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Don’t underestimate Jennifer Hollett in Toronto-Center

You may recognize/remember Jennifer Hollett from her MuchMusic VJ days. She has done more then that since then, including a stint as a contributor at CBC Newsworld (Connect with Mark Kelley), did some reporting with CBC Radio, and a ton of other stuff. She’s also a social media guru/geek (and I mean that in a good way). I’ve followed her on her Twitter account for awhile now.

Recently (well, recently to me; I remember I asked her on Twitter about it), she declared herself an NDP supporter; she was doing some social media stuff for their party not too long ago (and you’ll forgive me for not remembering what the event was; I’m sure one of my NDP colleagues will fill me in), and she has now declared that she is running for the NDP nomination to run in the upcoming byelection for Toronto-Centre – the riding Bob Rae has represented.

Her opening pitch video, which will be at the end of this blogpost, is very positive, polished and impressive. (what would you expect from a social/digital media expert?). If she wins the NDP nomination (and they’d be nuts not to pick her), she should not be under-estimated in this riding, notwithstanding the recent revitalization in the polls for the Liberals under Justin.

I’m a Liberal member of course, but I’ve always enjoyed Ms. Hollett’s work and liked her enthusiasm (and she’s  done a lot of admirable work in social advocacy, when you read her bio). Whoever wins the Liberal nomination will have to work hard to beat her, assuming she’s the NDP candidate (no others declared at this time, I don’t think). She’s got the advantage on the social media side of things, and I think all this referencing of her in the media as the “former Muchmusic VJ” is not a disadvantage to her- in that it may get younger voters not necessarily always interested in politics attracted to her as a “hip candidate” and one attuned to their concerns.

I’d like a Liberal to win and represent that riding, but I sincerely wish her the best of luck. We need more people like Ms. Hollett involved in politics; so I have to say if we don’t win, I can’t say I’d really mind if she was the winning candidate.. but if she does come up short (be it in the byelection or I suppose even the internal NDP nomination, if someone else steps forward and wins it), I hope she looks to stay involved in the political scene, be it for another seat, or some other way.


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