As mentioned on Monday’s post – it was municipal election day in Ontario on Monday. Back when the campaign season was just starting, I signed up to volunteer with Jim Watson’s team. Unfortunately, I was only able to get to the first initial rally and not much else due to marathon training mostly, but it was also hard to get out on evenings when most of the canvassing was happening. But on election day, I happened to have lots of free time to help out.
On election day, Jim Watson’s team was spread out through the city – with several different headquarters. I laughed at another candidates tweet that Jim’s headquarters looked “quiet” – because most of us were out?? The objective of Monday was to remind people to vote because municipal elections tend to have low voter turnout. Unfortunately only 40% of Ottawa voted. In comparison, the 2011 Federal election had a 61% turnout (still too low). I had a long lunch on Monday, so I started out with two other members dropping off voting reminders at homes close to my work.
After about an hour, I had to return to work for a bit, but I did return to pick up another package of flyers. I ended up choosing my own polling station area and had a former student from my school help out. Since the Orleans HQ was 5 minutes away from Max’s daycare, we picked up Max too – so that I didn’t have to drive all the way back. We dropped off flyers for two straight hours, using my car – and we probably only got half of the area finished. It was harder than I thought! At 6pm, with two hours left to vote – we went back to HQ so the phone reminder volunteers could continue to phone people.
Max reading his pamphlet – and giving me evil eye?!?!
I went home to have some dinner, but then went back out to Jim Watson’s results party. The results party was open to anyone who wanted to come – including kids. There was food on offer (donated by local restaurants), plenty of tea and coffee, and some “adult beverages” if you wanted to purchase a drink. Note: both beers on offer were from local breweries – of course, Clocktower’s Pumpkin Ale was available. Apparently I totally missed the Timbit station 🙁
The results went by really quickly – 25 minutes after the polls closed, Jim Watson was projected as being re-elected. Unlike some other election night parties I saw on the TV – there was no band, no balloon drops – just a whole pile of people supporting Jim Watson. He was watching the results upstairs, but came down just a few minutes after to give his speech.
Afterwards, there was the usual media scrum – but Jim Watson was also trying to greet as many supporters as he could. He was shaking hands, giving hugs and I think, trying to say ‘hi’ to everyone. It was kind of funny watching his campaign people try to keep him on task for interviews – because he kept wanting to stop to talk to people. Eventually, I got to meet him too and take a selfie!
The party was tons of fun – lots of friendly people and I some good conversations with a number of people, despite going to the event alone. I met a number of supporters and recognized a few faces from his team. It was a great evening!