Have you ever noticed before federal or provincial elections how polling companies start asking questions about the issues, and not your issues, but some that have been predetermined for you? This “agenda-setting” happens all the time, like when the Evergreen Line (province) announced public hearings for citizen input after they had already allocated (set) the station locations, cutting-out Port Coquitlam.
I wondered whether the “agenda-setting” is less likely during municipal elections so I decided to see if I could find out.
Since Robert Simons was the first candidate to officially announce his candidacy for Mayor of Port Moody on September 9, 2011, he’s been out on the hustings personally knocking on doors throughout Port Moody almost every day meeting with our neighbours. I realize there is nothing scientific about this, but that’s a lot of the very latest public opinion, so what better source could there be?
Btw, before I go any further, I am openly supporting Robert, although this post isn’t about why, and I’m not contributing funds or time to any specific candidate’s campaign. I did offer to do some door knocking with Robert but he was insistent on directly engaging the people of Port Moody himself because he personally wanted to hear the most up-to-date, concerns, opinions, views, etc.
As for issues, here are some impressions Robert kindly agreed to share with me from the campaign trail, and in the sequence he is reading from the public:
Transit and Transportation:
“The one issue that creates a common thread is transit and transportation. Public concern is there, but it’s been so long in coming that people will believe it when they see it.”
“On probing I heard concerns about the current state of economic development in the City. There is a consensus that a refreshed economic plan is required and that the City must get in front of the opportunity now that the Evergreen Line is assured.”
“Our residents see the protection of the environment and green space as one of Port Moody’s stronger attributes and it is also one that they are not going to allow for any encroachment.”
“Taxes and the level of same has come up in some conversations – mostly those families on fixed incomes. The fact that City taxes appear as two major bills – Utility and Property – leaves an impression that the taxes are exorbitant versus the provincial and federal taxes that are collected daily via sales, fuel and income related taxes to name a few.”
“From my discussions with Port Moody residents there is a common feeling that Port Moody is a great Lower Mainland location to live, and with plenty of unrealized potential.”
“Many young families have moved to Port Moody due to, a degree of affordability compared to other Metro locations, the local environment, and because they see Port Moody, in general, as a great place to raise a family. Port Moody also has a very high reputation as a safe place to live – credit the Port Moody Police Department for having set this high standard of public protection.”
These are just a few thoughts from the campaign trail so far, courtesy of Robert Simons, candidate for Mayor of Port Moody. Thanks Robert, and best wishes.
I don’t believe any polling companies or sitting government is involved in “agenda-setting” here, so do you consider these items genuine Port Moody issues or do you have others in mind, perhaps more important to you?