Imagine this: You’re running for a seat in the provincial legislature. It’s a beautiful evening, so you and your campaign team go out door-knocking.
But, door after door, you can hear the sounds of televisions in the background. Some people don’t answer the doorbell at all. Then, comes a roar from the neighbourhood as the Oilers score.
And you wonder if you should be out doorknocking at all on an Oilers game night.
We know that we’re going to have Oilers playoff hockey for at least another week. But, if the team goes deep into the playoffs, you have to wonder — will it distract from the provincial election campaign? Let’s face it — the Oilers dominate the news cycle come playoff time, but are they too much of a distraction as we head towards a late May election?
“I can say that no one likes door-knocking during playoff games,” says Edmonton-City Centre MLA David Shepherd, who is looking to hold the seat for the NDP. “Lots of people won’t answer the door, and those who do are generally distracted and not interested in talking. I think most politicians will avoid it if they can by going out before the game starts. Outside of an election, I’d absolutely avoid it.”
But that’s the issue — we are in an election campaign, so there is no avoiding the clash between politics and playoffs.
“With things being so tight going into this election, I don’t know that anyone running can afford to lose any time at the doors. My guess is that knocking and phoning will continue right through May. I imagine it (when the Oilers play) will be a consideration for holding larger events, like rallies.”