Torontoist Environment Editor Chris Tindal is currently engaged in a federal by-election campaign. This weekly column is an attempt to offer a behind the scenes glimpse into what it’s like to be that mysterious Other: a politician.
This is my last Campaign Confidential before E-day, yet I’m hesitant to pen any “final thoughts” knowing how much can happen in the final week of a campaign. It’s been a bit of a strange campaign. On the one hand, we feel really great about how things have been going from our perspective. On the other hand, the campaign has received almost no attention from the media, who have preferred to file stories about the fact that no one’s covering the election instead of, well, actually covering the election. Bob Rae’s presence, which we initially thought would be a media draw, has turned into the opposite. Most journalists seem to be so convinced that he’ll win easily (a prediction Bob has been wise not to take for granted) that they don’t think there’s anything interesting worth covering.
I’ll be back once again on March 18th for an ill-considered and hasty debrief. Until then, I leave you with some final thoughts, with apologies to Harper’s Magazine.
Number of the above who answered their doors: 0
Number of times I’ve fallen flat on my ass: 3
Number of times I’ve sworn in writing or on video, including the above: 2
Length of the longest general election campaign in Canadian history in days: 74
Length of this by-election campaign in days: 87
Maximum amount of money each Toronto Centre campaign is allowed to spend: 88,691.72
Ratio of candidates to debates: 6:7
Number of times I’ve hugged or been hugged by Bob Rae, El-Farouk Khaki, and Don Mededith, respectively: 1, 5, 0
Ratio of news stories regarding my hair to news stories regarding my platform: 1:0
Number of phone calls we’ve made: 3330
Number of doors we’ve knocked on (approximate): 17,000
Odds that a resident of Toronto Centre has received at least one piece of literature from us, either in the mail or at their door (approximate): 98 in 100
Percentage of recycled paper in said brochures and postcards, and percentage of renewable energy used to print them: 100%
Number of times the Green, NDP, and Conservative campaigns have agreed on something: 1