With everything that’s going on around, with COVID, with vaccine delivery problems, with job losses and pain all over the place, it’s easy to get lost in the bad. It’s an overwhelming time for many of us, as we all try to keep our heads above water and get through this time. It’s also hard to focus on some of what might be normal, even though it’s not very normal given the times. A prime example comes to us from Newfoundland & Labrador, which is currently in a provincial election.
Yes, another COVID election in Canada, although his one is a bit different, mostly because of a unique law in the provinces that mandates when a new Premier is elected by his or her party, they must hold a general election within a year. When the Liberals elected Andrew Furey as their new leader in August, that started the clock for a mandatory election. That makes this a different situation than another minority government forcing an election simply because. This is probably why there hasn’t been a lot of anger about the fact of their being an election at all. So what’s the state of play in the race there? Well here is what some recent polling told us:
Yikes folks, yikes! Those are landslide numbers and seems like a runaway. It looks like Furey and his Liberals are clearly on their way to a majority, in line with what we’ve seen happen with other incumbent parties that have gone to the polls since COVID. That being said the campaign isn’t done yet and who knows what might happen before it’s all said and done. But that’s not what pushed me to write this piece today. No, what pushed me to run to the keyboard to tap out some words was a campaign video that was released yesterday by one of the party leaders that I have to say made me smile on these hard days, and was a brilliant piece of campaign work:
Newfoundland & Labrador Progressive Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie is getting smoked in the polls and the son of the legendary John Crosbie looks like he’s going to lose his second campaign as leader. He’s known for his personality, and like his late father, not always in the best of ways. He’s straightforward, for better or worse. But like his father, while he has the ability to step in it, he also has the ability to use humour to good effect. And that is what that campaign ad does, brilliantly.
All politicos know that look that Crosbie’s daughter had on her face through out the video. I instantly thought of my own daughter, who at 8 already has that look nailed. It was a cute way to poke fun at himself, while at the same time showing his dedication to his beliefs, if you agree with them or not. The tag line at the end was the perfect coup de grace to put a bow on this: “Please elect my dad…. Please”. The fun in the ad is that the request is almost asking the public to help her family by getting her dad out of the house, or at least to keep him busy. It’s was a cute tongue-in-cheek ad that I have to admit felt like campaign gold. And probably best of all, in these hard days, it brought a smile to my face, one that I seriously needed.
What’s also interesting about this to me is the fact that this came from a Conservative leader. Typically we don’t see these kinds of cute, self-deprecating ads coming from the right in our country. So to see Crosbie step out onto that ledge, while making the best use of his personality traits, was refreshing. It showed a different side of this leader that, while it might not change the course of this election, it could prove to be a decent example for others in the future. It may be too late in the game for an ad like this to pay off in seats and government, and one ad by itself doesn’t usually bring about that kind of result. But ads like those can have the ability to put a politician in a different light and cause people to rethink what they think about that particular person.
That can pay off in the long term because it’s things like those that stick in the mind long term and can improve a politicians standing. It’s doing the one thing I’ve always believed in and taught when working with candidates; it’s best to work with your own traits and using them in all ways that you can, rather than trying to be something you’re not. If anything, that ad was authentic, and authenticity connects with people. That ad is a great example of what to do during a campaign and while it might not move the dial too much in that race, it was a fun example of good politics that I’m happy to see.