I love election night — it’s bred to the bone.
When I was still in elementary school I can remember my father running for council of the then Greenock Township. I remember sitting by our family’s rotary phone waiting for calls to come in reporting on poll counts.
The kitchen table had platters of food and the fridge was full of beer. You see, win or lose, there was going to be a party, with friends and family, piano playing and of course, a beer or two.
And later on, in high school, I remember helping out Linda Freiburger at the Family Coalition office in downtown Walkerton.
And throughout the years after that, I’ve volunteered with several campaigns from student council to municipal, provincial, and federal.
Like I said, it’s bred to the bone. From an early age the machine of democracy impressed.
It is, for me at least, the most important part of living in our society; it’s the one time when we stand up and are counted on to collectively decide our path. For better or worse, that’s beautiful.
And so this year when I had the pleasure of hitting the road to travel up to Kincardine to report on the Allan Thompson campaign, I was pretty excited to be on the ground.
The emotion and the tension in the room was just awesome. This was such a close race, and as the numbers came in and it became clear Thompson would not be elected, the spirit of the room sank.
Sure there was much to celebrate on the national stage, but here in Huron-Bruce they had dared to hope the riding could go back to a Liberal candidate.
Not this time. And although it was close, I’m not sure we’ll see a change any time soon.
This is largely, I believe, because there are a good number of voters here who are pro-life and the Liberal party has come out with a strong pro-choice mandate.
The abortion issue wasn’t even on the table this election, and yet it remains so embedded here in Huron-Bruce, it is difficult (if not impossible) for a pro-choice candidate to be elected. Trudeau, for his part, even went so far as to say that he would not have a pro-life candidate in his caucus. It’s that sort of hard-line stance that just won’t fly with the majority out here in the Bruce.
If this election was about Canadian values, then the residents of Huron-Bruce have spoken loud and clear as a riding that is pro-life and against the recent ruling on assisted suicide.
Another key issue in the riding would have to be the continued building of wind turbines. Again, this is a Liberal-supported issue and one many in the riding of Huron-Bruce will not stand for.
And so, it was a steep, uphill battle for Thompson.
That the race was as close as it was speaks largely to the fact Thompson would have made an excellent member of parliament, and given the Liberal majority, many believe Thompson would have found his way into a Trudeau cabinet. That doesn’t happen very often in Huron-Bruce; our representatives are perennial back-benchers.
Congratulations to Ben Lobb on his victory; as Thompson said, he truly deserves the seat because the people of Huron-Bruce have spoken.