By G.D. Maxwell
The GLC was awash in a mood of jubilant doom as Mickey’s hands pointed to eight o’clock Saturday night. The earlier arrivers – supporters, volunteers, gophers and a good cross-section of the braintrust – were pensive, like children counting down to Christmas, uncertain whether they’d be thrilled or disappointed when the Great Unveiling finally rolled around in another hour or so.
Candidate Kenny, who may actually sleep with his eyes open, levitated around the room, gorging himself and everyone within the sphere of his personal space on nervous energy that radiated from his fingertips and glistening scalp like blue tendrils of electricity.
Candidate Nancy was hammering back something vaguely vodka-tonic looking and would have been well on her way to table dancing tipsy but for the fact no liquid actually seemed to drain from her glass or pass her lips, each raise of the glass merely a formality nonsmokers perform to keep their hands busy when they’re about to bust out of their skin.
Candidate Zeidler, resplendent in his Ironic Protest outfit of post-consumer recycled sport coat and trousers I seem to remember J.J. donating to the Re-Use-It Centre and a tie last seen blindfolding an ex-Moonie undergoing reprogramming, was holding forth on the macroeconomic implications of resizing the world’s parking spaces to fit only Smart Cars, Segways and motorized wheelchairs, his graphic babble disguising the fact he’d swallowed his tongue an hour earlier in anxious anticipation.
Then the polls closed and everyone amped it up a notch.
By the end of the 21 st hour of the 19 th day of the 11 th month, jubilation had vanquished doom and the GLC was awash in champagne and good cheer. Well-wishers, party animals, the victorious, the curious, a few of the defeated and a clutch of more-confused-than-ever tourists danced naked – emotionally – and talked of turning great dreams into uncompromised realities.
In Whistler, home of dreamers and bums, the dog had once again caught the car it was chasing.
What to do with it now?
There’s been a lot said, a lot written and quite a bit whispered and rumoured over the course of this election campaign about what needs to be done to boost Whistler’s fortunes and steer it into the future. Some of it was good; a lot of it was patently fatuous. Local government is, after all, just local government, not some sleight-of-hand, Wizard of Oz magic show.
The first thing the new-old broom has to do is sweep local government clean of the blues and doom cloud dogging the last administration. Let’s remember, if you’re not having any fun, neither will our guests: the tourists, Weekend Warriors, fresh-faced suckers and all the other supporting cast that give this playground vitality and a purpose for even existing. Yeah, there’s serious work to do but if you don’t do it with a lighthearted touch you’ll be missing the whole point.