Monday, September 21, 2015

McCreath out of CBC debate, nomination struggles, La Presse to visit NL!

September 22, 2015 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

McCreath out of CBC debate, nomination struggles, La Presse to visit NL!

Prospective Strength in Democracy candidate for the riding of Avalon, NL, Jennifer McCreath, has announced that she will pull out of this Thursday's CBC Radio all-candidates debate. Jennifer also announced that her campaign and candidacy has hit a snag, but that she has a special day planned Sunday, with visitors from Quebec following her around, in hopes of rejuvenating her campaign!

McCreath was initially one of the front-runners, publicly declaring her intent to run back in July. McCreath knew she had a challenging task ahead, as the candidate registration process requires both a $1000 deposit, as well as at least 100 nomination signatures from registered voters in the riding. While this may be a mere formality for political parties and candidates with deep roots of support, and a large war chest of cash, for McCreath, these are atributes that she does not have.

Representing a brand new political party that literally had no prior membership or presence in NL, McCreath set out, literally, on her own, to promote both the party and her potential candidacy, knocking on one door at a time. Initially, McCreath did very well, as she was able to convince 50 strangers to sign her nomination papers within the first few weeks, and had many others express support, even though they did not feel comfortable signing the document.

However, things changed. As August became September, the willingness of the electorate to support McCreath's candidacy jammed on the breaks, and McCreath's campaign began to take serious hits. First of all, her would-be Agent had to resign in order to accept a new employment opportunity. Then, the support at the door started dropping off.

In September thus far, McCreath has only been able to gain 10 more signatures. She also had to cross a few names off the list, as one nominator got spooked after learning about the "Paul Davis 2015" endorsement scandal, and said that due to their career as a public servant, they no longer felt comfortable having their name on her papers. Then, two other nominators had to be removed because while they initially thought that they lived in the riding, the new updated boundaries put them elsewhere.

McCreath was scheduled to file her nomination papers this week with Elections Canada, but she has postponed the meeting to Monday September 28, the deadline for applications to be filed.

McCreath is perplexed as to why the August tsunami of support, quickly faded into this massive lull. She says she can't be certain as to the reasons, but is hoping that a couple of campaign strategy changes, combined with some upcoming Quebec media attention, will help get her over the hump and onto the ballot.

McCreath is no stranger to nomination troubles as 2 years ago, she couldn't even find 2 people willing to sign her nomination papers for her to run as Deputy Mayor candidate in the St. John's election, until she went public to the media with her challenge. She subsequently not only found 2 signatures, but she went on to capture 5725 votes in a losing effort to Ron Ellsworth.

McCreath found it very strange that her public support in 2013 was almost nil, yet support for her from the privacy of the ballot box, was much higher. She can only speculate on the reasons why, but suspects that whatever those reasons are, they continue to plague her ability to gain public support at this time. Meanwhile, she remains cautiously optimistic that that the potential for private support on voting day, is enough that she can still win this seat, "I saw the recent poll results today, which did not include me, and I took note that 17% stated that they were undecided and 4% were unaccounted for. Combine these undecided votes with the 40% of electorate who traditionally don't vote at all, and there are still lots of votes out there that are up for grabs, and if I can find a way to grab even half of those, then I can still win this 6-way race, if I can get onto the ballot, given that we are using a first-past-the-post system," said McCreath.

On the bright side of things, McCreath will be the focus of a video documentary entitled "A Day in the Life of Jennifer McCreath's Campaign", which will be filmed this Sunday by Quebec media outlet, La Presse, who is taking Strength in Democracy very seriously. They will be flying in two people from Quebec to follow McCreath around for the day. Jennifer will plan a series of publicity events, which she hopes will attract enough people willing to come forward and sign her papers.

Given that as of Thursday, Jennifer will not yet be an officially registered candidate, she feels that it is not fair to CBC, her opponents, or the constituents of Avalon, that she take up time and space at the debate, "Until I become an officially registered Candidate, my campaign and candidacy does not technically or legally exist. With this in mind, it's only fair that I step down and that I focus my attention this week on doing whatever it takes to get enough signatures," said McCreath.

Regardless of what happens, McCreath will hold a press conference Monday Sept 28 in Bay Roberts out front of the Elections Canada district office, tenatively scheduled for 10.30 am.

Meanwhile, McCreath's publicity tour will start on Wednesday at MUN 12 noon, as she will be in attendance for the upcoming Duty to Accommodate protest, being organized by MUNSU. While MUN is not in the riding of Avalon, McCreath recognizes that many students commute to school from parts of the riding.

McCreath's Sunday schedule includes the following events, where she will give a brief statement, take questions, and mingle with attendees. In between events, she will plan to do some random door-knocking, when time allows.

Paradise Town Hall 11 am - 11.20 am

Topsail Beach (literally right on the beach!) 11.40 am - 12 noon

Conception Bay South Town Hall 12.20 pm - 12.40 pm

Holyrood Beach (on the boardwalk) 1.20 pm - 1.40 pm

Brigus Town Hall 2.30 pm - 2.50 pm

Bay Roberts - out front of Elections Canada office 3.30 pm - 3.50 pm

Bay Roberts - Town Hall 4.00 - 4.20 pm

Harbour Grace - on the boardwalk by the S.S. Kyle 4.45 pm - 5.15 pm

Harbour Grace - Out front of the Court House 5.20 pm - 5.40 pm

Carbonear - Town Hall 6.00 pm - 6.20 pm

Questions and Interviews:

Jennifer McCreath
twitter @Jenn_McCreath

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