On the campaign trail with NDP candidate with Andrew Drummond

By Jason Octavo

May 24th, 2022



The purpose of an election is to get more votes than anyone else and be able to form a government and serve the needs of the public that elected you.

That is what every politician will say and get in that line about it being an honour to serve the public.

Elections are something more than that. Most of the people running for public office love meeting people at their doorsteps, and listening.

NDP candidate Andrew Drummond

NDP candidate, Andrew Drummond and his team were working the streets of the Mount Forest part of the city hoping to meet people face to face and have conversations trying to convince them to vote for him.

The NDP is doing much better this time around. Last election, they had 216 signs around the neighborhood. This time, they have 366 signs.

The candidate never knows who will answer the door and what they will say. They may use the occasion to take a strip off the hide of the candidate or assure them that their vote is solid.

On the doorstep – soliciting a vote.

Drummond and his team have been going door to door for about two and a half hours every day since March.

For those who answered the doorbell, Drummond was ready with the NDP policy and how their leader Andrea Horwath was going to change the way government works and how voters will benefit.

If their is no answer to the door knock – a flyer would be left in the mailbox.

One house that was approached had a sign at the front of their door saying that a registered nurse lives here and that anyone from the PC party should stay away.

One person Andrew spoke to was a single mother of two children. She worries about housing and child care. She also thinks that candidates tend to break their promises and that people are struggling.

Another person was 72 years old and retired. He said that not too long ago, he had his rent doubled. Despite his age, he has been raising his kids for 30 years. He doesn’t believe that Doug Ford will live up to his promise of lowering gas prices if he gets re-elected as Premier.

Drummond knows where his support is. He has grown that support in the years he has been a candidate; the belief this time is that he has the numbers to get a majority in Burlington.

The last person Drummond spoke to on the time I was tagging along told him that he and his team “are doing much better.”

A campaign gives a candidate a small peek into the lives of the people they want to represent – it tells them as well if they are talking to the needs of those people.

The data – this what had been done up to the 20th of May

Campaign offices are filled with charts and data that show where the strength is and what the vote potential is – the task next week will be to get that vote out on election day.

Campaigns are hard work. Everyone loses some weight; everyone is committed – the enthusiasm is high.  It all comes to a couple of hours on the evening of Thursday June 2nd.

The tradition used to be that everyone gathered at the campaign office – workers and supporters – to watch the ballot counts come in.

The anticipation – the disappointment and the fear that it might not go their way is part of the evening.

Some contests get stretched out until the early hours – sometime everything is put on hold while the Returning Officer (the person who oversees the vote count that comes in from each polling station and deals with the problems) – there are always problems.

Jasmine Attfield, the Drummond campaign manager has decided that the candidate will not be at the office until the results are known.

Losing hurts – there is only one winner and in the game of politics – to the winner go the spoils.

The practice in Canadian politics is for the losers to drive over to the office of the winning candidate – congratulate them and then go back to your team and make the best of the evening.

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