What Does it Take?

by David Biltek

To paraphrase Woody Allen:

90% of electoral success is showing up…. it is amazing how many people submit nomination papers but simply do not show up.

92% of success is showing up on time…many people run, show up…but do so late, thinking they are well known or that they are the logical choice, or are deluded by their “record”

94% of success is showing up on time with a plan…again many people who run simply do not approach it with a plan, a strategy, or an understanding of the             process, thinking a few signs will work, show up at a forum, talk to a few friends. Today more, much more is required.

96% of success is showing up on time, with a plan and a commitment to get it done…a commitment of time, energy, some personal sacrifice

97% of success is showing up on time with a plan, a commitment and PEOPLE to help you…this cannot be done on your own, electoral politics is a team sport. You need some people to help you put up signs, maybe make them,you need people to help you knock on doors,or host coffee parties or introduce you to friends and recommend you, you need people to work social media, stuff envelopes, make calls, and …Raise MONEY

99% of success is all of the above plus MONEY…you need some money either self funded or raised  from supporters…how much?…in this election some candidates for Council will be spending $7000, some will spend less and at least one will be spending in excess of $10,000.

and for Mayor…let me set the stage:  In Edmonton Karen Lebovici, candidate for Mayor has budgeted $1.2 million, and Don Ivison $800,000, here in Grande Prairie  this would mean $60 to $70,000. Will Blackmore and Given spend this much? They will both come close.

There are some very talented people running for City Council, however many of them will NOT be elected simply because they were not prepared to do the work required, to knock on thousands of doors, to meet people, to listen, to advance policy positions on social media, mail and email .Elections are not just about signs, and not just about being well known. Gladys Blackmore insists  she won her first Council race because she knocked on thousands of doors and listened to people. and she is doing the same thing this time in her run for Mayor.

People who are  running for the first time in particular need to work much harder than incumbents who start with an advantage. and a warning to some incumbents: some of the challengers are WELL ORGANIZED, WELL FINANCED and will be making an impact….if you think you can rest on your ample laurels and your presumed name recognition…you should think again.

NEWS: Jackie Clayton announced her candidacy  for Council on Tuesday morning. She was cheered on by a good sized group which included six past Chairs of the Chamber of Commerce. (Jackie is herself a past Chair of the Chamber) If she can have those people work as hard on her campaign as they have worked for the Chamber and this community, she will do very well.

and the other 1%….luck.

What do you think? Have you met any candidates?