Frequently Asked Questions
- Who built the WinnipegElection.ca website?
- How do you determine who the candidates are?
- How are the latest news stories collected?
- How do you decide what candidate information to list?
- How can a debate or forum be listed on your calendar?
- What process did you follow for the candidate questionnaires?
- What questions were on your candidate questionnaire?
- Are the operations of your website transparent?
- How is your website funded?
- How did you make this website?
Who built the WinnipegElection.ca website?
WinnipegElection.ca is a voter resource built by Open Democracy Manitoba (ODM). ODM is a non-profit organization that builds digital tools for democratic engagement. Learn more about ODM.
Parts of this site were built with the help of a team of students from Red River College.
Simranjeet Hunjan, Joel Hurtig and Heng Yu worked full-time as web programmers on this site from January to April of 2018 as part of their RRC Business Information Technology project term. Dan Axelsson also worked during this time as scrum master and technical analyst as part of his RRC Business Technology Management project term. Much of the site design was created by Ashley Jaworenko and Ashley Rebillard as part of an assignment in the RRC Graphic Design program.
How do you determine who the candidates are?
Candidates are collected from the City of Winnipeg Election 2018 Registered Candidates webpage. A candidate is only included on the Winnipeg Election website if the candidate is listed on the Registered Candidates webpage. If a candidate declares that they will withdraw, we remove the name only once it is removed from the Registered Candidates webpage.
Candidate names will be displayed the way the candidate advertises their name in promotional materials, except for the use of salutations and post-nominal (designation) letters. For instance, if a candidate chooses to promote their candidacy under their nick name, we will display the candidate card under the nick name used. We will not display the name as ‘Ms. Candidate Name’, ‘Dr. Candidate Name’, or ‘Candidate Name, Ph.D.’
The City Clerk’s office notes that all candidates have until 4:30 PM on Tuesday, September 18th to submit all requirements to become a nominated candidate. After that time, we will remove all candidates that did not fulfill the nomination requirements, and who are removed from the City Clerk’s candidates list (any candidate who is not nominated will not be on the election ballot).
How are the latest news stories collected?
Articles are automatically gathered from local news sources by searching for the names of the candidates in the upcoming Winnipeg municipal election, using the machine readable news syndication feeds.
In 2010 and 2014 candidate news mentions were gathered using Google News. For the 2018 election, we are gathering the news directly from the following local news sources: APTN Manitoba, CBC Manitoba, Chris D, CTV, Global News, Ici Radio Canada, La Liberte, The Manitoban, The Projector, The Uniter, Winnipeg Free Press, and Winnipeg Sun. We are working on adding support for the the Canstar Community News Papers.
In order to treat all candidates equally, our news gathering is an automated process and we will not manually add news stories to a ward or candidate page; this prevents us from introducing subjective judgement calls.
NOTE: On September 18th 2018 we identified a problem with the way we are automatically gathering candidate news mentions. Certain news articles are not being properly discovered by our system. We hope to have a fix in place by September 25th. Our intent is to have this fix retrieve the articles that were missed.
How do you decide what candidate information to list?
Detailed policies were determined (outlined below) to ensure that the candidate information is correct and is retrieved and updated in a consistent manner.
Any candidate website, Facebook page, Twitter page, Instagram page, or Youtube page must show some indication that either the candidate or the candidate’s campaign team has created the page.
If a candidate contacts ODM to update any contact or website information, the candidate information on the Winnipeg Election website will be replaced with the information submitted by the candidate, so long as it follows the policies outlined below.
Direct Contact: Candidates may contact us at email@example.com to request that we add contact information. As a security measure, we only accept such changes when contacted through the email address that the candidate supplied to the City Clerk’s office when registering, or an email address listed on one of the candidate’s pages.
We will do our best to process all updates within 48 hours of their receipt.
After October 22nd we will no longer be accepting candidate updates. Updates received after this date will not be posted to our site. This deadline exists to ensure that our site remains accurate and consistent during the week of the election.
Candidate Websites: Websites must be related to the 2018 civic election. Websites are found in the following order:
- A search through the Google search engine with the candidate first and last name together in quotations along with the electoral division in quotations, or
- A link from the City Clerk’s candidate registration page, or
- A link from the candidate Facebook ‘About’ page, the candidate’s Instagram page, or the candidate Twitter page.
When searching for an incumbent candidate name, the word “re-elect” is added to the candidate’s name when the initial search does not retrieve any results.
If a candidate has two or more websites, the one linked to from other election-related candidate pages will be identified as the primary website, unless requested otherwise by the candidate. Only one website will be listed in the ‘candidate card’ display area for each candidate.
Email Addresses and Phone Numbers: Email addresses are found in the following order:
- From the candidate website,
- From the candidate Facebook ‘About’ page, or
- From the candidate Twitter, Youtube, or Instagram page
- From an image of candidate campaign literature available on the website or social media page
If the candidate has two email addresses listed, the email address that is linked to the webpage will be used unless requested otherwise by the candidate.
Photos: Photos are found in the following order:
- Candidate webpage,
- Facebook page,
- Twitter page,
- Instagram page
Headshots are used if at all possible, and photos will not be used if they show additional individuals other than the candidate or an advertisement embedded in the photo. If there are multiple headshot photos to select, the one that most closely resembles a a clear and centred headshot in a high-quality image will be selected. Images that are too wide or narrow are cropped in order to fit on the candidate cards. Photos that are not of a headshot, or are of lower quality images, are replaced when a more suitable image is identified through our ongoing candidate content updates.
Candidates are free to submit photos so long as they do not put ODM at risk of copyright infringement and do not show an embedded advertisement or individuals other than the candidate.
Facebook Links: Facebook pages are found in the following order:
- Reviewing the City Clerk’s registration page for a Facebook link,
- Reviewing the candidate website for a Facebook link,
- Using the Facebook search bar to search for the candidate name,
- Entering the candidate name in quotations, electoral division in quotations in the Google search engine.
In most cases, we link to candidate’s Facebook page dedidated to their candidacy in the 2018 civic election. If no candidate page exists we link to the candidate name Facebook ‘Group’ or candidate ‘Person’ profile where:
- In the case of a Facebook group:
- The group is not a closed group, and
- There is an indication in the group title, ‘Description’, photos, or ‘Discussion’ content that this group is intended to be used to publicly promote the candidate and/or engage potential voters.
- In the case of a Facebook ‘Person’ profile:
- The ‘Timeline’ and ‘About’ pages are publicly viewable, and
- There is no indication in the Timeline history that this profile was used solely for personal non-election purposes prior to the 2018 civic election, and
- There is an indication in the title, photos, ‘Timeline’ content, or ‘About’ page that this page is intended to be used to publicly promote the candidate and/or engage with potential voters.
If an incumbent is using their mayor/councillor/trustee profile to explicitly promote their candidacy, the mayor/councillor/trustee profile will be used until a candidate profile becomes available. Private profiles, or profiles that were previously used solely for personal purposes, will be linked to a candidate only if requested by the candidate.
Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram Accounts are found through the City Clerk’s candidate registration page, through the candidate website, through a Google search, or through another of the candidate’s social media accounts.
- Reviewing the candidate webpage the social media link,
- Reviewing the candidate social media accounts for other social media links,
- Conducting a search for the candidate name on the social media website,
- Entering the candidate name in quotations, electoral division in quotations in the Google search engine
When finding a candidate’s social media page through a search, we link to the page when there is an indication in the title, photos, or content that this page is intended to be used to publicly promote the candidate and/or engage with potential voters. If an incumbent is using their mayor/councillor/trustee profile to explicitly promote their candidacy, the mayor/councillor/trustee profile will be used until a candidate profile becomes available.
How can a debate or forum be listed on your calendar?
Debates and forums can be brought to our attention via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What process do you follow for the candidate questionnaires?
We send a questionnaire to all all mayoral, council and school trustee candidates after the nomination period closes. We distribute questionnaires to all candidates in the election on the same day to ensure that all candidates have the same number of days to reply.
The questions are designed to be open-ended, unbiased, not exclusive, and do not include leading questions. Specific election issues are not embedded into questions because it is not up to Open Democracy Manitoba to determine what the election issues are and which issues should be given priority. We leave it up to candidates to state what issues, interests, background, and other information they choose to give. All candidates in each category (mayor, councillor, trustee) are given the same set of questions and the same time frame to respond to questions.
All questionnaire requests are sent to candidates via email. We collect the required email addresses using the process described above. For candidates without a public email address, we attempt to contact the candidate through other means, including their personal facebook account, phone number, or personal email address if retrieved.
Once questionnaires are sent out to candidates, each candidate has direct access to their own questionnaire on our website. They may respond to questions or update their answers as they choose. Question responses are each limited to 200 words. The intent is to give candidates some room to explain their responses, while remaining relatively concise so that potential voters can easily retain and compare candidate responses.
Replies are posted as they are received.
After Tuesday, October 22nd, 2018 we will no longer accept candidate questionnaire responses. Replies received after this date will not be posted to our site. Also, as noted above, we will no longer accept updates to any candidate information after this date.
What questions are included in the candidate questionnaires?
- Why did you decide to run in the 2018 (Winnipeg Civic Election / School Board Election)?
- What experience will you bring to compliment your role as (Mayor / Councillor / School Trustee)?
- What are some issues that you would like to stand for in your role as (Mayor / Councillor / School Trustee), and why are these issues important to you?
- What is something that you appreciate about the (City of Winnipeg / the ward / the school ward or school division) you wish to represent?
- Do you have any other comments regarding your candidacy?
Are the operations of your website transparent?
This website was created in the spirit of openness, community and accountability.
The processes used to gather candidate information, find candidate news mentions, and manage candidate questionnaires, can be found on this FAQ page. See all Frequently Asked Questions.
This website is powered by a custom WordPress plugin developed by Open Democracy Manitoba. A preview release of this plugin is available if you wish to create an election website similar to ours. The source code for this plugin, and all election information used on this site, are released free and unencumbered into the public domain.
How is your website funded?
The development of this website was funded in part by a Community Investment grant from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). CIRA manages Canada’s online identifier, the .CA top-level domain, on behalf of all Canadians. CIRA is a member-driven organization, which facilitates the development of a better Internet for all Canadians, and represents the .CA registry internationally.
This website was also developed with support from a team of Red River College students.
All other ongoing site development and maintenance is through a volunteer effort by the board members of Open Democracy Manitoba.
How did you make this website?
The website is powered by the following technologies:
WordPress for the web framework.
MySQL for the database.
Nginx for the web server.