Ah, election day. The day I walk into the SUB for my morning coffee and notice over a dozen cameramen and reporters just milling about in the concourse. Were there more bonfires last night? Another murder in the park? Doesn’t seem likely.
Who’s that grey-haired man with snazzy glasses walking in with an entourage? Why it’s Gordon Campbell, coming to the SUB for his voting photo-op!
I wish I had had my own camera on hand, but I suppose you can watch some footage on any newscast this evening. It was interesting to see the news machine at work.
He brought the full entourage, including the seldom-seen wife, kids and grandkids, with one big burly RCMP officer dressed in black, constantly standing on the periphery.
As he entered a voting booth, he had his back to the reporters. Being hopelessly naive, I expected the cameras at that point to turn away, or stop filming at least temporarily, to respect the fact that voting is supposed to be private. Instead, they stepped it up a notch. The CityTV cameraman was particularly shameless, holding his camera aloft above his head in hopes of getting a better shot. For Christ’s sake, do you want him to just pass around his marked ballot? It’s not like you don’t know who he’s voting for.
Then came the posing with his ballot half in the box. If the photo-op nature of this event was not yet obvious enough to observers, he asked everyone if they had gotten the shot they wanted before actually putting it in the box. Then the scrum moved outside for a brief Q&A.
At this point I was thinking: where’s the AMS? Let me first say that I absolutely don’t have any expectations that it is the AMS execs’ duty to constantly harass Gordon Campbell or other politicians. That should not be one of the primary duties in their job description.
However, the external office did put out a press release in April bitching about how ministers made themselves unavailable, (followed of course by the obligatory NayloRant™). The AMS has told the world that they are quite eager to meet with politicians, and are unhappy that they were not able to. So you might think that having the premier walk into their own god-damned building on election day followed by a gaggle of reporters and cameramen might represent a good chance to ask him some questions! No such luck today, though Blake and Crystal did leave whatever they were doing to catch the very end of the scrum.
I couldn’t actually hear most of the questions and answers since in the interest of informing the public about this absolutely vital story (Premier ♥ voting and democracy!) the media formed an impenetrable wall around him, keeping the actual public away. He pimped out his grandkids, and gave some pretty stock answers to some pretty milquetoast questions. Then it was off to the parking lot by the bookstore to do… whatever else he is doing today.
Edit: Well, there it is. Gordo and his ballot, currently the lead picture on globeandmail.com. You can even make out the out-of-focus AMS logo in the background.