The people have spoken, and I respect their decision. Although, I still believe in what I stand for and whether the majority agrees or not is irrelevant to me.

This has been an absolutely fascinating experience. Back in February of 2007, Jesse Taylor and myself had coffee at a Starbucks in Cadboro Bay discussing my run for Mayor. Now, here we are in November of 2008, 1184 votes later.

I’m extremely proud that this campaign stuck to its principals. During that coffee with Jesse, I expressed my frustration with the current political process. The fact that typically candidates dodge questions, articulate very little vision and try to please everyone. We took on all those established principals of politics and remained transparent, articulated my vision and allowed for open honest debate via the website.

Amazingly enough, with this unconventional campaign we had a tremendous amount of success. I started out with no support, no experience, and no knowledge of municipal politics. By the end of this campaign, I had a base, raised close to $10 000 and now have a thorough understanding of local politics (a lot of which I can attribute to Bob Thompson, thanks Bob). We ran the most dynamic campaign, the most exciting campaign and the most press worthy campaign in the entire province!

Even though we didn’t win, this political campaign model will work. I believe if we had run the same campaign for council, we would have had a great shot at it. I find that fact encouraging and hope to see candidates use an open, transparent model in the future.

That being said, I learned an important lesson about why politicians are politicians (one that my campaign manager, Trevor Stack, was trying to tell me all along). It really is about dodging questions, staying low on the radar on issues but being well known and likeable. The individuals who got the most votes, John Garrison and Jack Mar, were the quietist about the issues! In fact, whether they care to admit to it or not, the three of us had the same stance on a lot of them, I was just a lot louder about it!

I will be leaving this website up for eternity. It’s an remarkable story, one that I want to share with as many people as possible. It is often said fact is stranger than fiction, this is an example of where that is the case. You couldn’t write a script with this many ups and downs. At campaign headquarters, you never knew what the next day was going to bring!

In addition, anyone thinking about running for office can see what it will entail, making this site a useful resource.

I want to congratulate Jack for winning and Chris for running. Jack’s a good man and although we operate differently, he’ll be able to work with this council. Chris and I had our battles during the campaign, but the campaigns over now, and so are the battles. We both wanted the position and I know he worked hard just like I did. Despite all our personal jabs at each other, we got along before the campaign, and we’ll get along after.

We’ve seen a lot of critics come out throughout this campaign on the website. I enjoyed their comments, although I disagreed with them, they did make me think twice about the issues. Specifically David, Johnson, Taylor, Jack (for the first bit) and Lori contributed a lot to the debate. I appreciate you taking the time to be involved. And of course, I want to thank my two main men Robert and Chris, although I appreciate critics to a certain extent, I’m really fond of my supporters! You gentleman stuck up for me through the good times and the bad times, I thank you for that. I want to single out a few other supporters such as Anne Keene over at Genesis. She’s not only backed me on the internet but at her beauty salon! Thanks Anne. There’s also Scott Keenlyside and Andrew Wintraub at Island View, they were right in the trenches prepping me for debates and listening and assited planning my speeches. I appreciated that.

There were plenty of other commenter’s (475 total comments) and supporters, too many to name, but I do appreciate your involvement as well.

There is one group of commenter’s I didn’t welcome, and those were the ones that continually attacked myself and my supporters personally. There’s a reason I left those comments up, because they said a lot more about the commenter’s than they did about me. I also want people to get a glimpse into the raw world of politics. The fact is if you want to be a politician, get used to treatment like that. It’s unfortunate but it comes with the position.

One quote by Theodore Roosevelt, sent to me by a friend, sums up my thoughts on this subject:

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Going forward, I have no plans for running in 2011 and will not continue to post on this website, respond to comments or attend council meetings. Business is my passion, not politics. Also, I am very happy with the new council here in Central Saanich. 4 of the 6 councillors that I supported got in, and I believe they will – along with the other candidates that were elected - do a fantastic job over the next 3 years. I want to point out to my detractors that while they may have won the battle against me, they lost the war, as many of the causes I championed will go through under this Mayor and Council. In the end, this was a battle of idea’s and we won it!

Thank you again to all the individuals that were involved in this campaign right down to the ticket girls at the Gala. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get back to my individualistic pursuits and making profits, as I know I can win at that.

Sincerely,

Sean McNulty
Mayoral Candidate in Central Saanich
2008