Upset by sore losers in election

| 10/07/2017

Is it not considered to be in poor taste and a breach of tradition for a failed election candidate, who was incumbent, to simply ignore his/her opponent’s victory, refuse to congratulate them, and to just continue on “campaigning” against them as if they did not just win the election? Would tradition not dictate that the person who won now be given an opportunity to show what kind of leadership they will offer before facing opposition from others? I thought our Westminster form of politics, although adversarial, was founded on tradition, customs and respect and that this type of behaviour would be frowned upon anywhere in the Commonwealth. I personally think it’s disrespectful and in very poor taste.

Auntie’s answer: In response to the first and main question you raised, I would say, “Yes.” No matter how contentious and mean-spirited election campaigns are, once the results are announced, it is customary, though obviously not required, that the loser offer a respectful, conciliatory concession speech with the aim of uniting the electorate.

The idea behind this tradition is that candidates, while disagreeing on policy and the direction the country might take, all want to act in the best interests of its citizens, and bringing all parties together is the way to achieve that goal.

Mudslinging and the like, if it occurred during the campaign, should certainly end once the polls have closed and the results of the election announced.

Unfortunately, there is no law on the books that mandates people to behave in a dignified and respectful manner. One might say, in a moment of cynicism, that if such a law existed, the cells of Northward would be overflowing.

Category: Ask Auntie, Election Questions

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