In a chat about his campaign experience, Byers says he was a "neophyte" in a riding contested by a posse of political heavyweights -- Fry, Adrienne Carr for the Greens and Lorne Mayencourt for the Conservatives.In fairness, there's plenty that Byers did well to position himself for the 2008 campaign and beyond - from establishing himself as a big-name candidate initially, to staying public eye throughout the campaign (including by introducing a key policy plank for the New Democrats). And it's certainly for the best that Byers plans to keep up the fight despite a disappointing result this time out.
He cites his own naivete in not recognizing the "logical complexities of running campaigns." He didn't appreciate the importance of a campaign apparatus to identify and then pull the vote, nor did he have time to assemble one. He'll now concentrate on building his party's riding membership and fundraising capability.
But it has to be considered surprising that one of the star New Democrat candidates wasn't aware of the importance of some fundamental parts of any successful campaign. And part of the NDP's effort to keep growing in the future should include ensuring that all of its candidates - whether or not they start with a national profile like Byers - are better aware of what needs to be done both to improve their chances of success and to build the party.