of the best places to grow crops in Saanich could be up on the roof.

Murdock wants to see Saanich Council introduce rooftop gardens as a suggested amenity for large-scale developments in major centre development permit guidelines.

“We can turn acres of asphalt into green space and vegetable gardens,” he said. “Green roofs allow urban residents to grow their own food, and help reduce our carbon footprint.”

Port Coqutilam and Richmond are the only BC municipalities with green roof bylaws. Saanich has a community allotment garden policy for public lands. The policy does not include rooftop gardens.

“It’s a great way to provide food security, to ensure we can grow enough food for ourselves,” Murdock said. “It’s a great place for neighbours to meet neighbours. Green spaces and open spaces are increasingly rare in urban settings. Why not put them up on the roof?”

The Capital Region Food & Agricultural Initiatives Roundtable (CR-FAIR) estimates that 5 to 10 percent of the food consumed in our region is grown locally.

The first-term Councillor is seeking re-election to Saanich Council and a seat on the CRD Board.

Municipal elections are November 19.

Aligned with Dogwood’s values

Saanich Elections

The Saanich municipal election is shaping up to be one of the tightest races in the region.

We’re focusing on Saanich because it is a regional powerhouse and has a huge influence over how the entire region manages its air, land and water.

Our mayors and councilors have a lot of power. For example, our local leaders can help stop the expansion of oil tankers on the south coast. They can also determine if our communities will preserve farmland and prioritize local food production.

We know municipal elections can be confusing, so we did a survey of all the election candidates in Saanich to find out which ones most closely align with our campaigns against oil tankers and urban sprawl.

These are the candidates who scored the most points in our survey:

David Cubberley

Judy Brownoff
Dean Murdock
Vic Derman
Harald Wolf
Paul Gerrard
Vicki Sanders

How do candidates get their names out?


Getting a name out a sign of the times
Kim Westad, Times Colonist

Shellie Gudgeon is the owner of two successful restaurants in a city known for eating new places alive.

But those challenges aren’t nearly as daunting as running for Victoria council, said the 48-year-old restaurateur who is running for one of eight seats.

“It’s absolutely the most courageous thing I’ve ever done,” said Gudgeon, who owns Il Terrazzo and Fifth Street Bar, both in Victoria. “It’s like running down the street naked. This makes opening a restaurant look easy. It’s a steep learning curve but it gets better every day.”

She’s one of dozens of “newbies” throughout the region vying for a municipal seat, all facing incumbent councillors who have that all-important name recognition. It can be an uphill battle for newcomers, says University of Victoria professor and political expert Michael Prince, especially when only about 20 per cent of voters cast their ballot.

“The often conventional wisdom is if you’re an incumbent, it’s hard to knock you out. Some research tends to support that,” Prince said.

Gudgeon thought she had the jump when it came to election signs. Hers were out first, with many lining the pedestrian routes she wants to increase if elected.

The problem? They were deemed too low-key, her name too narrow and hard to see from a passing vehicle.

“Boy oh boy, I’m getting a lot of advice about signs now,” Gudgeon laughed. She has since added more signs with her name in bold white letters. And she has learned a key political lesson – to spin an experience into a positive.

“It shows my willingness to listen and make changes immediately.”

Most candidates now have websites, and most invest in brochures and mailouts. Signs, old-school as they seem, still play a role, even though many candidates don’t like them.

“It’s like advertising in general – you’re not sure if it works, but everyone does it so you don’t want to miss out,” Prince said.

Incumbent Saanich councillor Dean Murdock knows that feeling. Murdock doesn’t like the proliferation of signs cluttering neighbourhoods and public proper-ty. But he’s wary of opting out of one of the most expedient ways of getting your face and name to the public, all the while cognizant that the signs don’t say anything about what the candidate stands for.

“With so many cluttering the natural beauty of the municipality, the effectiveness is lost and it ends up being a cacophony of advertising,” said Murdock, who first tried for a council seat in 2002. He wasn’t elected then, so he continued working with the various community groups he was involved in, attending public events and asking people what they wanted Saanich’s future to look like. He was elected in 2008.

Murdock does plenty of door-knocking, the most traditional form of campaigning for newcomers and experienced campaigners alike. That, and online exchanges with voters, allow two-way conversations, Murdock said.

Not all residents like having their door knocked on, and will let the candidate know it. On the other hand, Murdock said, he’s had conversations with residents that have helped form his campaign platform.

Saanich News: Light rail

We asked the Saanich mayor and council candidates to provide their thoughts and strategies on light-rail transit along the Douglas Street corridor.

Dean Murdock, council candidate:

The proposed light rail plan was unanimously supported by Mayor and Council because of its economic, social, and environmental benefits. I support the plan and want to see an evaluation of its design, cost, and benefits. I’m confident that we can achieve the benefits of the proposed LRT at a lower cost to taxpayers. We’ve got traffic in every direction and need to try something new on Douglas and our major corridors. LRT should be part of an upgraded public transit network that attracts more riders by getting people to where they need to go more quickly and efficiently.

Saanich News: Traffic

We asked the Saanich mayor and council candidates to provide their thoughts and strategies on the transportation issues in Saanich (outside of the light rail discussion).

Dean Murdock, council candidate:

Traffic is a concern for most of the residents I talk to on the doorstep. We can reduce congestion with improved public transit service that has dedicated transit lanes to speed-up travel times on major corridors during peak hours. We should work with educational institutions and major employers to promote transit pass programmes to build ridership. We need to focus on pedestrian and cyclist safety. I propose a ten-year plan to fund and build new sidewalks and upgrade crumbling sidewalks all across Saanich. Let’s create proper bike lanes and invest in expanded connector trails between major centres.