After over a year of concerted work and commitment to this recent federal campaign, I am personally very glad that it is over. I can finally get back to some sense of normalcy in my life. The same could probably be said for Gwen O’Mahony; as she has worked long and hard for over a year in running as your candidate. This has meant much sacrifice for her, in her regular job, in her personal finances and on her two girls who have rarely seen her for the past six weeks.
Most people have no concept at all of the sacrifices that many NDP candidates make to be your candidate. While most Conservative and Liberal candidates are supported by wealthy individuals who make sure that their campaigns can hire professional people, the NDP generally must make due with volunteers and many small donations.
A case in point is this recent campaign in Chilliwack/Fraser canyon. While Gwen had spent a year knocking on over 11,000 doors, her successful Conservative candidate undoubtedly did none of that. While Gwen was the only candidate to attend all nine public events and candidate meetings, her Conservative opponent skipped out on six. It seems that his last name recognition meant more to many people than his lack of experience, his unwillingness to attend all-candidate meetings or his almost complete lack of door-knocking to prove his worth.
His disregard for that honoured “demographic tradition” of responding directing to the constituents meant little in the long run as he more than doubled Gwen’s support.
It is traditional for political pundits to say that “the electorate is always right”. Well, I don’t agree with that statement at all. Even though I am not speaking for either Gwen or for the NDP, but only as an individual, I firmly believe that the electorate this time has made a huge mistake. I understand that, nationally, many people have bought into the Conservative propaganda of “it’s the economy” and “beware of the NDP bogeyman”; the simple facts remain that in B.C. at least, many people have failed to make a detailed analysis of party policies and have failed miserably to make Harper accountable for all of the unethical things that he has done over the past five years.
We are now faced with a majority government that can bring forth radical policies that will hurt most Canadians in the long run. I rarely make predictions; but, I will predict that, within three years, many people who voted Conservative will be crying in their beer (or wine) and wondering how they got into such a mess. Well, “the people get the government that they deserve” and you have no one to blame but yourself.
Mark my words.
Campaign Manager for Gwen O’Mahony