Andrea Rondeau column: Election night in the newsroom

We watch like hawks as the election results start to roll in federally

You pretty much have to be a bit of a political junkie to work in news.

After all, more than half of what we report about on a daily basis has some connection to government, federal, provincial or municipal. These are the institutions that govern our society and so to some extent, our lives.

After all, more than half of what we report about on a daily basis has some connection to government, federal, provincial or municipal. These are the institutions that govern our society and so to some extent, our lives.

So election night in the newsroom is always fast-paced and full of adrenaline.

We watch like hawks as the election results start to roll in federally — Newfoundland always first — then locally. Sometimes the federal race is really over by the time our ballots begin to be counted (remember the old days of the news blackout, so that people still casting their ballots in B.C. couldn’t know what had happened in the Maritimes and Ontario and Quebec, so as not to influence voters?) Not so this time. While the Liberal minority was declared soon after our polls closed, there was still a lot to look for in B.C. this time around.

But on the whole things were pretty tame — especially compared to the nail-biter of a provincial election we just endured. We’re not really expecting recounts, and they certainly won’t have a profound effect on government if there are any. (Believe it or not, I’ve experienced when a winner was literally chosen out of a hat once. But that’s another story.)

In Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, the race was declared blessedly early (let me tell you, it sucks to get up the next morning if your results didn’t coalesce until midnight, then you have to write it up at the office and post it online), and nobody dug in their heels and refused to concede. There have been a few of these in Cowichan over the years. We have to wait for these folks, because if we don’t the chance of getting hold of them the next day is well nigh zero. And it’s important to hear from them, even if they did not win, because people in the riding voted for them and deserve to hear what they have to say, especially those who worked hard on their campaigns.

The way it works is that the reporters head out to the campaign events of the candidates, and report back live to me as it happens so we can get it up online. They also post live to Twitter and Facebook as they go. After the winner and concession speeches from the main players, everyone troops back to the office to process photos and video, and write stories.

And we exclaim over and discuss the most unexpected developments of the night and what it will all mean in the days to come.

So if you didn’t follow our coverage this time, think about it for next time.

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