If, like most readers of this blog, you happen to stumble upon it through Liblogs.ca, you'll doubtless notice the many Libloggers who have taken it upon themselves to point out the Missing Man of Inaction, aka. Vaughan Conservative by-election candidate Julian Fantino, who never bothered to show up for yet another all-candidates debate.
As several of these bloggers have pointed out, this is either a sign of the hilariously dubbed "Dianne Haskett strategy" (h/t Scott's DiaTribes) where the Conservative strategists keep their controversial, outspoken, and slightly incapacitated candidate out of the eye of the public in order to minimize any damage their own candidate may cause to their chances of winning the riding.
Well, apparently now the strategy has backfired, with local media outlets pouncing on the absent Fantino and putting the man, and Conservative strategy, in the centre of the spotlight. Way to stay hidden, Julian!
Meanwhile, advanced voting has already opened in all three ridings, and apparently in Vaughan and Winnipeg North, turnout for it has increased, while in Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette, it's dropped significantly. And while we know that advanced voting is usually prime Conservative territory, in all three ridings its fairly proportional to each party's vote in an actual election, exemplified by Vaughan, where the Liberals managed 47% in the advance polls, and 49% in the election, while the Conservatives won 37% in the advance polls, and 34% in the election. The same seems true for WinNorth and DSRM as well. Meaning that this time, there may be no inherent advantage any of the parties have when it comes to advance voting numbers, since it all falls proportionately with their share of the popular vote in an election anyways. We'll have to see if this holds true for these elections.
And the Facebook war continues...:
Tony Genco, Liberal - 535 fans
Julian Fantino, Conservative - 471 fans
Claudia Rodriguez-Lorrain, Green - 286 fans
Kevin Bordian, NDP - 199 fans
Kevin Chief, NDP - 1,263 fans
Kevin Lamoureux, Liberal - 665 fans
Julie Javier, Conservative - 220 fans
Jeff Coleman, Pirate Party - 74 fans
John Harvie, Green - 27 fans
Denise Harder, NDP - 199 fans
Robert Sopuck, Conservative - 165 fans
Kate Storey, Green - 82 fans
Christopher Scott Sarna, Liberal - 63 fans
Even the amount of Facebook interest in Winnipeg North makes me wonder whether we should be paying as much attention to Vaughan as we are...