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From the inside of a flash mob

Every hour or so, a large group of supporters for one candidate or another appears to spontaneously explode in the main lobby area of the convention. The best term for these I have heard so far is "flash mob".

The first one I saw was one for Martha Hall Findlay which came upon a forming Dion one Wednesday morning. As Martha approached, the Dion chant changed from "Dion! Dion!" to "Martha! Dion!".

Bob Rae's chant is "We want Bob" which, from a distance, sounds distinctly like "We want pot! We want pot!"

Michael Ignatieff's name appears to be the hardest to come up with a good chant for. "Michael! Michael! Michael!" gets old pretty quickly, so the campaign has adapted a soccer chant "ole ole ole! mich-eal! mich-eal!" which is quite sustainable and very distinct.

Today at 13:00 we gathered for a Dion flash mob outside the Timmies on the ground floor. Dion's campaign has a fairly wide variety of slogans going, some of which are better than others.

The best so far is an alternating set of people saying "Stephane!" and "Dion!". Because each person is only shouting half the time, it takes a little longer for the flash mob participants' voices to go hoarse and we can actually breathe, resulting in a sustained chant.

At this particular flash mob, though, the Dion folks came up with something rather novel -- using Ignatieff's soccer chant to sing "Stephane...stephane-stephane-stephane, Dionnnnnnn, Dionnnnnn."

Dion's chants also include "unit!" which, unfortunately, comes across as "U S A" from a distance.

Our flash mob waited for Dion's arrival and took off up the escalator en masse for the main floor, where we covered the main lobby area of the convention before taking off down the hall toward the far end, chanting there for a while, returning to the main area, and climbing another escalator toward a top floor campaign room.

Right now, as I write this, the first Kennedy flash mob that I've seen is working through the convention shouting what, for the life of me, sounds like "Stephen Harper!" though I am told that it is actually "GK all the way" and "Kennedy maintenant". In print it sounds easy enough to tell apart, but you ought to try it from here!

Posted at 12:50 on December 01, 2006

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