I probably don’t know you. But that doesn’t really matter.
What probably matters to you most right now is that you stood for election yesterday, and were unsuccessful. Well, let’s not beat-around-the-bush: you lost.
Perhaps you knew that you never had any chance of success, or saw it very much as a long-shot. Or maybe you had realistic chances at one stage, only to feel it slipping away in the last few days of the campaign. Or, perhaps worst of all, you really thought you were going to do it until well into election night itself.
Whatever, the outcome was the same. The simple binary logic of electoral victory and defeat has little regard for how hard you campaigned; or the extent of the sacrifices – both financial and to your personal life – that you probably incurred over many months.
But I don’t think that electoral defeat is what matters most. What I think matters most is that you stood up for what you believe in. Right now that’s not something that our society seems to accord much respect: whatever party you are in, the chances are that you’ve had your fair share – or even more than your fair share – of abuse directed at you over the past weeks and months. Plenty of people will have assumed that you were in it for the money; only you, and your close friends and family, will probably realise just how laughable that is.
But without you, and lots of other people like you, our democratic process could not function.
You stood up for, and campaigned for, what you believe in.
And, for that, I salute you. And I thank you.