The candidates’ debate in Newmarket Aurora, hosted by the local Chamber of Commerce, is set for Friday 30 May 2014 at 7pm in the Newmarket Theatre. Voters will have the chance to quiz the candidates informally at an open house from 6pm but many will have checked them out first on-line. 

Social media makes it easier than ever to get a handle on the candidates and get a sense of where they are coming from.

Progressive Conservative Jane Twinney hopes to succeed Frank Klees who steps down from Queen’s Park after 18 years. She starts as favourite in a riding that is traditionally conservative with household incomes way above the national average.

Jane is seen as warm and likeable – and in politics that counts for a lot – but, ideologically, there seems to be no sheet anchor determinedly holding her in position on the right of the political spectrum. She could easily break free of her moorings and drift to the left.

She is pragmatic and doesn't say a lot at meetings of Newmarket council. When she does she is often hesitant. Faced with a difficult or controversial decision, her first instinct is to consult. She rarely stakes out a position, rallying others to her banner. She will ask for everyone’s views.

Jane has a campaign site and is active on twitter. Her tweets are back-slapping records of the day's events. Everything is always lots of fun!

She invites people who visit her Newmarket council website to read her blogs if they want to keep up-to-date. Not wishing to over exert herself, Jane has written five blogs in the present council term. Her latest, dated 30 January 2014, is on the garbage problems over the winter. The one before, dated 29 November 2011. was on the YRT strike.

The bottom line: Don’t rely on Jane’s blogs to stay up-to-date.

Chris “Leadership with Heart” Ballard has a campaign website and another detailing his work on Aurora Council – which, for the duration of the campaign, is inactive. He posts on a wide variety of issues and wants us to think of him as a busy boy, keeping lots of balls in the air simultaneously. He tweets.

The NDP’s new kid on the block is Angus Duff, an academic who teaches in Oshawa. He has lived in Aurora for 15 years. His twitter account is now up and running.

Archbishop Dorian Baxter is the Canadians’ Choice candidate. He has a long and colourful career as a campaigner and candidate. He often comes bottom or near bottom of the poll. But he is resilient, affable and always bounces back. Baxter is fixated by Elvis Presley. His email address at last year’s Toronto Centre by election – where he ran for the Progressive Canadian Party - was the memorable This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  He tweets as a Canadians' Choice candidate and as a Progressive Canadian.

Andy Roblin is standing for the Green Party. He, too, tweets.

Elsewhere on the so-called campaign trail, Andrea Horwath vows to cut ER wait times in half.  She says the NDP campaign platform will be fully costed when it is released “very shortly”.

The National Post’s Andrew Coyne has an interesting piece on Tim Hudak, suggesting he (Hudak) believes “commitment to a plan” might entice voters who are fed up with airy fairy promises or uncosted specifics.

We read that campaign ads will hit unsuspecting voters tomorrow morning, like a trumpet blast.

23 days to go.


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