I lost the election.
I really, really, lost it.
It wasn't just a regular, or admirable loss. Ricky Bobby teaches us that if you're not first, you're last. That's at least comforting, because that means that plenty of others are joining me down at nearly last place.
I placed fifth of six candidates, accumulating a whopping 567 votes, putting me at 3.4% of the votes in the ward.
Many people have reached out and have said positive things like:
- This is just the first step - you'll win next time!
- You ran a great campaign and really made an impression on voters!
- You did great, Troy!
And I appreciate those comments, absolutely. They're encouraging. But existing in a sycophantic echo-chamber is what led to the gut-wrenching shock when reading the results last night. I think it's valuable to take a step back, look at what happened here, and be honest with ourselves.
I was a fringe candidate, yelling about things that the electorate disagreed with. And they didn't vote for me.
I might have made some good points, but not good enough for people to vote for me.
I might have been speaking to issues that we need to hear about more, but people didn't want to hear it enough to vote for me.
I got 117 less votes than Chris Christianson, the 4th place candidate in my ward.
He doesn't even have a website.
I may have been campaigning hard for eight months, I may have taken three months off work to campaign full-time and knock as many doors as possible. But the amount of votes I received are still just a rounding error on the ballot counting machines.
One of my favourite go to lines when knocking was "if you campaign on the issues, no matter what happens you can't lose, because they get brought forward". I was, in fact, wrong. I did lose. I presented myself as the best - arguably only - advocate for Vision Zero in the ward. I fear that when I failed to get an even moderately commendable amount of votes I may have harmed the cause by showing that there is not a mandate to pursue those important issues.
I probably would have been a more effective advocate outside of the election than running in it.
I suspect it will take me quite a while to fully digest the sour grapes I've got in my stomach. But for now, I'm fine.
There are plenty of people who have embarrassing photographs of themselves in high school rocking some frosted tips that they'd be happy to forget. Perhaps my showing in this election is like that.
For now, I suppose the best thing I can do is simply own it.
My name is Troy Pavlek, and I was an unelectable fringe candidate in the 2017 municipal election.