Arjun Singh, Fall 2022
Oct 24th 2022
Going into this election, I felt I had a lot of foundational elements for earning the most support to become the Mayor:
- topped the polls in 2018 as councillor
- Served as President of UBCM and serving as FCM director and committee chair
- Most experienced city councillor
- Recognized as a leader in climate action
There were a few issues that were potentially challenging for my candidacy:
- Council relations this term
- Concerns about community safety and the TNRD spending scandal
- My climate action advocacy alienated some
Given the winner of the Mayor election, it really does seem that this election was a difficult one for incumbent councillors. I completely underestimated the community concerns about community safety and disorder and how Reid Hamer-Jackson was able to tap into these concerns.
My message was much more about the community coming together, the importance of partnerships with other orders of government, and defence of our social service agencies.
There was also a “rumour mill” about a perceived conflict of interest I had making money off renting to social agencies and their clients.
I also did made two strategic decisions that might have depressed my vote:
- No more campaign signs made
- Less traditional advertising
I spent quite heavily on facebook advertising and invested a lot of time and resources into doorknocking and note dropping into people’s mailboxes.
I also don’t know if I raised enough money to compete with the other candidates. This will become more clear once the financial disclosures are released. My message design and graphic element was not always as polished as the other campaigns.
I have gained weight the past year or so and have a facial tic that causes my face to squint these days. Perhaps I looked less well than my competitors.
Dec 15th 2022
In the two months since the election, one thing I have heard a lot was that the incumbent council members running for Mayor “split the vote”. I am not a big believer that anyone owns votes. The vote fundamentally belongs to the individual voter. The fact remains the amount of votes the incumbent council members received for Mayor total up to more than the candidates from outside council.