Finally, we’re in the home stretch. Even I’m starting to experience election fatigue. After an uninspiring national beauty contest, a heart-warming if insufferably prolonged race south of the border, we can finally put our local house in shape for the next couple of years and, Ullr willing, get on with the serious business of sliding down snowy mountains and hoping enough visitors join us to keep the lifts turning… all of them.
If you’re undecided at this point, I hope it’s because you have difficulties making decisions when confronted with too many choices. If it’s because you haven’t been paying attention, don’t know anything about the candidates, don’t know the issues and generally sleepwalk through life, do us all a favour: don’t vote. There’s nothing worse than voting out of a sense of guilt, obligation or boredom.
And, with this crowded council slate, if there aren’t six people you’re keen on, don’t cast six votes; nothing says you have to and, quite frankly, we’ll probably wind up with better results if you don’t.
For example, I don’t feel comfortable offering any opinion on those vying for the two open school trustee positions. It’s not that I discount in any way that important job. But having never committed parenthood, I’m generally ignorant about the issues facing the school board and believe I should follow the course I generally urge the Pope to adopt on birth control: you don’t play the game, you don’t make the rules. Paying school taxes and warping young minds is sufficient contribution on my part.
We’ll be going into this most challenging ski season and tough economic times with, at minimum, half a new council. Nothing wrong with that and, frankly, nothing wrong with increasing that fraction. I’ve made my picks and nothing this past week has led me to re-evaluate whether I’ve chosen wisely or foolishly.
And that leaves the top job.
Being mayor of most small towns is a generally thankless, connect the dots kind of task. Being mayor of this small town is, by any measure, bizarre. Aside from the usual triad of water, sewer and roads, Whistler’s mayor has the impossible job of meeting the insane expectations of a pampered electorate and demanding tourists who expect their Whistler experience to be, well, magical.
Layered on that baseline is the often opposing demands from two senior levels of government, VANOC and the IOC. I have this comical image in my mind of our mayor being twisted and pulled in all directions like so much warm taffy.
But it’s decision time and I’ve made my decision. Part of that decision was easy. Jag, take a hike. While I both believe in and vigorously defend the democratic process, Jag’s “run” for mayor has been an insulting joke. You don’t live here, you don’t understand either the community or the issues, you haven’t bothered to show up for most of the public meetings and when you did it was a comical exercise in semi-literate bafflegab. And as though the cake needed icing, you’ve carpet bombed the valley with your annoying, ugly signs. In normal election years, they’d be considered the height of bad taste. This year, just your presence on the ticket has already raised that bar even higher.