Pity the parties’ foot soldiers
If you’re just another candidate then you’re looking at this impending election with reluctance
“But if you’re not one of this crowd, and if you’re not an acknowledged “star candidate,” either, if you’re just another candidate (how cruel that designation is) then, very probably, you’re looking at this impending election with more reluctance and deeper exasperation than even the long-suffering electorate you will shortly be obliged to solicit.
Backbenchers and under-the-headline candidates are merely wallpaper when the real action starts, dots on the map of the central party’s war room. They can barely get through to party headquarters once the writ is dropped, have less influence on the direction of the campaign than, say, the “communications director” of some second-tier cabinet minister.
They’re given a campaign book, administered the requisite talking points, told to memorize the slogan, and get out and knock on all those doors. It can be, except for the sturdiest sensibilities, a very humbling and humiliating experience. Now a very few candidates, true eccentrics – what the biologists call “sports” – actually enjoy the marathon ordeal of campaigning. These are a set of hyper-extroverts, like the manic Fuller Brush salesmen of days gone by, who live for encounters with other people, regardless of whether the exchange is bitter or friendly, useful or pointless. They just like being out .”
Rex Murphy – The Globe and Mail – September 12, 2009
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