(I was present at the Calgary epicentre of the NDP on election night: what follows are notes from what it was like to be there, and what it seemed to mean. I’m not going into policies and mandates in this post… this about basking in the afterglow.)
Being in the Calgary NDP celebration felt historic; I watched people who’ve been fighting the good fight without hope of victory for decades become increasingly convinced that something was going to happen.
Everything was happening in the Arrata Opera Centre, an old converted church downtown. The main hall, usually used for opera rehearsals, had a projection screen showing results, with a gigantic pipe organ behind. Along with the domed ceiling and the old wood, this was a beautiful place to celebrate.
I saw a women wander away from the crowd watching the results, shaking her head with a hand over her mouth, in shock. She couldn’t believe it. She slowly wandered back, with a tiny smile she was slowly peeling open into something bigger.
I saw another woman who couldn’t help but jump up and down… she’d pause, see the results, and go again, like a pogo-stick version of a whirling dervish, overcome and expressing it physically.
It was an amazing night.