Behind the scenes
By Chad Ingram
THE 2019 FEDERAL election concluded Monday night, a lukewarm finale to what has been a tiring
and cynical campaign, and one that certainly neither of this country’s two main parties should be
especially proud of.
Locally, incumbent Conservative Jamie Schmale easily reclaimed the seat for Haliburton-Kawartha
Lakes-Brock. HKLB is a Tory stronghold, with only a handful of non-Conservative representatives at the
federal and provincial levels combined in the past century and a half. It makes for pretty anti-climatic
election nights, but congratulations to Schmale nonetheless.
Nationally, the pollsters got one right, with the minority Liberal government most have been predicting
for the past couple of weeks coming to fruition. There are different schools of thought on minority
governments, one being that they yield more democratic outcomes since they command consensus
decision-making, another that they allow little work to get done since one party cannot move forward on
an agenda. Time will tell how long this particular minority government lasts, with many pundits
anticipating that Canadians will be going back to the polls within a couple of years’ time.
Perhaps one of the biggest stories nationally was that longtime Liberal stalwart Ralph Goodale was
defeated in his Saskatchewan riding. Goodale’s concession speech was essentially a giant thank you to the
many campaign volunteers and staff members who have helped make his career over the years.
Similarly, Schmale’s victory speech to supporters at The Cat & the Fiddle pub in Lindsay was a thank
you to his staff and volunteers, whom he credited for their tireless work throughout the 40-day campaign.
We often see MPs as individuals, we know their names and faces, but behind each of them is a whole
network of people making things tick. Especially during election campaigns themselves, these are often
grassroots volunteers knocking on doors, handing out pamphlets, putting up signage, making phone calls
– all the various, gruelling tasks of campaigning. These people donate their time out of a deep belief in a
party’s philosophy, and/or belief in the ability of the candidate to bring about good for the sake of the
riding. Their names and faces do not appear on signs, but they are hugely important to the political
process in this country, helping to determine the outcome of any given election in any given riding.
Thank you to all of the candidates who put their names forward to represent Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-
Brock in this election, and to the people who helped them with their campaigns.