Well, I have finally recovered from the craziness of Saturday night.
Election night was much easier to cover in Burnaby – with the Burnaby Citizens Association getting all the council and school board spots once again and the results coming in quickly – than it was in, say, New Westminster, where the memory card readers weren’t working and my poor colleagues were running all over town at 10 p.m. getting responses from winners and losers alike.
I covered TEAM Burnaby‘s loss. It’s never fun to talk to angry or disillusioned politicians after a loss but I must say, council candidate Jim Favaro kept things upbeat and positive despite the party’s defeat.
The Burnaby Greens were equally optimistic about the next municipal election (but I am very, very glad we reporters get a three-year break before the next one. Elections are exhausting.)
What I learned from this particular election:
– What politicians think is important is not always what voters think is important. Candidates running against the BCA tried to make the election about the need for healthy opposition in city government, but voters decided they liked the way council and school board had done things for the past three years and rewarded the party with three more.
– Candidates are very friendly in the beginning of the month before the election. They will return phone calls right away, send in press release after press release, and sing your virtues as a fair and unbiased reporter.
– Candidates are not so friendly during the last week of an election campaign. Some may keep up the appearance of civility in the final hours but other slump into bitterness, hysteria or, occasionally, bizarre attempts to get a final bit of the media spotlight (I, for one, will never forget the chicken suits in Vancouver).
– Reporters’ phones will ring off the hook in the last 72 hours before an election. They will not ring the Monday following an election.
Which brings me to the final point of this post – a challenge to all the Burnaby candidates. You kept on task for a month or two, passionately speaking about your concerns for the city and what you’d do to change things.
But I will likely not hear from many of you until the next election.
If you’re truly invested in the future of Burnaby, stay in touch. Bring your concerns to reporters, keep an eye on the city and its doings. Get involved with committees and organizations working to better Burnaby. Don’t fade back into the background – do what you can to fulfill your campaign promises as a member of the community, with or without a council seat.