Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Campaign Highs and Lows

There's a pile of campaign analysis out there in the blogosphere, and I'll have some on the Pakuranga campaign tomorrow once I've finished the number crunching (some very interesting trends emerging already).

In the meantime, the good bits, and not so good bits from an extremely long, tough campaign in Pakuranga:

Lows

- The poll blues. Whatever anyone says, and whatever you know about long-term trends, margins of errror and the time frames involved, candidates still live and die from poll to poll. Given this, one's mental health took on something of a schitzophrenic quality over this camapign.
- Long days and nights away from home.
- Absolute exhaustion in the last couple of weeks. Literally falling asleep in the middle of phone calls is a good sign that you need a bit more rest.
- The odd socially disfunctional jerk who insists on turning any political discussion into a personal slanging match.
- War wounds. Campaign helpers torn to bits by dogs, strange and horrific blood blisters after hoarding expeditions gone wrong...


Highs

- The door-knocking campaign. Almost universally well-received, and worth the effort when we align the areas we intensively canvassed, with our results.
- Campaign Committee meetings. I had what every good campaign needs - a tight, focussed campaign committee that put together and implemented a sound plan. Thanks Angela, Jeff, Patrick, and John.
- This Blog. Proved to be a good campaign tool, and created more local interest than I had envisaged.
- The debates. The first was an out and out butting of heads with Judith Collins, and I was very happy with the outcome. The second was a lower key, quite fun affair that also went well.
- Assisting local residents. Campaigning brings you into contact with local residents who sometimes need a hand dealing with Council/Govt dept etc... I enjoyed the opportunity to help out in these kinds of cases.
- Campaign blitz days. Hitting targetted parts of the electorate with a group of activists. The best day was when we convereged on the Ennis Ave area in late June, and leafletted and doorknocked the place to within an inch of it's life. We got our best vote increase at the local booth.
- The final burst. That final two week burst of campaigning was exhilirating. We knew that the election could go either way, and that everything we did counted. Alot of coffee and Berocca kept me going.
- The people who spontaneously came out of the woodwork to help. Folk like Louise who helped scrutineer on the day, and Christine whose female presence while giving out education policy information outside schools, ensured that I didn't look like a paedophile.
- The night. What an absolute spectacle. I knew we were going to win when we pulled even, and then the next set of electorate graphics showed Labour strongholds Mangere, Manukau East, and Manurewa with 60-70% of votes still to count.

Tomorrow... the local numbers!

5 comments:

spooks said...

Que? Moi?

spooks said...

(Very begrudgingly), congrats.

(grumble, grumble, grumble), but if I were a politician who has to be in opposition, there will never be a better time to be there (grumble, grumble, grumble).

Whaleoil said...

Nice posting Michael.

Your own words I think. Good work.

Bring On The Next One said...

Ouch. Is whaleoil handing out compliments? Yes, ah no, ah yes, ah, having one each way (I think).

stef said...

Congrats. I'm always happy for people to put their balls on the line in the name of democracy.