Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Civic Election is Tomorrow

It's going to suck. Trust me.

If you haven't been paying attention, and pretty much everything suggests that you haven't been, here are the four candidates running for the position of Mayor of Winnipeg:

Sam Katz:
-- Has been Mayor for two years, during which time almost nothing of consequence has been accomplished; is praised for 95 new cops being hired during his time in office, which makes about as much sense as congratulating Gary Bettman for all the awesome rookies that have shown up in the NHL recently.
-- Would, I suspect, have every Manitoban citizen under the age of 35 shot or deported if it would somehow result in more business opportunities for people he knows personally.
-- Sucks and I hate him.
-- Does not get along with any of the other three candidates.

Marianne Cerilli:
-- Was a former longtime major player in the NDP, hates Sam Katz like the plague that he is, and is described as an "eco-feminist"; if I didn't know she was a real person, I would swear she sprung fully formed from my mother's head as her ideal mayoral candidate.
-- Is one-hundred-percent dedicated to stopping the proposed OlyWest hog-processing plant; I have yet to actually run into anybody who cares enough about the OlyWest issue one way or the other to bring it up, but admittedly I have not been running in very politically active circles as of late.
-- Has many valid ideas, which means she's been dismissed by media sources as being a lunatic feminist.
-- Does not get along with any of the other three candidates.

Kaj Hasselriis:
-- Is for all intents and purposes the Lobo to Glen Murray's Wolverine.
-- Seems to genuinely care about keeping young people in Winnipeg, which is another way of saying his campaign is doomed.
-- Has many valid ideas, which means he's been dismissed by media sources as being a single-issue punk kid.
-- Does not get along with any of the other three candidates.

Ron Pollock:
-- Would make an awesome mayor, but for all the wrong reasons.
-- Has been accused by several journalists of making a joke out of this election, as though this election needed his help.
-- Has one or two valid ideas, which means he's been dismissed by media sources as... well, as being Ron Pollock.
-- Does not get along with any of the other three candidates. Or the press. Especially not the press.

Both the Winnipeg Free Press and Winnipeg Sun have thrown their official support behind Katz in this morning's publications, with both papers giving pretty much the same reasoning -- that he sucks, but the other candidates suck more. (No, really. I'm not even kidding; this genuinely is the actual logic used.)

Who am I voting for tomorrow, you might wonder? I'm not; I specifically voted in the advance polls to make sure I wouldn't forget about the election on the actual election day. (In retrospect, this caution may have been unnecessary.) You can probably tell just by reading this who I've voted for, but I will give you a hint: not Katz. I can't think of a single valid reason to vote for Sam Katz, which seems to mean that he's going to win and young people are going to flee the city in droves. (More so than presently, I mean.)

It has been written frequently and in many places that few if any Winnipeg voters feel that their votes matter in this election, or that their votes matter in any civic election at all. Much has been made of the incumbency effect, which allegedly allows mayors and councillors to cruise through election after election secure in the knowledge that nobody ever gets voted out of office in Winnipeg. I read all of this with vague interest, figuring that much was likely being made ado of nothing.

Then I got curious, and I checked.

Who was the last incumbent Mayor of Winnipeg to actually be voted out of office in a civic election, and when? Take a guess.



Okay, well, you were completely wrong. The last incumbent mayor to be defeated in an election was George Sharpe, who lost to Stephen Juba in -- wait for it -- 1956.

Yes. 1956. The last time Winnipeg voted out an incumbent mayor, Elvis Presley was cracking the music charts with his first hit and Cuba was a capitalist country.

So the Winnipeg civic election is tomorrow, and it's going to suck. Maybe things will get better in 2010. Shit, maybe I'll be running in 2010, if I'm still around after four more years of Sam Katz.

Then it's settled! I need a drink.

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

This is probably the best summary of the race that I've read anywhere.

Four more years. Ugh!