Column: Election candidate slipups common on social media

If you are running for public office or are a top political backroom person it may be a good idea to check back on your previous comments.

In this day and age of instant communication one would think if you are running for public office or are a top political backroom person it may be a good idea to check back on your previous life’s comments on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

One of Muclair’s top campaign people took some heat over a tweet that was sent to CBC and other top media outlets suggesting the Pope should stop calling the misogynist, homophobic, child molesting Catholic Church, a moral authority, it is not.

The NDP leader said he would not let him go and accepted his apology … the incident happened almost two years ago, however, it does reflect some of the top person’s thoughts.

I cannot for the life of me think of how any person would want to put these kinds of thoughts on social media, knowing they may have an impact on you somewhere down the road.

The NDP dude further damaged himself when he told Pope Benedict in a post that Britain’s human rights on gay equality violated natural law, and concluded with insulting profanity.

I have seen political types deleted or their responsibilities downsized for doing less than that.

The NDP are not alone in having candidates and/or top people utilizing social media and getting into some trouble for their comments.

The Conservatives and the Liberals have also had their people who are running get themselves into trouble.

At last count all three parties have had candidates drop out of the race.

I have spent some time in the backrooms of political  campaigns since the Alex Fraser days as mayor of Quesnel and also worked on provincial and federal campaigns in different positions.

I cannot recall as many candidates dropping out in federal election campaigns as in the first two elections.

Perhaps, because eight years ago, social media was just getting into another gear and more can be found out about these individuals if you do some checking and that’s what the media does to, perhaps, scoop another story.

Even when the campaign is in high gear, and in the heat of the moment, political candidates make some goofy remark that causes them to not get elected — just ask Walt Cobb and his comment at a political forum that basically lost the election for him because it was grabbed by the press all over the province.

Pay attention to what is happening during the election and with the very best information you have, go and cast your ballot.

I hope the young people will get out and vote this time.

At least in greater numbers than the last Federal Election.

Enjoy the last weekend of summer!

Ken Wilson is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Weekend Advisor.

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