The Candidate: What it is all about.

Part 10 of our series for Canada’s federal candidates.

Do you want the good news or the bad news? The problem is, the news is the same either way. Ready or not, voting starts in two weeks. Advance voting starts on October 9 and you have to be ready for it. All the work of months comes down to a very nerve-wracking few days.

Advance voting is no longer just for those who might be away for the voting on October 19. It is for anybody who wants to vote early. And Elections Canada gives us five days to take advantage of it from October 9 to October 13. You can even vote by snail mail now. (Elections Canada is caught in the past; no e-mails or Internet voting yet!)

What the candidate and his or her team need to realize is that the advance polls give you a good warm-up to the final push on October 19. This is what all those months of work were about. At this stage you had better have many thousands of your voters identified and ready to vote for you. You have to make sure they do and there is nothing wrong with phoning them and suggest they vote early. And that 18-year old first-time voter needs just as much urging and hand-holding as the septuagenarian.

To do this right you need to stand your campaign organization on its head. For the last couple weeks, your office workers have been creating marked lists, the E-day chair has lined up your workers in starting times on each of the election days, located regionally convenient headquarters ordered the lunches for workers and allocated staff to them. Every person who has contributed an hour of their time to the campaign whether on signs or literature drops is assigned a role.

The campaign manager is left with a few key workers to look after E-day problems but everyone else concentrates on making sure of your vote. Everyone contributes their time, gas for their car, cell phone for calls and pitches in. There are no prim donnas on E-day. The candidate is usually given a job as a driver.

At the end of the day, when people gather at victory party central, nobody takes the victory as a given. The sign crew is out taking down the signs and storing them in case there is a next time. The campaign manager is contemplating the dispersal of the detritus of a campaign headquarters. With our first-past-the-post system of voting there is still only one winner. And to the victor goes more hard work.

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Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

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