Paul's Internet Landfill/ 2014/ Municipal Election Post-Blather

Municipal Election Post-Blather

Again, I am supposed to be doing other things, but given that I have spent the last three hours obsessively refreshing the #wrvotes Twitter feed, a few more wasted hours typing up this blog entry probably won't compound my perdition much. I'll try to keep it short.

Regional Chair

I was wrong. Boy howdy was I wrong. Thank goodness.

Regional Council: Kitchener

I feel sorry for Cameron Dearlove, who campaigned all year and couldn't overcome name recognition.

I was wrong about Wettlaufer winning. Maybe he got a lot of secondary votes after all?

I would like to point out that replacing block voting with STV in elections like this would probably not change the outcome much. (This is not the case for the Regional Councillors representing Waterloo.)

Regional Council: Waterloo

Jane Mitchell won! Jane Mitchell won!

Darcy Casselman wrote a much better explanation of why Jane Mitchell is awesome than I ever have. (I disagree with his assessment that Jay Aissa is a horrible person, however.)

Kitchener and Waterloo Mayors

The only real surprise for me is that Dave MacDonald finished third and not second.

I am somewhat surprised that Dan Glenn-Graham did not do better. I did end up casting my ballot for him, but I am not actively unhappy that Vrbanovic won (yet).

Kitchener Ward 9 and Ward 10

Neither of these races was a surprise, but I was pleased to see that my preferred candidates came in second in both races.

School Trustee

I was surprised to see that David Kuhn finished 9th out of 11 candidates. Even Fiona McAlister did better.

I was kind of sad to see Anthony Piscitelli lose his seat.

I really regret not recording the School Trustee debates that the Community Cord held.

The LRT Referendum

I guess this means that the LRT is going through. Dave MacDonald lost and Jay Aissa lost and Andrew Telegdi lost. Cambridge will still be angry, and Wayne Wettlaufer will stir things up, but I feel pretty confident in saying that there will not be a referendum on the LRT now.

My main concern is that the LRT has been a divisive issue, and that LRT supporters (including to some extent the Region) have demonstrated a lot of arrogance in selling their vision for the future. I really hope that Regional Council takes this election as a stamp of blind approval and uses it as an excuse to ignore people's concerns.

What This Means

I think there was a huge incumbent advantage in this election. On the positive side, this seems to have helped Seiling and Mitchell. But it helped Redman and Wettlaufer as well. That's both good and bad.

Voter turnout was pathetic. Voter turnout in Cambridge was slightly lower than in Kitchener or Waterloo, which is some evidence that online voting is not a magic bullet.

Jay Aissa's defeat might mean that voters rejected his big money campaign. Honestly I don't know why he did not do better. He ran a fairly polished, very well-funded campaign. Maybe people got sick of being robocalled by his campaign team. Maybe they saw through his talking points. Maybe they saw the lawsuit threats and disapproved of them. Maybe they did not show up at the ballot box.

I really hope that future candidates interpret Aissa's defeat as evidence that expensive, negative ad campaigns don't work. I don't want municipal politics to get as ugly as provincial or federal politics.

Certainly Aissa did a good job of getting Ken Seiling's name out, because Aissa's campaign materials mentioned him by name again and again. Maybe that helped Seiling get some votes?

I feel that there was a huge amount of ignorance about the election. People didn't know that regional council existed, for example. I put in a lot of work trying to educate people about the election, and it was largely for nought.

On the other hand, the number of people who actually voted was pathetically low. So maybe if I helped educate a few dozen people it was worth it.

People were talking about how we should take advantage of advanced polling "to avoid lineups". There were no lineups when I was voting. In fact, the polling station was nearly empty.

I hope that some of the candidates who started blogs and participated on social media during this campaign will continue doing so.

The next four years won't be easy. The Ontario Municipal Board lawsuit is going to be huge. The region is undergoing a lot of change, which is going to lead to disruption. There could be lot of conflict between the suburbs (especially Cambridge) and the downtown cores. But things could have been worse.

I am sad and upset about several other things today, but I am relieved at the results of this election. It was an unfair election, and the turnout was kind of awful, and the reasons things turned out in my favour are very likely suboptimal, but I am relieved nonetheless.