Updating the Associations

Over the weekend, Elections Canada updated the EDA records for the 338 ridings. We now have 208 287 of 338 Conservative Associations listed, so it was time to get to work updating the Associations.

Cleaning My Mess

I did almost break the site adding a bunch of Associations at once, but thankfully that was sorted out. Unfortunately, my bulk update missed a couple (dozen). I was tempted to blow it all up and start a new but decided this was another opportunity to clean them up right. I’ll hold off on the nuclear option for a bit longer.

The challenge with WordPress is that if I want to be lazy and use the standard WordPress archive for entries then I have to order them by date. When I initially upload the first time, they all had the same date but because they were created in the right order they appeared alphabetically.

As I started to update the site, this order fell apart and with re-distribution, scrambled it good, especially after updating new EDAs in three separate batches. So I went through, updated the 338* Associations that were continuing to each have a unique publication date alphabetically, but set the menu order to use the riding numbers. Bonus, the links to the next EDA and previous EDA have a logic that was missing initially.

Changing Profile Criteria

Initially I had added the email addresses provided in the Elections Canada database. That is fine in many cases, but in a large number, they use the president’s personal address. This is obviously a problem as the President’s change over time. Going forward, I will only be using or updating an unambiguous EDA email address, ie donate@youredahere.ca or youredahere@gmail.com.

That said, I have still been adding the President’s contact information. I have just added it to a Members only section. Add your name to my mailing list to learn more about the Members Only Section.

EDA To Do List

I have still left the older entries for now to preserve any existing links, though I doubt there are many. Where possible I have tried to re-direct the pages for old association to new associations or updated the old associations with only small name modifications or additions.

Set-up the auto-messaging on @FindATory to share the links on social media.

Finally, I hope to contact the Associations this week with current email addresses to let them know they can update their pages contact information.


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You Break It, You Buy It

I broke my website.

I know how I broke my website. I tried to add a bunch of EDAs at once. That worked, but now a number of pages are not working. Basically any page that has to load an EDA won’t display anything.

I don’t know how to fix my website, but I have a hunch. If I manually update all the new entries that might fix it.

But it might not, in which case, I might have to blow it all up and start again.


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Adding the Nominations

As mentioned in the previous post, I have created a custom post type for nominations. With the help of the Gravity Forms + Custom Post Type plugin I have now created the submit a nomination page and built a custom view to display all the current nominations listed by province under their respective Associations.

I should have done this type of documentation from the start before it got unwieldy but live and learn. Below is a description of the views used on the site. Maybe my next challenge will be to figure out a way to display this information automatically.

Nominees Post Type

Schema Page Name – Nominee Page
hCard Post Name – Nominee Posts
WordPress Archives – Nomination Archives (Displays a table with links to their websites, facebook, and twitter)
Custom Taxonomy Views – To do

Custom Child Views

Association Pages us the view Association Nominees (Displays nominee posts in the Association page Template) using the Nominee Posts content template

The List page uses the view The Subs Site Map – Nominees Child (Nominees ordered by Field – wpcf-nominee-last-name, ascending) is inserted into the content template Nominees Listed. That content template is inserted into Nominees List By EDA (EDAs ordered by post title, ascending) which is inserted into the taxonomy view for Provincial Desks Nominees By Province (This View selects Taxonomy of type Provincial Desks, ordered by Name, ascending)

Custom Fields

Nominee Contestant First Name Nominee Contestant Campaign Address (Street Address)
Nominee Contestant Last Name Nominee Contestant Campaign Address (City)
Nominee Contestant Website Nominee Contestant Campaign Address (Province)
Nominee Contestant Email Nominee Contestant Campaign Address (Postal Code)
Nominee Contestant Facebook Page Nominee Contestant Campaign Phone Number
Nominee Contestant Twitter Page Nominee Contestant Profile Photo
Nominee Contestant Google Plus Page

If you know somebody seeking the nomination, encourage them to submit their profile.


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Holiday Updates

Over the holidays I slowed down on the updates, but I did introduce some new post types and have begun work on a new custom taxonomy.

Sponsored Posts

“Sponsored Posts” aka advertisements, now appear around the site. If you would like to advertise on FindAConservative.ca, please feel free to contact me.

Nomination Contestants Posts

I have created a post type to display nomination contestants under each Association. If you are planning a run for a CPC Association riding nomination or have already declared, please feel free to submit your nomination profile.

Conservative Activists Posts

The last post type I created over the holidays was the Conservative Activist. There is still some work required in setting up and displaying the post type. If you are interested in creating an Activist profile, please, sign up for updates, and I will let you know when it is ready.

The Geography Taxonomy

This will be the most ambitious taxonomy project. The Geography taxonomy will cut across all posts and allow people to find Conservatives by city.

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What’s up with Quebec’s Ridings

Finishing Quebec is taking a lot longer because like Alberta there were a lot of changes. I didn’t need to read the entire ALberta report to know adding 5 ridings to a province with 26 would change a lot, but adding 3 to 75?

As I started making the updates to Quebec, I noticed a large number riding name changes while very little actual boundary adjustments. I decided to read a bit and found this from the final report of the Quebec Commision:

These changes led us to seek new names for a large number of electoral districts and to assign names to the three added electoral districts. We drew on the guidelines of the Geographical Names Board of Canada concerning the selection of names for federal electoral districts

I’m skeptical they needed to make so many changes to the names. They also argued one of the factors in making their decisions on boundaries is “the current trend toward limiting urban sprawl”. Reading the report it sounded like they were being forced to add ridings to the suburbs around Montreal.

If I didn’t know better I would say they were making it harder to find conservatives.

With the name changes, and the likelihood I won’t revisit the Quebec ridings anytime soon, I am taking a bit more time with each riding but I am 1/3 through, and hopefully one big push this afternoon will put me over the top.

My complaints with Quebec’s Commission aside, I don’t envy the task any of the Commissions had.



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Ontario is big

Finished updating the Ontario ridings from S to Y that are continuing to exist.

Continuing to work my way up the list, saving the new ridings until afterwards, possibly a bad idea now that I have reached the Mississauga ridings.

It is a dense little part of Canada.

I’ll have to back to edit some urls and add some re-directs

URL Edits then ad re-directs

  • Mississauga—Erin Mills
  • Nepean-Carleton
  • Vaughn
  • Whitby


  • Mississauga South

Sort Out Notes

Kitchener Waterloo

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Pagination, Definitions, and Featured Images


I’ve started the Ontario ridings but there are just so many. I know Ontario is big. I have traveled to every corner, but still, it’s not until you start to edit and add all the ridings that you really appreciate just how many people live in the province.

Facebook Pagination

In order to procrastinate on adding the ridings I need to find something equally critical to update. An important part of the updates I have been doing has been to improve the page load times. The worst offender was the MP’s on Facebook page. It would often just crash your browser window if you were lucky and if unlucky it would crash your entire browser.

The solution was to stop trying to load 160 calls to the Facebook API and keep it to a reasonable 20. While it means you can’t just quickly follow everybody but Facebook actually restricts the number of likes you can make in a short period of time.

Glossary of Tags

With the expansion of the hashtag to Facebook and Google+ and the proliferation of the term into the popular culture, I wanted to use the WordPress tags in a similar fashion to help create a common set of tagging conventions across the internet. Adopting hashtags is an important tool for political communicators and digital political campaigners. One of the best examples of the power of the hashtag is currently being deployed by the Ontario PC’s. When tagged with #pcpo, your tweet appears in the Party’s social stream on www.ontariopc.com.

Facebook Featured Image for EDAs

We are almost approaching a commonly adopted featured image format for social media with Facebooks adoption of the featured image sized post. Facebook recommends an image 1200px by 630px. The optimum Twitter header is 1256px by 626px while google+ has changed to feature cover of 1360px by 520px.

Having just produced a slew of Twitter and Google+ Covers for some EDA’s I realized what the new premium EDA Page would look like. So I made some new covers for the pages ideal for sharing. Which forced me to redesign the pages. It will still need some work since it was the last thing I did last night and I likely broke some of the h-card classes and itemprops.

Here is sketch of what I am thinking for the final page. Click on the image to see it in full size or visit one of the featured EDA’s


Note to self: Figure out how to validate large images for Twitter summary cards on the new theme.


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Order Update

I am now just procrastinating on the next batch of ridings, but at least it is in service to a higher goal, structure!

In preparation for the new theme I updated all of the posts for the EDA’s, Clubs, and MP’s to conform to a proper HTML5 format and h-entry classes.

Then I made the Archives Page. It has the benefit of all the pretty schemas mark-up but it helped me to better determine the overall structure of the site going forward.

The Structure

The site can be broken down by post types, and taxonomies.

The post types contain the data for individual things (Person, Organization, Place) and have relationships with with each other, while the taxonomies are used to group subsets or cross-sets of the different post formats.

The site uses two major methods for grouping, classifying, and coding the data, schema.org‘s microdata and microformats.

The Post Format

The post format will be used to display the basic requirements of the thing and satisfy the h-entry requirements. The post format will be used to display the thing on the major categories for the things, ie taxonomy archives.

Post Type Post Type Custom Category Taxonomy Post Type Custom Tag Taxonomy Schema h-format
CPC Members Caucus EC, Tags schema.org/Person h-card
EDA Provincial Desk EC, Tags schema.org/Organization h-card p-org
Riding Province EC schema.org/AdministrativeArea h-adr
Campus Geography schema.org/Organization h-card p-org

The List Format

Nobody wants to click through page archives so for the individual post archives, ie /eda/ or /cpc-member/ I’lll have to create a properly formatted list to display the entries.

Once the basic list view is created it can act as a template for creating other lists based on the data, the twitter lists are good examples.

The Directory Format

The directories are used to provide an at a glance overview in a sortable table of data.

Examples of Directories

  • MP Social Media Table
  • EDA’s Online

The Individual Entry Pages

Once the final theme is established the individual pages for post type will act as a complete h-card for the entry and act as a complete schema for the thing.

The individual pages will use the microfromats to create the structure of the individual pages.


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Style Break

Updating the ridings is tedious so I took a small break to make a few tweaks to the sites layout to make the change to the new theme less jarring for returning visitors and better organize the site.

I also updated the buttons for sharing individual pages, but I think the changes I made to the twitter list pages actually made it run slower.

In terms of a to-do list for further styling:

  • Remove theme specific shortcodes and replace with html (eventually they’ll get the php treatment)
  • Replace shortcodes for social sharing
  • Add additional column classes

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