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Thursday, 23 October 2014

Election night thoughts .....

Well, well.... I am doing a 1 am radio show tonight so took a 2 hour nap and woke up with a new mayor and city councilor ! I haven't read anything other than the results, so here are my raw, unfiltered opinions on the Mayor's race and in "Danny Mac"....

Congrats to everyone who ran in a campaign. It is a thankless part of the democratic process that we cherish. Take time to get caught up on your laundry, reunite with the family you've neglected and stay involved in your community !

Election sign house !

Mayor

I had to rub my eyes a couple of times before believing the mayors results. Did Bowman really beat JWL by more than a 20% spread?! Wow. Didn't see that coming. 

That's not vote splitting or any other voting quirk. That's an old fashioned election night whooping. (Late addition: Note that adding JWL, RFO AND Steeves' votes together, she would have barely beaten Bowman.)

Either JWL's support had a nuclear meltdown in 48 hours, 20% of them forgot it was election day or, perhaps this is another case of iffy election polling results, that people sitting around at home with a land line telephone were of a demographic more likely to support Judy than one of the other candidates.

Good for Bowman in that scraping out a win by a couple of percentage points means you'll always have additional chirpers pointing out that you barely have a mandate. A 20%% (late addition: 23%) victory is a decisive margin and a sign that people want you to lead.

I voted for Bowman with a bit of an asterisk. He was pretty centrist, as was JWL for that matter, but made some lofty promises that he'll have to keep. Katz was once the businessman outsider who first won on a series of feel good promises, (eliminating business tax downtown, free transit for seniors, all traffic lights synchronized in 4 years), all of which he walked away from before the first term was even done. Will Bowman be a repeat ?

Kudos to Falcon Oullette. I actually stood and stared at my ballot for a full minute before voting for mayor. My heart was with him but I went with my head. I am certain that he mobilized many people to vote who have never participated before. Also, he overcame probably one of the worst campaign starts one could have to finish a decisive third.

I don't like to gloat over a losers campaign but Steeves not breaking the 10% mark is a good thing. Bad campaigns should be punished and he went from the man who could easily have been the winner to a single digit percentage finisher. 

He ran an uninspired, "no we can't" campaign. Framed differently, he could have turned the exact same platform into a positive one and ran with it, but it came off as chiding and negative. On two occasions, (the wife thing and when he fell to third in the polls), he cancelled public events and disappeared from media sight. Um, as mayor you have to face up to bad news and controversies, most of which are not of your own making. Turning and running is not an option in a top public service job.

Kudos to all the candidates. Each of them brought something unique to the table. Some very interesting choices.

Danny Mac

After the close race last time, 9300 votes cast with just 350 separating Smith, Gilroy and Bellamy, the same three squared off to a 1,000 vote spread with Gilroy winning by 500.

Good for her. She's smart, has worked as a constit assistant for Kevin Chief so has a pretty good idea of some of the retail political issues that a depressed area of town faces and did a term as school trustee.

Farewell to Harvey. You had a good run on council but timing has caught up with you. "Danny Mac" is not some sleepy suburb with a minimum number of problems, most of which will get looked after by default.

The ward includes some of the poorest census tracts in the country with high crime rates, gang involvement, poverty, housing and infrastructure issues. It needs a vibrant, creative, engaged, activist representative to get the "over and above" things that the ward needs done. Merely voting the right way and tossing in the odd gimmick isn't going to cut it. Honestly, I am still surprised that 3,200 people voted for Smith.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree with you more