My Guilty Pleasure: Election News Coverage

MLA Elections Sunshine Coast BC 2017

We all have a guilty pleasure. That one thing we enjoy despite the feeling that we may be the only one who does.

Mine is election day coverage.

There is something about the energy of people flocking to the polls to cast their vote. A layer of hope falls upon the city as people gather with anticipation to hear news of their chosen candidate.  The closer the race, the greater the sense of urgency in the voters. And that is the recipe for the best election night news coverage.

And that is the recipe for the best election night news coverage.

My obsession with news coverage started with the second term of George W. Bush in the States. I was working for a local FOX station in Las Vegas and crewed the news coverage that night.

My job was to make sure the results that popped up on the bottom of the television screen match those coming in from the Associated Press. It was supposed to be an automated process but there was a last minute change in the code and each race, from President to the race for county sheriff, had to be entered in by hand.

As the night progressed and different precincts reported, race numbers shifted. My partner for the evening and I would field phone calls from the control room, confirming that the numbers were correct and that they had changed — drastically.

It was high stress. It was high energy. It was amazing being part of history being made. For good or bad, things will have changed by the morning.

And the current elections are no different.

MLA Elections Sunshine Coast BC 2017The British Columbia election race has been a heated run for office between the three main parties: Green, NDP and Liberals.* Many people are seeking to overturn the current party in power (Liberals) and are considering voting “strategically” (NDP over Green) to make sure this happens.

In April, I was the timer for one of the MLA (Members of the Legislative Assembly) debates held in Gibsons. It was my first exposure to the party platforms and the individual differences between the candidates as they talked about the topics important to our area.

Even though I am not able to vote in this election, I feel like it impacts my way of life here on the Coast. I may not be able to cast a ballot — but I’m invested in the results.

Tonight at 8 pm, the polls close and I have my game plan for the evening as if it is the Super Bowl. I have dinner planned, beer in the fridge and a gourmet cupcake waiting in the wings for the big reveal.

With a side of hope.

* While there are multiple parties in Canada, all of them would be considered “left-wing” by American politics and the most conservative would be the Liberal party. The differences aren’t as polarizing as in the States.

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