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Canada

Election day rituals, traditions vary among candidates

William Lyon Mackenzie King liked to visit spiritual mediums.

Barack Obama would shoot hoops.

William McKinley always wore a red carnation.

Superstitions, traditions and rituals — especially on election day — are as pervasive among politics as the hockey playoff beard, or boxers abstaining from sex before the big bout.

Since winning his first election 28 years ago as rookie NDP MPP, Ward 7 incumbent Giorgio Mammoliti says he spends every last possible minute on election day knocking on doors in his riding — but not before stopping by his church to offer up a pre-ballot prayer.

“The last moments before the vote I’ll be with my family and all of my solid core volunteers,” he said, his campaign headquarters his election night venue of choice.

Giorgio Mammoliti (Dave Abel/Toronto Sun)

“I will only have my immediate family answer the phones when the calls start coming in — my brothers, sister and my children are the only ones to pick up lines after 8 p.m.”

For Ward 2 incumbent Stephen Holyday, his traditions come from a childhood of experiencing election night with his father — former Etobicoke mayor, Toronto city councillor and Progressive Conservative MPP Doug Holyday.

“I think the family tradition has carried through,” he said.

“An election is an enormous amount of work for the candidate, but the family as well.”

Stephen Holyday. (Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun)

After months of work culminating in a tense wait for results, Holyday said it’s disconcerting — for the first time in the campaign — to relinquish control and just wait it out at home surrounded by his family.

“All those times I had sat and experienced that, it was an incredible moment of peace,” he said.

“Even though everyone’s nervous, it is truly family time together.”

bpassifiume@postmedia.com
On Twitter: @bryanpassifiume

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