Campaign notes between preparations

I’m spending the day preparing for tonight’s YEP debate on the Portlands Energy Centre, which I’ve now been asked to participate in, even though I’m not an energy professional and I’m certainly not young.

Tomorrow, I’ll be participating in Ontario’s Climate Change and Clean Air Plan consultations on energy, which I’ve yet to prepare for either.

But in between all this preparation, when I take a break, I’d like to blog about Elizabeth’s campaign, which we can all learn from.  All our candidates can’t be former Executive Directors of the Sierra Club, and they can’t all have Elizabeth’s unique blend of knowledge and experience.  But there are still a lot of things to be learned about what made Elizabeth’s campaign so effective.

Elizabeth radiates good feelings and positive messaging.  She’s not above criticizing the policies of her opponents, but she tries not to make it personal.  The focus on facts is important.  It’s awfully tempting to complain about unfair hurdles and obstacles, but people don’t rally around a whiner. It’s easier to run a positive campaign when you surround yourself with supporters and are not shy about throwing your arms around them.  When Elizabeth gets criticized, a sympathetic ear is always within reach, so by the time she responds to any negativity, it’s with a smile and the confidence of a person above bickering.  She welcomes any and all help, and recognizes the contributions of those around her.  A lot of her political speeches sound like extended thank-you’s to all her supporters.

Her volunteers feel needed and supported, so the goodwill spreads.  Being in London, I felt coccooned in the camaraderie.  In the morning, I could get up early or late, slowly or quickly, knowing that either way somebody would make sure I got to where I needed to go.  I could stay indefinitely at the office at night, confident that I would never be stranded.  We all looked out for each other.

We had a bit of that kind of spirit in Toronto-Danforth during the last election.  We should aim to expand on that this time around.

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