What I Learned from the November 25th By-Elections

The rush of discussion regarding the November 25th, 2013 federal by-elections is almost over. The media is going back to whatever story is bleeding the most. However, I want to list some of the things I have learned or been reminded of while participating in the by-election. If you have the time, add a comment letting me know if there is any insight to this list or if I am just completely off the path.

In no particular order:

  • Justin Trudeau and his team are doing some impressive work in reminding voters that the two main parties in federal politics are the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party.
  • Justin Trudeau has more energy than any Energizer bunny or any two 30 years old men.
  • There is nothing that will bring out a high percentage of voters to vote in a by-election.
  • Even budget, corruption and Senate scandals will not compel voters to vote in a by-election. Those items might, however, hold back government supporters from casting a ballot.
  • Chrystia Freeland is a delightful woman who could easily be confused with an Energizer bunny.
  • The Orange Wave was generated by Jack Layton. Layton was a charismatic politician who could work a room and a media opportunity like few others. This talent now resides with JT, though younger and with much better hair.
  • Good use of voter management technology is essential before the campaign, during the campaign and after the campaign.
  • Even with great operators, better data is needed.
  • Thomas Mulcair may be wondering if winning the leadership was a real prize.
  • Positive ads can work if they are quality ads.
  • Negative ads can work even if they are of lesser quality.
  • Youth will actually come out to work during an election cycle. It would be nice to be able to find out where they hide between elections.
  • Passionate support of a candidate is essential and effective.
  • Passionate support of a candidate, tempered by an effective campaign and marketing team is even better.
  • Jack Astor’s at Yonge and Dundas has a smoking area on their patio. Some very interesting people gather there.
  • Passionate commitment makes everyone look more attractive.
  • The results of a by-election may show progress and trends. They do not define expectations for the next election.
  • One slice of pizza before canvassing is fine. Two is iffy. Three is a bad idea. An even worse idea if combined with a large drink.
  • The stories one can collect during canvassing cannot be made up. There actually are people who answer the door in their underwear. Or less.
  • It is unfortunate but the next campaign started at 9:31 pm on November 25, 2013.
  • It is crass but true. Your best volunteers are usually those who contribute what donations they can. “Put your money where your mouth is” can be considered a cliche. Or an axiom.
  • Email can be effective.  A request from a friend or a peer is infinitely more effective.

Do you have more you want to add? Feel free to do so.

See you on the hustings.