16 December 2008

Where do old candidates go?

A reader asks:

Are many of the other candidates from 2007 that lost still involved in the party? I am speaking of Kenneth Bascome, Suzanne Holshouser, Keith Young, Austin Warner, Marilyn Steede, Tillman Darrell, Roderick Simons, Gina Spence Farmer, David Dodwell, Ed Bailey, Sarah Burrows, Donald Hassell. I notice that oftentimes the UBP has candidates that run for one election and then disappear. It makes me wonder if perhaps they are discarded afterwards, or perhaps weren't treated as though they were valued.

That's a good question. Many, but not all of our candidates are still actively involved. For example, Charlie Swan had been canvassing and working in the west end, leading up to his selection as a candidate and eventual election as MP last month. Michael Dunkley was appointed as a Senator by the party leader Kim Swan. Others of us ran for and were elected as UBP party officers, at the most recent AGM with over 100 attendees (or were previously party officers). Others still are actively involved in coming to caucus and speaking up, or are behind the scenes with other activities (committees, canvassing with Charlie, etc.). Finally, some have chosen to take a well-earned break and refocus on their professional activities and private lives, especially since there is no financial remuneration for being a candidate as there is for the positions of Senator or MP. Three or four of the candidates listed in the question have been quite actively involved.

Living in election mode is exhausting and takes up all of your mental and physical energy. During that time, many aspects of life are put on the back-burner. And to be frank, there is no such position in the party as 'failed candidate in the last election.' There are 'approved candidates', which would include everyone who stood for election -- these individuals are free to come to caucus and contribute their views & opinions if they wish to spend the time and energy, or not if they so choose.

They are equally free to continue working and canvassing in their constituencies with their branch, or not. Eventually when election time creeps up on us again, each branch will have to 'adopt' an official candidate that will run in that constituency, potentially with a primary election if there are multiple possible UBP candidates.

At the end of the day, it comes down to how much time & energy an individual has to dedicate to the cause!

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