THUNDER BAY – On election night, the results were slow to come in. Line-ups at the polls kept the results from coming in until over an hour plus after the polls closed.
Through the evening, some local websites experienced problems, likely caused by the volume of visitors seeking information. The total number of visitors on NetNewsledger.com on Monday set another new record for this site. Thousands of readers came to NetNewsledger.com to get their news.
Our server handled the massive traffic without a problem.
The massive Internet traffic surges demonstrated something about this election, and about Thunder Bay that some of the campaigns appeared not to understand until this election.
That new fact is that Thunder Bay has started on a massive change. The Internet Election as the 2007 election was dubbed on NetNewsledger.com has grown.
Communications have changed as the Internet has grown in Northwestern Ontario. While the daily newspaper still pumps up about 23,000 copies on an average day, growing numbers of people are getting their information online.
Facebook in Thunder Bay has over 60,000 people in the Thunder Bay region. A majority of those people are over the age of 40.
Several of the incumbent Councillors have expressed a desire to provide better communications if they were re-elected to Council.
Some expressed that only a few months ago, their views of the campaign had changed as a result of getting out and knocking on doors and talking to residents. One ward Councillor commented that in June, his view was that no one was going to beat Mayor Peterson. By September that individual commented that people on the doorways were telling a different story.
This morning in the Chronicle Journal newspaper, the editorial says that Hobbs has made promises that “he cannot keep”, and end their editorial writing “To him we wish him good luck and Godspeed because he will need it.”
I think Hobbs and his supporters, we can dub them “Hobbits” are going to raise the Shire that is Thunder Bay.
Perhaps what those in the old-style media don’t understand is that today it is a braver and newer world. Information travels in nano-seconds. People are communicating with each other at a rate never seen before in our history.
What Mayor-elect Hobbs has in his corner is an army of “Hobbits” the little people who the incoming Mayor has promised will have in his corner.
Hobbs has made one promise in the campaign, that is that his door will always be open, and he will lead a Council that is more open and transparent.
I think any member of Council who fights that ideal will find themselves on the outside of the public opinion in a hurry.
In Lord of the Rings, the Hobbits won their fight and saved the Shire.
In Thunder Bay, we should all be hoping that Mayor Elect Keith Hobbs and his “Hobbits” can make Thunder Bay a better city.
I know I do, the voters decided, and the voters are always right.